College notebook: Grayson may be starter at QB for Colorado State

Heritage graduate’s redshirt burned in relief performance

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Colorado State freshman quarterback Garrett Grayson may get his first college start Saturday on national television when the Rams travel to Texas Christian.

The Heritage High School graduate replaced injured starting quarterback Pete Thomas during the second quarter of the Rams’ home game Saturday against San Diego State.

Grayson scored a 1-yard rushing touchdown and added the two-point conversion to tie the game with 9:45 remaining, but the Aztecs later kicked a field goal and prevailed, 18-15.

Grayson was 6 of 15 passing for 26 yards with an interception, and gained 9 yards on seven carries with one fumble for the Rams (3-6, 1-3 Mountain West Conference).

In postgame quotes released by CSU, coach Steve Fairchild described Grayson as “a very talented kid” who was as prepared as a backup can possibly be with the starter getting most of the work in practice.

“It’s never a great circumstance when you got to go to your No. 2 quarterback. I thought he did a nice job tonight.”

Playing cost Grayson his redshirt status for the season.

“Obviously, the competitor in me wants to play anytime I can,” Grayson said. “The redshirt was in the back of my mind but if I can play and help these seniors, especially if I can help them win and get to a bowl game like they deserve, then I’m willing to burn it.”

When Thomas — a sophomore from El Cajon, Calif. — went down with a left knee sprain, however, Fairchild said that turning to Grayson was an easy decision.

“I had hoped to redshirt Garrett and there is still a possibility that later in his career something like that could still be the case,” the coach said. “But, like we said all along, we’re not doing what’s important for me or Garrett or anybody. This is a team game and we are going to do what’s best for the team. Garrett knew that was the case.”

Fairchild has described Thomas’ prognosis this week as “day to day,” and also said that now that Grayson’s redshirt has been burned, he will see action in the rest of the team’s games even if he does not become the starter.

Thomas did not practice Tuesday, with Grayson taking all the snaps with the starting offense. No further update was available Wednesday.

“He’ll play now. He’ll play some in every game,” Fairchild told The Denver Post. “We’ve got to commit to him. Even when Pete’s back, be it this week or next week, whenever, I think Garrett deserves the right to play in the games, and we’ll do that.”

The game will be carried on Versus, cable Channel 32, with kickoff at 12:30 p.m. Pacific.

UW’s Richards named All-Pac-12

Washington senior forward Brent Richards garnered First Team honors in the inaugural men’s soccer All-Pacific-12 Conference selections.

The Camas High School graduate scored 10 goals this season, and led the Huskies in scoring in each of his four seasons. He also had five assists this year, for 25 total points.

Palodichuk garners All-ACC recognition

Duke midfielder Nick Palodichuk was named Second Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and garnered a spot on the All-ACC Freshmen Team.

The Camas High School graduate was the only freshman to be picked to one of the All-ACC teams. He was the conference’s top scoring freshman with seven goals and six assists for 20 points in the regular season.

GFU’s Gaither tops All-NWC soccer list

George Fox University junior forward Melanie Gaither was named First Team All-Northwest Conference for women’s soccer. She is a graduate of Skyview High.

All-NWC Second Team honors went to Linfield junior defender Emily Allison (Hockinson High School/Clark College). Honorable Mention went to George Fox senior midfielder Cori Jo Young (Ridgefield High School).

Also selected to the First Team was Vancouver’s Anisa Babar, a graduate of Portland’s Central Catholic High School and a Whitworth senior defender.

Two Lutes honored as All-NWC soccer

Pacific Lutheran junior defender Greg Noll was named First Team All-Nothwest Conference for men’s soccer.

The Columbia River High School graduate is a three-year starter on the back line for the Lutes, leading the team in minutes played this season.

Lucas McCallum, a teammate of Noll’s at both Columbia River and PLU, garnered Second Team honors.

In brief

• Western Washington senior Lauren Breihof (Mountain View High School) was named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic cross country team for the third consecutive year.

• Western Washington junior opposite-side hitter Breanne Graham (Hockinson) was named to the GNAC academic all-star volleyball team.

• Alex Foulon (Heritage High School, Mt. Hood Community College) signed a letter of intent to play baseball at New Mexico State University beginning in 2012-13.

Suggestions for College Notebook? Contact Kurt Zimmer at 360-735-4563 or by e-mail at kurt.zimmer@columbian.com