First-year Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has not announced a starting quarterback for the Huskies' season opener at Cal next Saturday night, but Sports Illustated Husky Maven's Dan Raley has a pretty good guess.
Raley put his speculation this way in a story posted Friday night:
If Kevin Thomson isn't the starter, it will be shocking.
Lake hinted that he would not name a starter until the day of the game against Cal, but we trust Raley's judgment, so we will be shocked if Thomson, a grad transfer, does not take the first snap against the Bears in the pivotal 7:30 p.m. contest.
Raley also speculated that Jacob Sirmon, the nephew of Cal defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon and the backup last year to Jacob Eason, will serve as Thomson's backup this year.
The other two members of the four-man quarterback competition at Washington are redshirt freshman Dylan Morris and true freshman Ethan Garbers, brother of Cal quarterback Chase Garbers.
If Thomson, a dual-threat quarterback, is the starter as expected, it would be the second straight year that the Huskies have a transfer as their starting quarterback. Eason began his college career at Georgia, and Thomson started off at UNLV before transferring to Sac State, an FCS school, and then moving on to Washington prior to this season.
To some extent, Raley based his speculation on which players were on the field with each quarterback during workouts.
This pass by Thomson was caught by starting receiver Ty Jones:
Sirmon was shown throwing a touchdown pass to freshman Mark Redman
Granted, that is not conclusive evidence, but logic also points to Thomson.
He did not transfer to Washington until June 16, 2020, and you would not expect a grad transfer to go to a new college if he did not expect to be a starter.
And Thomson's game experience and past production are unmatched by the other three players vying for the starting job. He was the Big Sky offensive player of the year in 2019, after completing 58.9% of his passes for 3,216 yards (268 yards per game), 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also was the Hornets' second-leading rusher with 619 yards (51.6 per game) and 12 rushing touchdowns, although he also fuumbled seven times.
In Sac State's 42-28 loss to Austin Peay in the FCS national playoffs, Thomson was 21-of-53 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was also the Hornets' leading rusher in the game with 87 yards on 13 attempts.
In Sac State's two games against FBS competition last year, Thomson was 32-of-50 for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 19-7 loss to Arizona State, and he went 22-of-41 for 233 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-20 loss to Fresno State. He had negative rushing yards in both games.
In 2018, Thomson played in seven games for the Hornets, completing 54.5% of his passes with eight touchdown passes and one interception.
He spent his first two college seasons at UNLV, redshirting his first season and not getting any game action in his second before transferring to Sac State.
Garbers and Morris have never played in a college game, and Sirmon played in five games last season as a redshirt freshman, completing 2-of-3 passes for 19 yards.
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