Cougfan TV: Bender talks WSU future, more

PULLMAN -- He hasn’t played a snap of live college football, yet he pushed and tested third-year sophomore Luke Falk for the starting job at quarterback this spring. Washington State second-year freshman Peyton Bender may or may not end up on the field come fall, but several practices this spring showed that he could be a difference maker in a Cougar uniform. It might just be a matter of time.

The Florida native did not have his best outing this past Saturday at the Crimson and Gray Game. Yes, he completed 29 of 42 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but he also stared down receivers too often and had two interceptions. Those numbers alone are not bad, but the statement performance by Falk overshadowed an up-and-down day for Bender.

The latter's best play came in the second scrimmage of the spring session, when he threw six touchdown passes with pinpoint accuracy. He completed 21 of 28 passes for 266 yards with only one interception. And it was that kind of explosive play that has kept Falk on his toes this spring. Bender’s physical skill set is impressive -- see arm strength, accuracy -- and that has certainly been apparent this spring.

From Fort Lauderdale, he played high school football at Cardinal Gibbons High School. During his junior year, he split time at quarterback before fully taking the reins his senior year. In the ten games that he played his senior year – he broke his collarbone in the tenth game – he threw for 2,184 yards, completed 167 of 256 passes, racked up 28 touchdowns with six interceptions.

He came to WSU ranked as a three-star prospect by, and and never looked back. His explosive play-making ability makes him exciting to watch, and his youth gives him plenty of time to develop his command of the offense and develop as a leader.

After the final practice on Tuesday, caught up with Bender to talk about his thoughts on the spring game and much more.

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