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Spring position preview: Defensive line

WSU defensive end Travis Long (89) celebrates with teammate Kalafitoni Pole( 98) after they combined to sack the UNLV quarteback during their game at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (Christopher Anderson / Spokesman-Review)
WSU defensive end Travis Long (89) celebrates with teammate Kalafitoni Pole( 98) after they combined to sack the UNLV quarteback during their game at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. (Christopher Anderson / Spokesman-Review)

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN -- We continue our spring football position preview with a quick look at the defensive line.

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The players: (defensive tackles) redshirt freshman David Davis, redshirt freshman Kalafitoni Pole, redshirt seniors Steven Hoffart, Anthony Laurenzi, (defensive ends) redshirt freshmen Xavier Cooper, Hamza Griffin, Eddie Releford, Darryl Paulo, sophomore Logan Mayes, redshirt juniors Justin Clayton, Ian Knight, Jordan Pu'u Robinson, redshirt senior Adam Coerper, seniors Travis Long, Lenard Williams, John Taylor Altomare

The outlook: As you can see, the Cougars have a few more DEs than DTs. Their lack of depth at tackle is helped a bit by their switch to a 3-4 base defense. Laurenzi started every game at defensive tackle last season. Williams was a regular. Pole has some experience, too. Expect Long to play a few different positions, including some linebacker. In fact, WSU's lack of depth at linebacker may necessitate a whole lot of moving parts to make sure they've got enough bodies there. Interestingly enough, Mayes is now listed as a DE after playing linebacker early last season. He switched to defensive end early in the season, but if you're looking for guys to help with linebacker depth, he seems an obvious choice.

The gist: This position is kind of up in the air -- not only because of the prospect of position changes, but because we can't be sure until tomorrow's practice whether everyone is healthy and what exactly the Cougars will have to work with. Laurenzi, Long and Williams should be on the field plenty, but beyond that, it's anyone's guess.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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