- Story by SportsTalk Mississippi MSU Beat Reporter Brian Hadad
Stanford’s KJ Costello makes the move from Pac-12 to SEC football
Mississippi State dipped back into the transfer portal for a quarterback on Monday, landing one of the most coveted targets in the country in Stanford’s KJ Costello. Costello made the announcement official via his Twitter and Instagram feeds Monday afternoon.
— LilKev (@kj_costello) February 3, 2020
Costello leaves Stanford following a spectacular career, completing 62.6% of his passes for 6151 yards, striking for 49 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. Costello led the Cardinal to back to back nine-win seasons as a freshman and sophomore, with his second year being his best, throwing for 3540 yards, 29 touchdowns, and completing 65.1% of his passes. Rated as the nation’s #3 pro-style quarterback out of high school, Costello picked Stanford over offers from Alabama, Michigan, Southern Cal, and Florida.
Costello enters Mississippi State at a time where the offense is making the biggest shift in philosophy in modern history, as Mike Leach will shift the Bulldogs away from the power running attack featured since the program’s beginnings to his famous Air Raid offense. Leach’s Washington State team threw for 5673 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2019, and he’s registered a top 3 passing offense in each of the last five seasons.
Costello’s arrival puts him in a quarterback room with three players recruited more to run a read-option system, junior Keytaon Thompson, redshirt sophomore Jalen Mayden, and sophomore Garrett Shrader. True freshman Will Rogers might be the most “Leach-friendly” quarterback on the roster.
Costello will not arrive in Starkville until summer, meaning those four will battle through the spring to try and gain some sort of advantage going into fall camp. Mississippi State begins the 2020 season with New Mexico on September 5.