Running with the 1s

PULLMAN -- There's been a good amount of mixing and matching going on this spring at Washington State, as coaches look to evaluate, and plug backups into the first team and see where they're at. On the last day of practice in Pullman, here's how the Cougs lined up at the 1s, plus some on-the-ground insights.

QB Jeff Tuel
RB Rickey Galvin/Logwone Mitz
LT David Gonzales
LG John Fullington
C Andrew Roxas
RG B.J. Guerra
RT Wade Jacobson
TE Aaron Dunn/Andrei Lintz
WR Marquess Wilson, Jared Karstetter, Kristoff Williams and Gino Simone all saw action with the 1s.

DE Ian Knight
DT Kalafitoni Pole/Xavier Cooper
DT Anthony Laurenzi
DE Skylar Stormo/Justin Mann
WIL Alex Hoffman-Ellis
MLB Mike Ledgerwood
SAM Darryl Monroe
S Deone Bucannon
S Tyree Toomer/Casey Locker
CB Damante Horton
CB Tracy Clark

The d-line could look far different at the start of fall camp than it does at the end of spring -- the position was already thinned by injury at the outset of spring drills and it's been thinned further as the 15-session has gone along (Rankin, Pole). DE Travis Long is a virtual lock to enter fall camp as one of the starters on the edge once he completes his shoulder rehab. DT Brandon Rankin will be contending for a starter's role, having started eight games in 2010. DE Jordan Pu'u-Robinson is seen as someone who can play his way into a key role and contribute. Plus, the Cougs get a boost this summer, with prep and JC d-linemen slated to arrive from the class of 2011.

At linebacker, C.J. Mizell has bounced back and forth between the first and second teams this spring. After running with the 1s the previous few days, he was back with the 2s on Thursday while Ledgerwood continued what has been a solid spring for him at the MIK. With OLB Sekope Kaufusi not participating fully this spring, (Paul Wulff said at the outset of drills Kaufusi would miss time while concentrating on his academics), true freshman and early enrollee Monroe has taken his place for the most part at the SAM and that was the case again on Thursday. The 215-pound Monroe opened the spring listed as a MIK on the depth chart, which also speaks to how official depth charts aren't always an accurate barometer. Eric Oertel has seen a bit of time with the 1s at SAM with Kaufusi out, and Tyrone Duckett is also in the mix on the strongside, but Monroe has clearly been the guy when Kaufusi has been out.

CB Nolan Washington has spent the majority of the spring as one of the starters. With Daniel Simmons sitting out this spring with injury, Aire Justin has also seen a good amount of work with the 1s, particularly in the latter half and after Washington dinged a shoulder. But a guy who is making a strong bid and ran a lot with the 1s this spring -- more than did Justin -- is Damante Horton. The second year sophomore was listed third on the pre-spring depth chart at RCB but he's gotten in a lot of work with the first unit. Clark has also gotten in some quality turns this spring with the 1s, especially over these last few days.

  • The Cougs had been reasonably injury-free this spring until yesterday when Kalafitoni Pole went down. Blair Bomber suffered a knee injury, the initial word was he was lost for the season but then Paul Wulff this week said that conclusion may be premature and that the Cougars are waiting for MRI results -- but that had pretty much been the extent of the serious injuries.

    The preliminary diagnosis on Pole was an MCL injury. Typically, players are out of action 2-3 or 4-6 weeks for an MCL strain, though Pole's injury won't be fully confirmed until more tests are completed.

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