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2017 Heisman Trophy Watch NCAA Football Opinion/Editorial

2017 Heisman Trophy Watch: Cougar On The Prowl! Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Washington State QB Luke Falk

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PULLMAN — Tucked deep in the plush beauty of the Pacific Northwest and in the heart of Eastern Washington apple country, Washington State quarterback Luke Falk has the Cougars on the prowl in the Pac-12 North.

A former walk-on from Oaks Christian (Utah), the 22-year-old junior took over as the Cougars starting quarterback after former starter—and current star of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes—in Connor Halliday suffering a broken tibia and fibula. After passing for 1,859 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2014, Falk would explode onto the national scene in passing for 8,756 yards, 75 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 2015 and 2016.

Name: Luke Falk

Height: 6’4

Weight: 204 pounds

Birthplace: Logan, Utah

Resume: 2015 Sun Bowl MVP, First-team All Pac-12 (2015), Manning Award, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch lists

Eligibility: Junior

Key Games: Boise State (9/9), USC (9/29), @Cal (10/13), @Arizona (10/28), @Washington (11/25)

NFL Draft Projection: Top ten pick

Thanks completing a career-best 71 percent of his passes and averaging 4,382 yards passing over the last two seasons up in Pullman, Falk has been added to prestigious pre-season watch lists such as the Manning Award, Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien.

Ryan Leaf. Drew Bledsoe. Could Falk be the next great NFL quarterback prospect to come from Wazzu?

While Leaf was a monumental bust in the league after being drafted second overall behind Tennessee’s Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, Bledsoe would find success in New England in helping lead the New England Patriots—a certain sixth-round kid from Michigan named Tom Brady, would replace him after an injury—to their first of their five Super Bowl wins.

A tall and traditional pocket passer at 6’4 and a lean 204 pounds, Falk has all of the physical tools to succeed at the next level. A likely top-five pick in the ‘18 Draft, Falk could further help his NFL draft stock in putting up similar numbers over the last two seasons, regardless of in winning the Heisman or not.

While he—like his fellow Apple Cup rival, Jake Browning of Washington—will likely suffer from is the Heisman Trophy bias of East Coast-based voters who will likely not get the chance to see much of him due to Pullman being so far out west. What may be his coming-out party/showcase game will come in Sept. 29th vs. the visiting USC Trojans and the projected front-runner in Trojans quarterback, and projected top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft Sam Darnold, in Pullman.

With a couple of challenging back-to-back games at Eugene vs. Oregon and down the coast in Berkeley vs. Cal, Falk’s final chance to stake his claim for the Heisman will come on the road in Seattle vs. the forementioned Browning and the Huskies.

Depending on how well he performs this season and in those games, Falk may either be in consideration for New York, or likely out of it.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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