3 things to know about new Saints QB K.J. Costello

KJ Costello #19 of the Philadelphia Stars. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images)
KJ Costello #19 of the Philadelphia Stars. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/USFL/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Saints recently signed quarterback K.J. Costello from the USFL. Here are three things you should know about him.

3. K.J. Costello put 623 yards over LSU in college

After transferring from Stanford, Costello made his debut for Mississippi State against the famed LSU tigers.

On that day in September of 2020, Costello led MSU to a thrilling 44-34 victory over the Tigers, throwing five touchdowns and torching the pass defense for a SEC record of 623 yards.

The rest of his season didn’t quite go as planned, as Costello ended up throwing for almost the same number of yards in his last five games (660) as he threw against LSU. But Costello will probably forever remember that one glorious day.

Costello told NOLA’s Rod Walker:

"“I’ll go back just to see what the best game I ever put on tape looks like. I feel like that game alone showed a lot. I never really got that many opportunities like that to make high level throws in a single game before. I don’t want to say LSU didn’t respect us, but they came out and played true man-to-man defense to Leach’s system, which was clean as a dream that day. We were able to throw it 60 times and be effective.”"

2. Costello played as a backup quarterback on the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars prior to joining the Saints

Costello’s most recent football stint was in the USFL with the Philadelphia Stars, and he served as the backup to quarterback Case Cookus in 2022.

During the 2022 season, Costello threw just 69 yards in his career, completing four of 10 passes with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He also has run for -15 yards in five attempts.

Those stats are nothing to write home about, but Costello did have a few shining moments from his short time on the Stars.

It should also be noted that Costello was rehabbing from a shoulder surgery earlier this year, and he started throwing again roughly seven months ago.

1. Costello spent time with former Saints assistant Joe Lombardi

Prior to getting picked up by the Philadelphia Stars, Costello signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted player in 2021.

He was ultimately waived 17 days later, but he still got to spend time with Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

Lombardi spent 12 seasons as an assistant with the Saints before joining the Chargers, and he served as NOLA’s quarterbacks coach starting in 2009. During Lombardi’s tenure, a certain legendary Saints quarterback skyrocketed into fame: none other than Drew Brees.

Brees set several NFL records with Lombardi by his side — he passed for 5,000-plus yards four times in the league and set a then-record for the most passing yards in a single season (5,476 yards in 2011).

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Absolutely no one is comparing Costello to Brees, but it’s nice that they ever-so-briefly shared the same quarterbacks coach. For now, Costello will be focused on breaking into the Saints’ final roster and winning a QB3 spot in 2022.