The Washington State Cougars entered the offseason with some uncertainty following their New Mexico Bowl loss. Some key seniors exhausted their eligibility and the Cougars needed to find suitable replacements before next season to have any chance at improving upon last year’s 6-7 record.
Answers to questions such as who will back up Connor Halliday at quarterback and who will take over as the starting center won’t be known until the team’s fall camp in August at the earliest. But here are three things we did learn this spring:
1. Cole Madison is the starting right tackle.
Madison does not look like a player who has yet to finish his first year of college. His work in the weight room this season drew raves from strength coaches and he currently stands at a solid 6-foot-5, 294 pounds. He appears to have the athleticism to slide over to left tackle one day and was one of the more stable parts of the offensive line this spring.
2. Isaac Dotson looks like Deone Bucannon’s strong safety replacement.
Dotson came to WSU as a QB, but the coaches liked his potential on defense enough that he did not even redshirt after promptly switching to safety. Dotson looks ready physically at 6-foot-1, 206 pounds. He’ll be asked to replace Buchannon and use his knowledge of the passing game from his time on offense to give him an edge in coverage.
3. The Cougars will be fine at kicker.
Freshman Erik Powell may be able to fill Andrew Furney’s big cleats. The Vancouver, Wash., native was consistent in the spring, and showed a big leg, hitting routinely from 40-45 yards with a long of 49.