Reports: Quarterback Jayden de Laura enters transfer portal as Washington State football switches gears

<p><p>During his second year in Pullman, Jayden de Laura lifted Washington State’s football team with his charisma and energetic playing style, guiding the Cougars through a midseason coaching change and spearheading an unforgettable Apple Cup victory.</p></p><p><p>What more could the young quarterback do for WSU?</p></p><p><p>It appears we’ll never know.</p></p><p><p>De Laura entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal Friday, according to 247Sports.com. It’s possible – though not plausible – that he opts to return to Pullman after testing the waters elsewhere.</p></p><p><p>The second-year starter from Hawaii was arguably the most important player in the Cougars’ sustained success after their staffing shakeup Oct. 18.</p></p><p><p>Two of his mentors – head coach Nick Rolovich and co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann – were fired that day for failing to comply with a state COVID-19 vaccine mandate.</p></p><p><p>But de Laura kept his poise and turned in a strong finish to his campaign and helped the Cougars lock up a bowl berth.</p></p><p><p>He earned freshman of the year honors from the Pac-12 after leading the conference with 2,796 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, against just nine interceptions, and capping the regular season with a rout of Washington in Seattle.</p></p><p><p>De Laura completed 84% of his passes against the Huskies, then planted Ol’ Crimson at midfield to celebrate the Cougs’ first Apple Cup win since 2012.</p></p><p><p>New coach Jake Dickert recently called de Laura the “single biggest catalyst of (the Cougs’) turnaround.” The 6-foot, 190-pound Honolulu native emerged this season as a natural leader with a knack for explosive plays.</p></p><p><p>Dickert was promoted to permanent head coach Nov. 27, one day after the Apple Cup, and over the past month he has affirmed on multiple occasions that WSU’s offense of the future will center on de Laura.</p></p><p><p>The Cougars are moving away from Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense – a form of which de Laura operated during his prep years at Saint Louis High – and replacing the system with a version of former WSU coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid.</p></p><p><p>WSU hired Eric Morris last month to take over as its offensive coordinator. Morris had been the head coach at FCS Incarnate Word over the past four seasons.</p></p><p><p>The Cougs appear to be in the running for transfer quarterback Cameron Ward, Morris’ QB at Incarnate Word. Shortly after WSU’s loss to Central Michigan at the Sun Bowl, Ward tweeted out that WSU had offered him a scholarship.</p></p>