TMG'S NEWSMAKER OF THE WEEK: K.J. Costello
This is the way it worked.
Mississippi State needed another new football coach to put it back in the same SEC room with LSU, Alabama, Auburn and the other sharks in the water.
In January, they went outside the box by bringing in Washington State coach Mike Leach, who at the very least, would make games in Starkville more interesting.
Leach's Air Raid style of offense had made life a challenge for defensive coordinators in the Pac-12.
Leach's first and most important assignment was finding a QB to run his offense.
In February, he received a gift package from the West Coast, labeled neatly as a two-time captain and graduate transfer QB from Stanford, who had thrown for 3,500 yards and 29 TD passes in his junior season, K.J. Costello.
Costello's senior season at Stanford was limited to five games because of injury. He was also looking for new challenges.
Leach, who had recruited Costello when he was in high school in Southern California, liked what he had seen then and what was possibible now.
He made the call.
“Part of it, is where he came from,'' said Leach. "Then, I was familiar with him coming out of high school. As I said, we played against him, and he was looking for a place where he got the chance to throw the ball more, so we feel fortunate to have him. The dialogue kind of happened naturally; we already knew a bunch of the same people, including his head football coach who I thought was a great coach. And so, it went. It was a good deal, and we’re thrilled to have him.”
On Saturday, in a debut for both Leach and Costello, Mississippi State had its coming out party in Baton Rouge against defending national champion LSU.
Final score Miss State 48, LSU 34.
All Costello did was set an All Time SEC record by throwing 5 TD passes for 623 yards. He did have a pair of interceptions and a pair of fumbles, but who is quibbling with a W in such an impressive manner.
"I don't know if any individual could envision this taking place,'' said Costello. "I wasn't visualizing breaking any records.''
For that, Costello is TMG's Newsmaker of The Week.