Advertise Here


Five position battles to keep an eye on in WSU spring practices

From Pullman — This season the Cougars will have the luxury of an experienced group, particularly on offense. While Washington State is still young, the majority of the starters have a good deal of in game experience. However, the are some areas where the Cougars will be green. With that in mind, here is a look at five positions where playing time will be up for grabs.

  1. Strong Safety  — This is the one position where the Cougars are almost certain to take a step back this season. The “next man up” philosophy doesn’t really work when you’re replacing an All-American like Deone Bucannon. But the coaches think highly of Isaac Dotson who enters spring as the starter and Darius Lemora had some exceptional practices last season. Keep an eye on Bucannon’s little brother, David Bucannon. While the younger brother enters spring third on the depth chart, he showed off impressive range during an underclassmen scrimmage last season. If someone emerges and makes strong safety a position of strength for the Cougars defense again this year it could impact next season as much as anything else that happens this spring.


  1.  Kicker – Over the past four years the Cougars bet their fate on the leg of kicker Andrew Furney and more often than not he delivered. He hit a game-winner over Washington in 2012 and set the school record for field goal percentage as a sophomore. WSU would love to have the luxury of such a reliable kicker again this season, making the competition between freshman Erik Powell and junior Wes Concepcion worth keeping an eye on.


  1. Cornerback – Damante Horton and Nolan Washington both put together strong senior campaigns for the Cougars last season and both are gone. Daquawn Brown is the obvious candidate to lock down one cornerback spot after an impressive freshman campaign that saw him start four games and make 50 tackles. However, Brown was recently charged with second-degree felony assault and misdemeanor assault and was accused of hitting a woman, which could jeopardize his status on the team. Marcellus Pippins, Charleston White and Tracy Clark will battle it out for one of not both cornerback spots. Athletic freshman Deion Singleton is one to watch as well.


  1. Running Back – The Cougars may not utilize the running game as much as most teams but it is still an important position in the WSU offense. In addition to 87 carries last season Marcus Mason had 52 receptions, and combined to put up over 800 yards on the ground and through the air. So why is this a position battle? Because redshirting freshmen Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks looked too good to keep off the field in practice last season, and Theron West looked great in the bowl game with three rushes for 17 yards, three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown, while also blocking a kick.


  1. Offensive Line – The Cougars lost three senior offensive linemen last year and indications are that nobody will have much experience at their position. That’s because the early spring depth chart shows Joe Dahl and Gunnar Eklund having swapped their positions from last season, with Dahl at left tackle and Eklund at left guard. The two made the switch for the bowl game and the coaches appear to like the change. The coaches have praised both Sam Flor and Riley Sorenson in the past and the two sophomores will battle it out for the starting center position. On the right side of the line Jacob Seydel will try to hold on to the right guard spot and Cole Madison appears to have locked down the starting spot at right tackle.


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.


Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jacob

Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by Josh

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here