Not long after Mike Leach arrived in Starkville, he worked hard to recruit Stanford graduate transfer quarterback KJ Costello to Mississippi State.

Considering the experience and talent the quarterback has, most assume it’s KJ Costello’s job to lose at Mississippi State. Based on recent comments from Mike Leach, those believing that are probably accurate in their assessment.

During his most recent media availability, while mentioning that the quarterback competition in Starkville isn’t over, Leach noted that Costello and true freshman Will Rogers have separated themselves in the race to become the first Mississippi State quarterback to start in his offense.

When asked what he likes from Costello, Leach offered some praise for his signal-caller.

“Well, I think everybody’s a work in progress. I think all of us as coaches are works in progress, starting with me,” Leach said. “So KJ, I think is as well. I think his strengths are, he’s a student of the game. I think the other thing is, he’s the same guy every snap, he’s not a guy that gets rattled. And so then I think that creates a level of stability with the offense. He’s accurate. He can throw it a long ways down the field.”

But there is room for improvement when it comes to Costello’s game.

The main thing Leach has noted is the quarterback needs to understand when to take something off his throws — not every pass needs to be shot from a cannon.

“I think sometimes, he gets big-arm guy disease — which is, uh you know, I mean because we want these guys to run with it after they catch it,” Leach added. “He’ll gas that sucker in there and yeah you can say, ‘Oh yeah, the guy should have caught it, he shouldn’t have bobbled it or whatever,’ but, you know, there’s a difference you had an extra 10 miles an hour on that sucker and then the guy is hanging on for his life to catch it.”

Overall, though, Leach has been very impressed with Costello.

“He certainly has a lot of strengths, he certainly has more strengths and weaknesses that put him above most people in the country,” Leach concluded.

Costello will still have to earn the role but it sure sounds like that’s going to happen at some point in Starkville.

Photo Credit: Mississippi State Athletics