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Name: K.J. Costello (+) Coming off Nov 2020 Head INJ/Transfer from Stanford
College: Mississippi State     Number: 3
Height: 6-5   Weight: 225
Position: QB  Pos2:
Class/Draft Year: rSr/2021

40 Low: 5.04
   40 Time: 5.11
  40 High: 5.20
Projected Round: 7-HPFA  Stock:    

Combine Invite: 
Height: 6044
Weight: 225

Zybek PD3X AKA "Official"
40 Yard Dash (ET):
 
40 Yard Dash (HH): 
20 Yard (ET): 
20 Yard (HH): 
10 Yard (ET): 
10 Yard (HH): 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 


Dates: 03/24/21 03/17/21@SanJoseSt
Hand: 10 1/8  Arm: 32 7/8
Wingspan: 76 3/4

Height: 6044
Weight: 225
40 Yrd Dash: 5.11
20 Yrd Dash: 3.00
10 Yrd Dash: 1.84
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 27 1/2
Broad Jump: 08'07"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.75
3-Cone Drill: 

40 Time Range: 5.08-5.13/Projected 4.86/No 3Cone or Bench-Choice
 

 



 Data Scout Notes: 2020: NAC...PMaxwell...2019: Transfer from Stanford...PMaxwell/POBrien...Announced transfer from Stanford to Mississippi State on Feb 2 '20. 102-167-1038-6-3-61.0 pass, 18-24-1.3-0 rush in 5 gms, missed rest of season in '19. 2nd team All-Pac 12, AP 1st 2nd team All-Pac 12 w/269-413-3540-29-11-65.1 pass, 42--20--0.5-0 rush in 13 gms in '18. 124-211-1573-14-4-58.7 pass, 28-92-3.3-3 rush in 11 gms in '17. Redshirted in '16.

 K.J. Costello, Mississippi State, Player News


  KJ Costello's future at Mississippi State remains murky Monday, the East-West Shrine Bowl announced MSU quarterback KJ Costello had received an honorary invite to the event, though the game will not be held due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The East-West Shrine Bowl is normally reserved for college seniors who are preparing for the NFL draft. Given the usual criterion, Costello's selection would presume that he will not be using his extra year of eligibility afforded by the NCAA this year. Asked if he had any indication Costello would not be back in Starkville next year, Leach said, "I think that's still in the works. Not sure yet."

In his first game at MSU after a four year career at Stanford, Costello broke a three-decade old SEC passing record as he torched defending national champion LSU for 623 passing yards and five touchdowns. Following the LSU game, the former Cardinal performed to mixed results and was twice pulled in favor of freshman backup Will Rogers. Costello has not appeared in a game since leaving an Oct. 31 contest against No. 1 Alabama with an undisclosed injury. - The Dispatch


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  K.J. Costello had a rough start against Alabama on Saturday. It got much worse for Mississippi State's senior quarterback in the second quarter. All five of the possessions Costello led resulted in three-and-outs. The 15th play of that sequence ended up being Costello's last of the game. Costello escaped the pocket on third down and tried to run for a first down, but Alabama senior linebacker Dylan Moses met him before he got there. Moses' knee struck Costello in the head on the 4-yard scramble. Costello stayed down on the field for a moment. He sat up when trainers arrived but stayed in a seated position for a while longer. The trainers helped him off the field and brought him straight to the locker room. Alabama led 20-0 at the time of Costello's injury. Freshman quarterback Will Rogers replaced him. Costello was 4-of-11 for 16 yards. - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  The Mississippi State quarterback conundrum remains ongoing. Speaking with the media Monday, head coach Mike Leach revealed that he anticipates Stanford graduate transfer K.J. Costello and freshman Will Rogers will continue sharing No. 1 reps for at least the next few days ahead of MSU's meeting with No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. "I think they're neck and neck," Leach said. "We'll continue to split the reps this week for the first couple of practices." While Costello burst onto the national scene with a Southeastern Conference-record 623 yards passing against then-No. 6 LSU in Week 1, the former Cardinal signal-caller has been inconsistent at best over the past three weeks. In starts against Arkansas, Kentucky and No. 8 Texas A&M, he's completed 66.9 percent of his throws for a meager 644 yards, one touchdown and eight interceptions. Costello was also benched in contests against Kentucky and Texas A&M for his inability to move the MSU offense. - The Dispatch

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Leach benched starting quarterback KJ Costello midway through the second half for freshman Will Rogers, same as he did last week in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky. Rogers connected with Malik Heath for a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. "Offensively, we were a bunch of pincushions out there," Leach said. "And I think its mental on the part of our o-line, because we can block our own defensive line consistently in practice and A&M couldn't even do that. So, it's definitely mental." - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Change is coming to Mike Leach's offense. For the better part of two weeks, Mississippi State's offense has seen nothing but drop eight zone coverage as it struggled to anemic offensive outputs in losses to Arkansas and Kentucky. And while Leach isn't panicking quite yet, there figures to be some shake-up ahead of No. 11 Texas A&M's visit to Starkville on Saturday. "We're going to be competitive at every position," he said during his Monday press conference. "There may be some lineup changes, we'll see, and then we also may play more guys. But if they bring three (pass rushers), we have to consistently win those battles, and I don't think we've been consistent at it."

MSU figures to see a change or, at the very least, a short leash under center. After dazzling the nation with his 623-yard, five-touchdown effort against then-No. 6 LSU in Week 1, K.J. Costello has turned into a shell of himself. In the two games since, Costello has completed 69.3 percent of his throws, but seven interceptions and a 6.9 yards per completion rate have bogged down a seemingly high-flying aerial attack. Since Costello's boisterous introduction to Southeastern Conference defenses, Leach has referenced the quarterback's eye placement as a point of contention in recent losses. The coach explained Monday that it's a trait he needs to teach better, but it also falls on Costello to execute. - The Dispatch


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Suddenly MSU senior QB K.J. Costello's 623 yards and five touchdowns against the Bayou Bengals has lost a bit of its charm. Much of that is Costello's own doing. The graduate transfer from Stanford has thrown nine interceptions - including three returned for touchdowns - through three games. He has only thrown one touchdown in the last two weeks. So, naturally a team turns to its backup, right? Well, Mississippi State did. Freshman Will Rogers threw two interceptions in the second half. The Bulldogs didn't have much going for them no matter who was catching snaps from center, but junior wide receiver Austin Williams said the team hasn't lost confidence in either quarterback. "We believe in both those guys," Williams said. "We love them both. They're both heck of players. They can do the job for sure, no doubt about it. There's no question within the team about that." - Courier Journal

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Courier Journal
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  K.J. Costello's SEC-record passing game against LSU sure seems like a long time ago. The last two weeks Mississippi State's offense has struggled unlike any Mike Leach unit in his 19 years as a head coach. The 24-2 loss to Kentucky on Saturday, which followed a 21-14 loss to Arkansas, gave the Bulldogs a total of 16 points since they beat defending national champion LSU 44-34 behind Costello's 623 yards and five touchdowns. Before Saturday, Leach had never had one of his "Air Raid" offenses fail to produce points. All that stood between Leach and his first shutout loss in 232 career games was a bad snap that got past Kentucky's punter and was kicked out the back of the Wildcats' end zone for a safety. Costello threw four interceptions and backup Will Rogers was picked off twice. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  For weeks, Costello has been lauded for his maturity in dealing with adversity. Over the summer, he endured months of rehab to right what his father believed was a fractured thumb in his throwing hand. In the loss to LSU, his four turnovers nearly spelled doom, but he responded by slamming the nail into the Tigers' proverbial coffin by way of a 24-yard touchdown pass to Osirus Mitchell with just under four minutes remaining to put MSU ahead by 10. Costello wasn't his sharpest Saturday against Arkansas; that goes without saying. But for the 2020 Bulldogs to escape the dizzying ups and downs Leach-coached teams so often endure, they'll need their quarterback to rebound against Kentucky. "Analytical, like good quarterbacks are," Leach said of how Costello has responded to Saturday's performance."...Because the only way you get to be good is to have honest evaluation, and a lot of that's going to be painful." - The Dispatch

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Costello chalked up the loss to poor execution. He said he couldn't care less if teams come out playing the type of coverage Arkansas did. He completed a school-record 43 passes. He just didn't complete them when they mattered most. "Throw on the tape. The safety is playing 30 yards, 25 yards, 27 yards yards away post snap," Costello said. "That's fine. They're clearly scared to get beat deep. We got to be fast. We got to be efficient. We got to catch the ball and get north. It's a coverage we should slice and dice nonstop." Costello said another cause for concern was how often Mississippi State faced third down. The Bulldogs were 6-of-17 (35.3%), down from 50% against LSU the week prior. Costello said this system is "humming" when it isn't forced to move the chains on critical third downs. "Pick that thing up on second down and move on," Costello said. "I think there was only two drives when we felt that way going down the field. You see the defense get tired. You see the pass rush slow down. You start picking them apart. We didn't have them on their heels tonight for majority of the time, and that's the way this offense is supposed to roll. That's on my back and everyone else's back who is supposed to do their job." - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  Because of how well Mississippi State quarterback K.J. Costello played at LSU, his two interceptions and lost fumble there were somewhat overlooked. The graduate transfer might be turnover prone, though, following a three-interception outing against the Razorbacks. He had at least one other pass that could have been intercepted. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  Stanford graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello was 43-of-59 passing for 313 yards with a touchdown pass and the three interceptions. The 43 completions were a school record a week after he broke the SEC record with 623 passing yards at LSU. Unlike the big plays Costello had against LSU, only eight of his 22 passes in the first half went farther than six yards. "They've done that on film and we thought there was a pretty good chance they would do that," Leach said of Arkansas' coverage. "You just have to put the ball in play." Costello's biggest mistake started the scoring when Greg Brooks intercepted him and returned it 69 yards for a first quarter touchdown.

"They can all play coverage and rush three (defenders) a lot," Costello said. "They play drop bait, which is fine. (We can) play catch in front, run the ball, and run it well. (We can) be super efficient. "I think there were a couple drives, one in particular, it was a 16-play drive (in the third quarter) and the defense played us well all the way down the field. That's what you have to do when you are in that situation. I think throughout the game we strung together five or six drives that way. Obviously, we did not do that (well). I will be watching the tape tonight to see what I need to do to help this team win." - Northwest Arkansas Times


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  Quarterback K.J. Costello left Stanford as a graduate transfer to go to Mississippi State. In his first game with the Bulldogs, under former Washington State head coach Mike Leach, all Costello did was throw for an SEC-record 623 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-34 win at defending national champion LSU on Saturday. "Mike Leach has thrown for a lot of yards with a lot of quarterbacks and very few have had the arm talent that K.J. Costello has," Shaw said. Costello endured an injury-filled season in 2019 and Davis Mills replaced him as the Cardinal's starter. - San Francisco Chronicle

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: San Francisco Chronicle
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  Mississippi State senior quarterback K.J. Costello said Tuesday's practice was "closer to a perfect practice" than last Tuesday's. At the time, Costello said last Tuesday's practice was his best since coming to Mississippi State. He proceeded to torch then-No. 5 LSU for 623 passing yards and five touchdowns a few days later. Uh oh, Arkansas. Costello is comfortable in coach Mike Leach's offense. That much was evident in his record-setting debut. But comfort was something he sought after for months since he started his final game at Stanford on Nov. 9, 2019. He decided to follow Leach to Mississippi State in February, but even then he wasn't comfortable.

He could hardly throw a football because of a lingering thumb injury, after all. "I literally was not throwing the ball," Costello said. "I didn't know if I was going to play, didn't really know if I wanted to play in terms of like going out each and every day. I was rehabbing harder than anyone, I think, in the country. Two to three times a day. Literally 8, 12, 4 o'clock - every single day." Yet here he is now, setting records quarterbacks Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel and even Joe Burrow didn't during their Heisman Trophy seasons in the SEC. In fact, that trio didn't come close to Costello's 623 yards. Burrow had the most of that bunch in one game with 493. - The Clarion Ledger


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  Mississippi State vaulted into the AP Top 25 poll Sunday following a season-opening victory at LSU. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 16 in this week's poll after receiving just six votes last week. Mississippi State is scheduled to host Arkansas on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, Mississippi State won 44-34 at LSU. Transfer quarterback K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns in the first game under new Bulldogs coach Mike Leach. Mississippi State is one of eight ranked SEC teams this week, all of which are scheduled to play Arkansas this season. Georgia remains ranked No. 4 this week after defeating the Razorbacks 37-10 on Saturday. - Northwest Arkansas Times

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Northwest Arkansas Times
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  SEPT 28 SEC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State,...After a record-breaking debut, graduate transfer senior quarterback K.J. Costello was named the Walter Camp FBS National Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Costello began his career as a Bulldog by propelling State to a 44-34 win on the road against defending national champion No. 6 LSU. Operating in head coach Mike Leach's air raid offense, he threw for 623 yards, shattering the MSU and SEC single-game passing yards record. His 623 yards also ranks 11th in NCAA history. Costello completed 36 passes on 60 attempts, which were also MSU school records. He matched the program record for passing touchdowns with five. Costello completed 15 passes of 20 yards or more and found 10 different receivers during the game. He kept the offense rolling on third downs, going 7-of-11 passing for 194 yards. He also added three touchdowns, including a 24-yard strike to Osirus Mitchell with 3:39 left in the game that made the score 44-34.

Spreading out the passing attack, Costello led three Bulldogs to career-high receiving days. Mitchell finished with 183 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. Kylin Hill and JaVonta Payton both set career highs in catches and yardage. Hill tallied eight receptions for 158 yards and one score, while Payton caught six passes for 122 yards. It was the second time in program history that a trio of Bulldogs eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards, with Joe Morrow (117), De'Runnya Wilson (105) and Fred Ross (102) completing the feat for the first time in the 2014 Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech on Dec. 31. - SEC Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: SEC Football
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  Graduate senior quarterback K.J. Costello shattered the previous SEC passing record in throwing for 623 yards. Mississippi State also went 8-of-16 on third down and averaged 8.3 yards per play. "There was a point in that game where I felt like if it was third and long every time we would have scored even more points," Leach said. "It seemed like our most effective down was third and long. Forget first and second. Let's just get to third and long." Sure, the Bulldogs only ran for nine yards. But is there even a need to run the ball when the team's starting running back gains 158 yards through the air? Senior RB Kylin Hill was one of three Bulldogs to eclipse 100 receiving yards, too. Senior wide receivers Osirus Mitchell (183) and JaVonta Payton (122) joined him. The scary part? Multiple Mississippi State players said they felt they left too many points out on the field because of turnovers and having to settle for three field goals. Mitchell said the sky is the limit for MSU's offense this season. There might not be a way to quantify that, but he might still be right. - The Clarion Ledger

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  SEPT 26 CFB STARS: K.J. Costello, Mississippi State, passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and had five TD passes to help the Bulldogs knock off sixth-ranked and defending national champion LSU, 44-34. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  New Mississippi State coach Mike Leach put his "Air Raid" offense in the hands of a transfer quarterback who showed up over the summer and the results were like nothing defending national champion LSU or the Southeastern Conference has ever seen. K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked LSU 44-34. Costello's passing yardage in his first game since moving from Silicon Valley to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia's Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the conference record. And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered two late scoring drives. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  SEP 27 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL FBS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: K.J. COSTELLO, MISSISSIPPI STATE, Graduate Senior, Quarterback, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA/Santa Margarita/Stanford,...K.J. Costello passed for a Southeastern Conference-record 623 yards as Mississippi State defeated sixth-ranked LSU, 44-34, on the road. Costello completed 36-of-60 passes and threw for five touchdowns. His 623 passing yards were the 11th-highest total in FBS history. Notes: K.J. Costello is the third Mississippi State player to win the award since 2004 (and the first offensive honoree), joining former Bulldogs Quinton Culberson (LB, Nov. 5, 2006) and Richie Brown (LB, Oct. 5, 2014). - The Walter Camp Football Foundation

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Walter Camp Football Foundation
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  K.J. Costello passed for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns in the Mississippi State debut of coach Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense, and the Bulldogs knocked off sixth-ranked and defending national champion LSU 44-34 on Saturday. Costello's passing yardage in his first game since transferring from Stanford to Starkville, Mississippi, eclipsed the 544 yards Georgia's Eric Zeier had against Southern Mississippi in 1993 to set the Southeastern Conference record. And Costello needed most of it to make up for his two interceptions and two lost fumbles, which helped LSU rally to tie the game at 34 before he engineered a pair of scoring drives in the final 10 minutes.

LSU became the first defending national champion to lose its opening game since Michigan in 1998 lost at Notre Dame. LSU quarterback Myles Brennan intermittently showed promise in his debut as starter in place of 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and 2020 top NFL draft choice Joe Burrow. But Brennan's 345 yards and three touchdowns passing could not make up for the trouble the Tigers' inexperienced defense had in new coordinator Bo Pelini's scheme. Four of Costello's touchdown passes covered between 24 and 75 yards. The longest came on Kylin Hill's catch and run in which the running back slipped safety Todd Harris' tackle along the sideline to break into the clear. Osirus Mitchell caught touchdown passes of 43 and 24 yards, the second putting the Bulldogs back up by two scores with 3:39 left. Tyrell Shavers caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and Austin Williams had a 9-yard TD catch. - AP College/Mississippi State Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College/Mississippi State Football
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  Mississippi State also has a new starting QB. Leach brought in Stanford transfer K.J. Costello, who protrays himself a "football nerd." Costello said he loves watching old game footage from Leach's previous stops at Washington State and Texas Tech. Costello said he watched every former Leach QB from Wahsington State's Gardner Minshew back to Tech's Graham Harrell because he "wanted to see who was the most successful in the system." Costello passed for 6,151 yards and 49 TDs during three seasons at Stanford, including two as starter. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: AP College Football
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: KJ Costello, Mississippi State,...Former Stanford starting quarterback...Two-time captain at Stanford who started 25 games over the course of three seasons...Has one season of eligibility left...Went 495-of-791 passing for 6,151 yards and 49 touchdowns in three seasons at Stanford...Struggled with injuries in 2019 and appeared in only five games, passing for 1,038 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. - Mississippi State Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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  If you thought all K.J. Costello had to do to earn the starting quarterback job at Mississippi State was show up on campus after transferring in as a graduate from Stanford, then think again. Coach Mike Leach said Costello is still battling freshman Will Rogers and sophomores Garrett Shrader and Jalen Mayden as Week 3 of training camp continues. Leach added some insight into the competition during his first appearance on "Dawg Talk" Thursday. "You know I'm kind of waiting for those guys to separate themselves," Leach said. "I guess that's been a little frustrating. I guess that's good because they're competitive. Sometimes they're competitively good and sometimes they're competitively inconsistent."

Costello has started 25 games in his college career. The other trio has combined to start four, and Shrader owns all of those starts. Costello has thrown for 6,151 yards and 49 touchdowns. Shrader has thrown for 1,170 and eight, respectively. Mayden is 1-for-2 for nine yards in his career. Rogers hasn't stepped foot on the field in a college game. Costello wins in a runaway on paper, but football isn't played on paper. It's played between the white lines. Leach said Costello is ahead of the others, but he's still waiting for him to definitively "rise to the top." "I think they're hugged together pretty tight," Leach said. "But I do feel like it's still an open job. Somebody has got to take it and run with it and really provide that consistency." Costello is aiming at a redemption season of sorts. After starting all 13 games in 2018 during a season in which he nearly set the Stanford record for passing yards in a single season with 3,540, he only started five games in 2019 because of nagging injuries. - The Clarion Ledger


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Clarion Ledger
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  2020 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD WATCH LIST: QB K.J. Costello, Mississippi State,...Costello was a two-time captain at Stanford who started 25 games over the course of three seasons, prior to arriving in Starkville. He has gone 495-of-791 passing for 6,151 yards and 49 touchdowns during his career. In 2018, Costello earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors when he started all 13 games and passed for 3,540 yards, the second-highest single-season total in team history. He completed 65.1 percent of his passes with 29 touchdowns and led the Pac-12 in both pass efficiency (155) and yards per attempt (8.57). - Mississippi State Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Mississippi State Football
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  In 2018 at Stanford, the 6-foot-5 pocket passer threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns. Now he heads to join forces with new Bulldog coach Mike Leach and bring his Air Raid to the SEC. That will be fascinating to watch. Is Mississippi State ready to compete with the big boys in the SEC in Year One under Leach? Probably not. But Costello is. The team opens with New Mexico, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Tulane and Texas A&M however and it is quite possible the Bulldogs are 5-0 after that stretch. If that happens, Costello will be in that early-season Heisman talk. Then they play at Alabama, at LSU and against Auburn. - Opelika-Auburn News

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Opelika-Auburn News
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  In an offense predicated on the aerial attack, there's perhaps no position more crucial to Mike Leach's success at MSU than under center -- or, rather, in the shotgun. For Leach, his first few weeks in Starkville were busy devising a coaching staff while also scrounging the graduate transfer market for a potential quarterback to run the show this fall -- or whenever football does return. "It's a new resource nowadays," Leach said of the transfer portal at his introductory press conference Jan. 10. "It's both positive and negative, but it can be a resource. I don't think it can be ignored for any position. Football's a competitive sport, and you're always trying to upgrade. Of course, everybody, regardless of position, remembers somebody that played from whenever. But if you can upgrade, that's the point of a team game."

In response, the Bulldogs landed a commitment from Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello -- a two-time Pac-12 all-Academic honorable mention, a second team all-conference honoree in 2018 and a former Cardinal team captain. Costello is the most experienced option of the four scholarship quarterbacks MSU currently carries. In 28 career games at Stanford, he completed 495 of 791 passes for 6,151 yards and 49 touchdowns to just 18 interceptions. His best year in a Cardinal uniform came as a sophomore, throwing for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns while guiding his team to a 9-4 record. "He's one of those take-charge guys -- very dedicated, competitive," former Santa Margarita High School head coach Rick Curtis said of his one-time signal-caller. "One of the great things about him is he really could rally his teammates around him. He liked that role, and they kind of gravitated toward him." While Costello has yet to arrive on campus, there shouldn't be much competition from those already enrolled at MSU for the starting job. - The Dispatch


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: The Dispatch
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  Mississippi State went back to the well. For the second year in a row, MSU landed a coveted quarterback in the transfer portal. Last year it was Tommy Stevens from Penn State. This year, former Stanford QB K.J. Costello announced his decision to leave Palo Alto and head to Starkville for his final year of eligibility. Costello made his announcement official via Twitter. Costello spent four seasons at Stanford, including a redshirt year in 2016. He started seven games as a redshirt freshman the following year before becoming the full-time starter in 2018. Costello had one of the best statistical seasons in Stanford history as a redshirt junior. He completed 269 of his 413 pass attempts (65.1%) for 3,540 yards. He threw 29 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. - Clarion Ledger

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
News Source: Clarion Ledger
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  The final test for K.J. Costello came in the pregame warmups. If he could show he could hold and throw the football, he was a go. Being forced to stand on the sidelines for the past three weeks took its toll on the senior quarterback, who returned to Stanford's starting lineup and led the Cardinal to a 41-31 victory over visiting Arizona on Saturday. "It doesn't feel good. It's awful," Costello said of being sidelined. "Not playing a few weeks I have to challenge myself in terms of energy." An energized Costello threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns after missing three games with a thumb injury. He was 30 of 43 passing with no interceptions. Back-up Davis Mills, out with a calf injury, was unavailable.

"I feel a whole lot different playing than not playing. It's everything," Costello said. "When our offense plays the way we know we can, when we're able to run the ball, you can see the full complexion of the offense and what we want to do." Showing no signs of discomfort, Costello rifled passes to 12 different receivers, including a pair of touchdown passes to Simi Fehoko and one to Brycen Tremayne, whose only two career receptions have both gone for touchdowns. "I haven't hit an inside pass to Simi all year," Costello said. "It felt good. I think the game has finally slowed down for him." Fehoko agreed. "A lot of this season I've felt rushed," he said. "Today it slowed down. It's good to have him back, leading the ship." - Stanford/AP College Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
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  Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello will miss the 23rd-ranked Cardinal's Pac-12 opener against Southern California with an injury. Coach David Shaw said after practice Thursday that Costello had been ruled out against the Trojans on Saturday after getting knocked out of the opener against Northwestern with a head injury. Davis Mills is expected to make his first career start for the Cardinal (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12).

Costello got hurt in the closing seconds of the first half against Northwestern last week when he was hit with a forearm to the facemask while sliding on a scramble. Costello's head hit the turf and he was down for several minutes before being helped off the field. Mills completed 7 of 14 passes for 81 yards and also lost two fumbles in his most extensive collegiate action. Mills played only one game last season, throwing two passes and running the ball once. Stanford also is without star left tackle Walker Little. He also got hurt in the opener and is out indefinitely. - AP College Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
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  With star quarterback K.J. Costello knocked out of the season opener, No. 25 Stanford had to rely on its defense and running game to get the win in the season opener. Costello threw a 2-yard touchdown pass before getting hurt on a late hit and the Cardinal used four turnovers and an improved running game to hold off injury plagued Northwestern 17-7 on Saturday. "It's what you want as a coach," Stanford's David Shaw said. "When things are difficult, I don't have to turn into Knute Rockne. I don't have to do all the talking...There's no sense of panic. There's a sense of we haven't played well enough and they're still in the game so we have to play better."

Cameron Scarlett ran for 97 yards and a key first down late that helped run out most of the clock and then Casey Toohill helped seal the win for the Cardinal (1-0) with a strip sack of Hunter Johnson that led to a fumble recovery in the end zone by Jordan Fox with 20 seconds left. Stanford had forced a punt by Northwestern on the previous drive to preserve a three-point lead. Costello completed 16 of 20 passes for 152 yards and the TD pass to Michael Wilson that capped a 90-yard drive in the second quarter for the Cardinal (1-0). But his day ended early when he was hit with a forearm to the facemask while sliding on a scramble by Earnest Brown IV with just 2 seconds remaining in the first half. - AP College Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
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  2019 PRESEASON MAXWELL AWARD CANDIDATE: QB K.J. Costello, Stanford,...An All-Pac-12 second team honoree last season, Costello's 29 passing touchdowns ranked third-most in a season in school history, surpassed only by Andrew Luck (37 in 2011 and 32 in 2010). Costello also finished with the second-most passing yards (3,540) and 300-yard passing games (7) in a season in school history. - Stanford Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
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  2019 PRESEASON DAVEY O'BRIEN NATIONAL QUARTERBACK AWARD WATCH LIST: K.J. Costello, Stanford, Sr., 6-5, 215, Coto de Caza, Calif.,...An All-Pac-12 second team honoree last season, Costello's 29 passing touchdowns ranked third-most in a season in school history, surpassed only by Andrew Luck (37 in 2011 and 32 in 2010). Costello also finished with the second-most passing yards (3,540) and 300-yard passing games (7) in a season in school history.

The Coto de Caza, California, native led the Pac-12 in passing efficiency (155.0) and yards per attempt (8.57), and was among the Top 25 in the nation in completion percentage (65.1%), completions per game (20.7), passing touchdowns (29), passing yards (3,540) and passing yards per game (272.3). - Stanford Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2021 QB K.J. CostelloMississippi State
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