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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

WSU offensive linemen Konner Gomness, Ma’ake Fifita forgoing extra year of eligibility

WSU offensive lineman Konner Gomness, right, hugs quarterback Cameron Ward after a loss to UCLA on Oct. 7 in Pasadena, Calif.  (Tyler Tjomsland/Spokane Daily Chronicle)

PULLMAN – Ahead of Friday night’s game against Colorado, Washington State will be honoring a few more seniors than expected.

Senior offensive linemen Konner Gomness and Ma’ake Fifita are forgoing their extra year of eligibility thanks to COVID waivers, WSU coach Jake Dickert said Monday, explaining they’re ready to move on to their next stages of life.

Gomness is planning to study abroad next year, while Fifita is graduating with a degree in engineering, Dickert said.

“Just so proud of those two guys,” Dickert said, “and obviously their choice, excited for both of them.”

Gomness, WSU’s starting center for each of the past three seasons, has not yielded a sack all season, according to Pro Football Focus. Fifita started each of the first five games of this season at right guard, a stretch in which he allowed five pressures, including one sack. Redshirt sophomore Brock Dieu began filling in for Fifita during WSU’s loss to Oregon on Oct. 21.

Meanwhile, senior linebacker Ahmad McCullough will not be honored because he is applying for a medical redshirt, thanks to an injury he sustained when he was playing at Maryland, his previous stop.

Pole questionable with foot/ankle injuryWashington State’s starting left tackle, Esa Pole, is questionable for Friday’s game. He came out of WSU’s loss to Cal over the weekend in the third quarter with a foot/ankle injury, getting carted away with his left shoe off.

Pole’s foot is in a walking boot, Dickert said Monday, but it is not broken. The Cougs are hoping he can get it removed “pretty quickly.”

If Pole cannot play Friday, WSU will shuffle its offensive line like it did when Pole first went out, Dickert said: Move left guard Christian Hilborn to left tackle and insert redshirt sophomore Rodrick Tialavea at left guard.

Tialavea fared well, giving up no pressures in 30 snaps, according to PFF. For WSU, the one downside might be having to move Hilborn to left tackle, where he gave up a sack against Cal.

“We thought Rod came in and played really well,” Dickert said. “That’s what Rod Tialavea is capable of doing, and I’m excited to see him do that.”