Ex-Washington QB K.J. Carta-Samuels heading to Colorado State, not UCLA

Washington quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels in action against Fresno State in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Seattle. Washington won 48-16. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Change of plans.

Last month, UCLA announced the addition of former Washington quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels as a graduate transfer. New Bruins head coach Chip Kelly spoke during spring practice about Carta-Samuels’ expected arrival, so it was a surprise Sunday when Carta-Samuels was announced as the newest member of the Colorado State roster.

Like he could have at UCLA, Carta-Samuels can to suit up for CSU immediately in 2018 — his last season of eligibility.

“He’s a guy who’s been a backup at Washington,” Rams head coach Mike Bobo said. “We watched his high school film. He ran a non-traditional offense. He was a little bit of a runner in high school and had some athletic ability. We’ve got cut-ups from all of his practice at Washington.”

Carta-Samuels was the No. 2 quarterback for Washington behind Jake Browning for the past three seasons. He appeared in 25 games and completed 27-of-47 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Carta-Samuels told CBS back in January that Colorado State and Iowa State were his other two finalists in addition to UCLA. Perhaps he had a change of heart and switched gears to CSU or he could have been turned down by UCLA’s stringent graduate school admissions office like ex-Texas lineman Jake Raulerson a few years ago. No matter what, UCLA’s loss is CSU’s gain.

“(Washington) Coach (Chris) Petersen actually called about him a couple months ago and said he had interest in Colorado State, so we’ve been in communication with him since then,” Bobo said. “So he sent some cut-ups and then we pulled every snap he has played in a game at Washington. I saw a guy that’s athletic, with a quick release, and ability to make plays with his legs and with his arm.”

At Colorado State, Carta-Samuels has the chance to compete for the starting role with Collin Hill, who is working his way back from a second ACL tear. Hill first injured the knee in October 2016 and then took a redshirt for the 2017 season with senior Nick Stevens in place as the team’s No. 1 quarterback.

Hill, who threw for 1,096 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016, looked primed to take over as the starter for the Rams until he re-injured the same knee playing basketball earlier this month. His assumed absence gives Carta-Samuels the chance to compete with redshirt junior J.C. Robles and redshirt freshman Justice McCoy.

The Rams, coming off a 7-6 record in 2017, open the 2018 campaign at home against Hawaii on Aug. 25.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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