Throughout his career at WSU, senior wide receiver Jared Karstetter has been a true example of two things: consistency and leadership.
The Spokane native, who grew up as a Cougar fan, came to WSU at the beginning of a rebuilding effort by a new coaching staff. Four years later, the senior can’t help but be thankful for the opportunity to play for the team he grew up cheering for.
“It’s great to be part of this family now. I think that really defines being a Coug – being a part of a family,” Karstetter said. “So it’s great to be a part of it and be able to play for them.”
Karstetter grew up watching the Cougar teams of the early 2000s, teams that posted three consecutive ten-win seasons and competed in bowl games.
When he arrived at WSU, the football team was in a very different predicament.
In his first three seasons, the Cougars combined for a total of five wins. Head Coach Paul Wulff said Karstetter has been an integral part of the Cougars' rebuilding efforts.
“He’s meant a ton to the program because he knew coming in we had a rebuilding project, and he’s been kind of side-by-side with all the coaches and kids in his class and he’s just been a leader and a great example,” Wulff said. “He’s been unbelievable, and he’s done a great job.”
Following the Cougars'28-25 loss at UCLA, Karstetter moved in to the WSU record books.
After finishing the game with two catches, he moved into eighth place all time with 130 career receptions. He also moved into the top-10 in touchdown receptions after he caught his 16th touchdown pass.
Karstetter, humble as always, said he felt blessed to have his name brought up alongside some of WSU’s best players.
“It’s a great honor to be talked about with some of those guys up there,” Karstetter said. “There’s a lot of great players that have played here, and I’ve just been fortunate to have a long career here and it’s been good so far so I just feel blessed.”
One of the players Karstetter passed on his climb up the record books was his current wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller. Levenseller finished his career in 1978 with 121 catches, which ranked third at the time.
Karstetter said Levenseller has had a big impact on his career and has been instrumental in his progression.
“Having Coach Levenseller here for four years with me has been the biggest part of my game,” Karstetter said. “And then as a coach, too, he’s almost like a second father-like figure here. As far as teaching life lessons and kind of helping as you grow up in college, he’s that type of guy that has taught me a lot of things.”
Karstetter has also been somewhat of a teacher himself with the younger receivers on the team.
Sophomore receiver Marquess Wilson was a monster for the Cougs last season, but Wulff said Karstetter is a big reason that the younger guys get those opportunities.
“Overall, it’s a very youthful group, but he’s been an awesome mentor at this point and he’s helped all those guys,” Wulff said. “It’s a lot of the reason why some of those younger guys have been able to play as early as they’ve been able to.”
In the classroom, Karstetter is no slouch. He currently maintains a 3.61 GPA in zoology and is a member of the Honors College. After being selected to the Pac-10 All-Academic first team last season, he is currently a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award this year.
This season, Karstetter has racked up 24 catches for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Being the consistent target that he is, Karstetter will only continue to climb through the WSU record books.
But he doesn’t get too tied up in records. He just wants to be remembered for two things: being "a good competitor, a true Coug that competed until the end.”