Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud’s college football career may not be over, after all.
But if the All-American and two-time Walter Payton Award finalist opts to play another year, it likely won’t be in Cheney.
Gubrud recently entered his name into the NCAA transfer database portal, multiple sources confirmed to The Spokesman-Review on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the NCAA list is not publicly accessible.
The portal allows student-athletes to inform their schools of their desire to transfer. According to the NCAA, once the athlete’s name has been entered into the national transfer database, other coaches are allowed to contact the athlete.
Gubrud, a redshirt senior who played five games in 2018 before sustaining a toe injury on Sept. 29 at Montana State, would still need the NCAA to grant him a sixth season of eligibility, which isn’t necessarily a certainty. To be eligible for a medical redshirt, athletes must compete in no more than one-third of their team’s games. Thanks to EWU’s championship run, the Eagles wound up playing a 15-game season, capped by last Saturday’s 38-24 loss to North Dakota State in the FCS national title game.
Gubrud and other Eastern officials did not return messages Thursday seeking comment.
Eastern appears set at quarterback with Gubrud’s replacement, junior-to-be Eric Barriere, whose running and passing sparked an offense that ranked third in the FCS and helped lead the Eagles to their second championship game in program history.
Adding to the intrigue, Gubrud and about a dozen FBS assistant coaches and recruiting coordinators recently started following each other on Twitter. Among those schools represented are Washington State – which loses quarterback Gardner Minshew, a grad transfer – Utah, Boise State, Mississippi State and others. The Broncos lose senior quarterback Brett Rypien, a Shadle Park graduate, who holds several Mountain West passing records.
According to a source, Gubrud is intrigued about the possibility of landing at an FBS-level program that might improve his chances of getting the attention of professional scouts.
Once it was announced that Gubrud was out for the season, EWU asked that questions about his pro prospects be held off until the season was over. If Gubrud forgoes the possibility of continuing his college career, the Canadian Football League seems a likely route, following the lead of other former EWU standout quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell, Vernon Adams and Matt Nichols.
If Gubrud does transfer to a FBS school, he’ll be the second high-profile Eastern quarterback to make the jump in four years. In 2015, Adams spent his senior season at Oregon as a graduate transfer, helping the Ducks reach the Alamo Bowl.
In 2 1/2 seasons as a starter, Gubrud passed for 9,984 yards and 87 touchdowns and rushed for 1,042 yards and 13 scores. In 2016, Gubrud set the FCS single-season passing record (5,160 yards, 48 touchdowns) and led the Eagles to the FCS semifinals.
Washington State coaches got a good look at Gubrud in his first collegiate start in 2016, a 45-42 upset of the Cougars in Pullman, where he tallied 551 yards of total offense and six touchdowns.
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