CSU football adds quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels from Washington

Colin Barnard

Colorado State’s quarterback competition got even thicker Sunday afternoon when coach Mike Bobo announced the addition of K.J. Carta-Samuels.

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Colorado State added quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels as a graduate transfer Sunday, March 25. Carta-Samuels will have one year of eligibility at CSU. (Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)

A graduate transfer from the University of Washington, Carta-Samuels spent his last four years with the Huskies. The Saratoga, California native will have one year of eligibility at CSU and will enroll for the summer semester.


“K.J. is a guy that we’ve been recruiting for a long time,” Bobo said. “We pulled every snap he has played in a game at Washington. I saw a guy that’s athletic, has a quick release, the ability to make plays with his legs and his arm.”

Measuring 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds, Carta-Samuels served as the backup to Jake Browning while at Washington. Throughout his collegiate career, Carta-Samuels completed 27-of-47 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

Bobo said that Washington coach Chris Petersen reached out to him a couple months ago to let him know that Carta-Samuels had interest in CSU. From that point, Bobo and the rest of the staff recruited him until he signed at CSU late last week.

In the middle of January, Carta-Samuels had a non-binding agreement to sign as a graduate transfer at UCLA. Still, current recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Bryan Applewhite pitched CSU as the place for Carta-Samuels. 

“The sell of our offense and what we do offensively and the track record of coach Bobo and the system with (quarterbacks) coach (Ronnie) Letson and the success that quarterbacks have had,” Applewhite said in regards to maintaining Carta-Samuels’ interest. “It was selling the system as a pro-style system where a quarterback of K.J.’s type of ability will flourish.”

Coming out of Bellarmine Prep in high school, Carta-Samuels was ranked as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2014 by Rivals. He chose Washington over offers from Penn State, Arizona, Vanderbilt and Boise State. Carta-Samuels’ brother, Austyn, and father, James, both played college football.

Carta-Samuels joins J.C. Robles, Justice McCoy and Judd Erickson as quarterbacks figuring to compete for the starting gig this spring and into fall camp. Following presumed starter Collin Hill’s ACL injury, Bobo made it clear that the Rams were still actively recruiting a quarterback after failing to sign one in the 2018 class.

Despite the addition of the quarterback, Bobo expects the Rams’ current options to stay the course. Over the first four spring practices, all three have received reps with the first team, with Robles and McCoy seeing the most work on the top unit.

“We tell (the quarterbacks) all the time, ‘Worry about what you can control on a daily basis,'” Bobo said. “Their focus needs to right now on spring practice. I’ve said it in all my years of coaching and recruiting quarterbacks, ‘You better take advantage of your opportunity right now. If you’re not working every single day, you’re going to get passed by when somebody comes in.'”

Collegian sports director Colin Barnard can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_.