Luke Falk will return for his final season in 2017, head coach Mike Leach announced ahead of the team’s December 27 National Funding Holiday Bowl game. The Washington State quarterback will enter next fall as one of the more polished and experienced signal callers in college football. While Leach and the Cougars made the announcement with little surprise on Falk’s decision, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has the junior as the 4-ranked draft-eligible quarterback for next April’s NFL Draft.
Born: Logan, Utah
Age: 21 (December 28, 1994)
Weight: 205 lbs
Team: Washington State University
Luke Falk Stats
After joining the Cougars football program as a walk-on, Falk redshirted in the first season in 2013. After an injury to starter Connor Halliday in 2014, Falk became the starting quarterback for the final three games.
Falk had a scorching hot coming-out-party, as the then 19-year-old threw for 471 yards and five touchdowns and took home Offensive Player of the Week in his first collegiate start. Overall he completed a respectable 68.2 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He would give Leach a small glimpse of what was to come in the next two seasons.
With a full handle on the quarterback duties, Falk would be let loose in the air-raid offense for a Cougars team that finished 9-3, including a Sun Bowl win over the Miami Hurricanes. He would lead the nation in passing yards per game (308.5) and finish second in completion percentage (68.45). Those numbers garnered first-team all-Pac-12 honors but weren’t enough to draw Heisman consideration, due in large part to the Cougars win-loss record. In a stellar sophomore campaign he would total for 4,561 passing yards and 38 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.
Through the regular season, Falk will matched his career high in games played (12) and posted similar numbers to the season prior. Due to a stronger run game, he threw for just 580 passes completing 413. That was good enough for a career-high completion rate of 71 percent. In the regular season he tossed 37 touchdowns to ten picks and once again made the Cougars one of the highest-scoring offenses in football.
Despite being a very decorated underclassman, Falk will bet on his senior season to be his best yet in hopes of climbing up NFL Draft boards. In a quarterback class that isn’t rated very highly, this could likely be a wise decision for the 21-year-old.
However Falk is lauded for his pre-snap audibles at the line scrimmage, a skill that has become drastically rare in college quarterbacks due to the popularity of uptempo offenses. Several argued he could’ve flown up GM’s big-boards for this reason alone and for his superb accuracy, another trait valued highly by NFL executives and coaches.
Despite both of those strong aspects, Falk has decided to return for another season with one of the best quarterback gurus as his head coach, making his decision a relatively safe choice for his bright future.