April 28, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Kjell Nesen, a freshman who was listed as Washington State University's number three quarterback at the end of spring drills, has decided to leave WSU, Cougar head coach Mike Price confirmed this week.
Nesen, from Westlake Village, Calif., joined the Cougars in January of 1999 after graduating from St. Francis High in the spring of 1998. As a senior, he shared Mission League most valuable player honors and was named to the Div. II All-CIF team as a quarterback.
"Kjell wants the opportunity now to increase his playing time at quarterback and we certainly understand," Price commented. "We will do everything we can to help him transfer to a school where he can contend for more playing time."
"Kjell is an outstanding athlete and we believe he would eventually see action for us, but Jason Gesser is our starter for next fall and unless Jason gets hurt, the opportunity for Kjell to see significant playing time is not as great as he would like," added Price.
"Eric (Price, WSU's quarterback coach) and I met with Kjell last week and discussed his options," Price said. "We would like him to continue to be a Cougar, but will support him in his decision and help in any way we can."
Nesen redshirted last fall and was expected to battle for backup playing time with freshman Matt Kegel next fall. With Nesen's departure, starter Jason Gesser, a sophomore, will be backed up by Kegel, senior Paul Mencke, plus incoming freshman Tali Ena from Prosser (Wash.). Mencke, however, will continue as a wide receiver unless Gesser or Kegel is unable to play.