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Washington Lands Transfer Quarterback Shea Kuykendall

Shea Kuykendall

Washington landed the commitment of Northern Colorado transfer quarterback Shea Kuykendall. The new Husky will be a redshirt sophomore this season after playing in four games for the Bears in 2023. On Tuesday, Kuykendall was offered a scholarship following an official visit that day. He announced his commitment to Washington on Wednesday evening. The quarterback was on that official visit with transfer wide receiver prospect Zakhari Franklin, another target of the Huskies’ this portal cycle.

Shea Kuykendall as a Recruit

Kuykendall was a three-star recruit in the class of 2022 out of Long Beach, California. The 6′-1″ and 200-pound quarterback attended Long Beach Poly High School where he was briefly teammates with current Washington wide receiver, Jason Robinson Jr. Kuykendall was two classes ahead of Robinson, but the two were on the same roster in 2021. Robinson then transferred to San Juan Hills for his senior season. Kuykendall was prolific during his senior year of high school, throwing for 2,840 yards and 32 touchdowns. Over his career at Long Beach Poly, he threw for just shy of 4,000 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions, completing 65% of his passes.

Career at Northern Colorado

Kuykendall only had a few FCS offers out of high school and headed to Northern Colorado where he redshirted his freshman season. In 2023, the California native started three games and threw for 454 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In Greeley, Colorado, he attempted 84 total passes, completing 54 of them for a percentage just shy of 65%. His collegiate sample set is small, but Kuykendall was at his best on throws of nine yards or less. He completed 47 of 57 in that range, and that’s where he connected on his two touchdown throws.

On deep balls, Kuykendall only attempted seven passes of 20-plus yards with just one completion. That completion, however, was a great throw. Pro Football Focus tabbed it as a “big-time throw,” one with excellent ball placement and timing. On a vertical route, it sailed over the cornerback but underneath the safety help over the top. His receiver high-pointed the football for about a 30-yard gain. 

It’s clear that the potential is there in the new Husky quarterback. His tape shows a player who can make throws on the run to both sides and can fit the football into tight windows. Kuykendall has a compact release and can drive the football on sideline throws. He also isn’t afraid to tuck the football and pick up yards with his feet. Kuykendall picked up 52 yards on nine attempts but did have one fumble. 

Kuykendall’s Fit at Washington

The Northern Colorado transfer quarterback is joining a quarterback room at Washington with just three members. It’s veteran Will Rogers III, true freshman Demond Williams Jr., and walk-on Teddy Purcell. Though the tape is promising, Kuykendall is not quite ready to become a starter at the Power Four level in the Big Ten right now. But he doesn’t have to be. 

Kuykendall has the unique opportunity to work behind the SEC’s second-all-time leading passer in Rogers. His situation also creates competition with Williams as the two work to close that gap on QB1. Combine that with the offensive minds of Jedd Fisch and quarterbacks coach Jimmie Dougherty, and it will certainly strengthen Kuykendall’s abilities as a passer in the future of this Washington quarterback room.


Shea Kuykendall
Photo courtesy: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


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