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Luke Falk took one snap against Nevada, a handoff.

His parents joked that it was the best handoff they'd ever seen.

A week later, after Washington State took over at its own 13 with a 52-21 lead over visiting Portland State, the redshirt freshman quarterback completed his first collegiate pass to Rickey Galvin for two yards.

Then, another world-class handoff.

On third-and-7, though, he found junior Dom Williams streaking down the left sideline for an 84-yard touchdown and leaped into the arms of freshman lineman Cole Madison while his mother, Analee, pinched herself.

"I've just been so proud of him, how he fought from the depths," she said by phone Thursday.

"But you only celebrate for a nanosecond, because it's right back to competing, every day."

Few young players understand this better than Falk, who battled against Utah State commit D.J. Nelson as a high school sophomore at Logan, left for California's Oaks Christian private school to battle Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins, and then returned to Utah to set state records as a senior at Logan.

With little to show for those first two seasons, he went from an unproven sophomore with an offer from Florida State to a productive senior who was long forgotten by the world of Power Five football.

"In my opinion, Luke was a D-I talent from the get-go, but due to his circumstances, he probably didn't receive offers that matched his talent level," said Logan head coach Mike Favero. Or his work ethic. The summer before Falk's sophomore year, he took every play call in Logan's playbook and drew it up against every coverage he might see.

Analee said Florida State assistant Dameyune Craig — the same guy who sold Jameis Winston on Tallahassee — had told them on an unofficial visit, "Your son does everything we're looking for. I fly all over the country trying to find somebody who can do this."

But as a senior, the only teams tripping over themselves for Falk's services were Idaho and Ivy League schools. He committed to Cornell before coach Kent Austin left to coach in the Canadian Football League, then decided to visit Moscow, Idaho, to check out the Vandals.

What the heck, the Falks thought, why not make the 9-mile drive to Pullman? The coaches had talked to him. Mike Leach's air raid offense was what Falk had run at Logan. It was an ideal fit, if they'd have him.

After they met with Leach, he, "kind of in the enth hour, called us up and said, 'I didn't really realize ... Luke, he's one of the most underrecruited kids I've ever seen,'" Analee said.

Leach echoed those thoughts at Monday's news conference. Falk has a powerful arm, good size (6-foot-4, more than 200 pounds) and works "incredibly hard," he said.

"Very focused," Leach said. "Has the ability to draw a lot from watching film and duplicate it out on the field."

There was no scholarship for him in Pullman, though. Falk (who due to Washington State's media policy was unavailable for this story) would have to attend as a preferred walk-on, with the promise that he'd get a scholarship if he proved able and one opened up.

Suddenly, in 2014, everything started turning up Falk.

Backup quarterback Austin Apodaca transferred, leaving Falk to hash it out with four-star Tyler Bruggman for Apodaca's spot behind senior Connor Halliday.

In the spring game in April, Falk went 20 of 31 for 213 yards and a touchdown, while Bruggman was 12 for 28 for 154 yards. Bruggman followed Apodaca out the door, opting to join Bobby Petrino in Louisville, and the job was Falk's.

Barring a disaster for Washington State, opportunities may be few and far between. Halliday, the nation's most prolific passer, has made 17 straight starts and played through a lacerated liver against Utah in 2011.

Also, Leach is a perennial draw for top prep quarterbacks. In Tyler Hilinski, the Cougars have a commitment from the 11th-ranked passer in the 2015 class, according to

But, finally, Falk knows he's in the right place.

"Let's just say that the rose came through the thorns, and I think Luke learned the greatest lesson in all of that," Analee said. "When [kids are] highly recruited, they get to college and it's kind of a shocker because they start over again. I think Luke got his dose of that early."

Luke Falk file

Measurables • 6-foot-4, 208 pounds.

High school • Passed for 1,468 yards and 17 touchdowns at Logan, splitting time with D.J. Nelson as a sophomore. … Left for Oaks Christian in Westlake, California, something of a D-I quarterback factory, and started the first few games before eventually losing his job to Arizona quarterback Brandon Dawkins. … Returned to Logan but was unable to play due to UHSAA rules until his senior year, when he set state records for pass attempts (562) and completions (330) while passing for 3,618 yards. —

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