New Mississippi State coach Mike Leach has had a lot of success with quarterbacks over the years, including in 2019, when Washington State’s Anthony Gordon put up massive numbers.

This season, Stanford graduate transfer KJ Costello is the likely starter for the Bulldogs, and he brings a lot of experience to Starkville.

This weekend, Leach spoke with 247Sports and weighed in on what he’s liked about Costello so far, citing his experience, size and intelligence:

“I like the fact he’s played before. He’s been the starter like two-and-a-half years. So I like that. He’s a big guy that throws strikes and seems pretty smart as far as picking things up.”

As for what he looks for in QB prospects generally, Leach listed several things, but noted that it is nearly impossible to find guys who check all the boxes:

“First of all I look for guys who can elevate the entire unit. And some of it has to do with intangibles. It’s hard to gauge presence, leadership, whatever you want to call it. But the most important job a quarterback has is to elevate the other ten players on offense. And hopefully, the team.

“I want a guy that’s accurate. I want a guy who makes good decisions. That’s where it starts. And after that you’ve got all the other stuff. Does he have quick feet, how big is he, how fast is he, is it a strong arm? But you can go right through it, the NFL Hall of Fame doesn’t have anybody in it whose got all those things!

“But the most important thing is if he can elevate the unit.”

Leach’s Air Raid system consistently puts up big passing numbers. Will Costello lead the SEC in passing this fall? We’ll find out soon enough.