While he won’t come right out and declare the quarterback competition over in Starkville, Mike Leach continues to hint that KJ Costello will be his starter when Mississippi State opens the season against LSU in Baton Rouge.

The graduate transfer from Stanford is being hailed as the most talented quarterback Leach has ever had to work with since he became a head coach and it appears we’re going to find out soon enough how good of a tandem the two make in their first season working together.

Here is what Leach had to say on Thursday evening when asked about the quarterback competition in Starkville.

“It’s somewhat open but I think KJ has been getting the majority of the reps and has done a good job with them,” Leach said.

One name no longer in the running to be the team’s starter is sophomore Garrett Sharder.

After making 10 appearances and four starts at quarterback during his true freshman season, Shrader has been moved to receiver in Leach’s offense.

How soon could Shrader make an appearance on the field at receiver? It doesn’t sound like the former QB will be getting too many looks to start the season, based on what his head coach recently had to say.

“Not sure Week 1. He does a lot of really good things,” Leach said of Shrader. “He’s a big target, he’s athletic, he’s one of those guys that’s always happy to be out there. The other thing is, he doesn’t mind running. We’ve got to get him in shape but he likes to run.

“The other thing, when he has the ball in his hands, he’s pretty good. He seems pretty excited, and to be perfectly honest with you – at least lately – you go out there and as your plugging through practice, he’s one of those guys that makes you excited to be out there.”

If nothing else, you have to hand it to Shrader for being fully invested in the transition to a new position. That’s not a move many quarterbacks with starting experience in the SEC would be willing to make.