Morgan leaves, creates race for No. 3

BACKUP WSU QUARTERBACK Cole Morgan is leaving Washington State and heading to Western Washington in Bellingham for his final two years of eligibility. Morgan's departure creates what is expected to be a wide open race for the No. 3 position in fall camp behind Gary Rogers and Kevin Lopina.

The Cougar quarterbacks expected to vie for the No. 3 spot are Marshall Lobbestael, J.T. Levenseller and walk-on Dan Wagner out of Portland. Morgan served as the Cougs' No. 3 quarterback throughout the '07 season.

Lobbestael would seemingly have a leg up in terms of experience, having been in the WSU program the longest.

As for Morgan, he'll have 2-to-play-2 in Bellingham.

"I'm headed to Western, I was just waiting for the scholarship papers," said Morgan. "Basically I'm excited to start with a clean slate and at the opportunity to compete for a job."

UPDATE: Morgan, who earlier said he was very close to graduating, left a message for CF.C on Saturday: "I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had read what some of the people were positing and I saw that a lot of people were worried that I would be getting my degree from Western, transferring all my credits. That is not the case. I didn't want to hurt Washington Stage and their scholarships so I will be transferring my credits back to Washington State and getting my degree from there," said Morgan.

Morgan, who has not been in Pullman this summer for the team's voluntary workouts, said he leaves WSU on better than good terms with the coaches.

"Great terms," said Morgan. "...The coaches were awesome."

Morgan said he plans on arriving at WWU on Monday.

Morgan also took the opportunity to mention the Cougar fans and to talk about the recent critical newspaper article regarding the Washington State program.

"I want to thank the fans a lot for their support and I want to tell them to keep supporting the team," said Morgan. "Those guys bust their butts, the coaching staff works hard, it's a bunch of good guys over there.

"I know there's been a lot of negativity in the press and it's just not that bad over there (as portrayed). Guys work hard and there have been a couple of instances but it's a bunch of great people over there."

Morgan delayed enrollment (grayshirting) at WSU before his freshman year, a redshirt season. The Cougs' No. 3 quarterback throughout the '07 season but did not see game action. He did see brief action in the game against Idaho his freshman campaign.

As a prep senior, Morgan guided Ballard High to the state playoffs for the first time in school history, taking the Beavers to the 4A state title game against Pasco. He completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,816 yards and 26 TDs.

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