Cougs' jersey swaps will require extra effort

MAKE SURE YOU have a roster handy today when the Cougs open the 2011 campaign against Idaho State. Keeping track of all the numbers changes on the backs of the jersey since last season -- heck, even since spring ball -- is busy business.

Here's a quick run down on some notable changes we found:

Senior Logwone Mitz, long number 34, is now wearing number 6 to honor his former high school teammate and fellow Cougar Cory Mackay whose career was ended two years ago by a car accident.

Deone Bucannon started his WSU career as number 10. Up until last season number 10 had been worn previously by Cougar legends Alex Brink and Drew Dunning However, if you are looking for number 10 on Saturday against Idaho State you will probably be left scratching your head. Buccannon is now wearing jersey 20 -- the same number he wore in high school.

Nolan Washington could be seen last season keeping the ball out of opposing receivers hands wearing 29. He's switched to 2.

Eric Oertel was a recognized Coug on special teams and helping out the LB corps last year wearing number 38. The former Wisconsin player of the year has decided to return to his roots with the same number he wore at Racine High School: 21.

Jake Rodgers wore number 70 last year as he was earning his lumps while red shirting. Now he has not only changed his appearance with his increased size and great mullet, he has traded in 70 and taken Kenny Alfred's old number of 69.

Kristoff Williams has been one of the most talked about players that hasn't played in a game at WSU. Last year he made a name for himself in practice wearing number 80. It appears that number was bad luck because Williams red shirted due to turf toe. However, this year he can be seen wearing number 18.

Casey Locker may already hold the record for most number changes during a WSU football career. Locker's football career started in 2009 wearing number 36. Last year, he was 47. This year, it's 22. If he chooses to change jersey's again in 2012 my money would be on 23 the number he wore during his high school career in Ferndale.

Center Taylor Meighen completed the quickest number change of any player currently on the roster. Meighen enrolled at WSU in January and took part in spring ball wearing number 63. However, he opened fall camp wearing 50, the same number he wore when he was named an all- aonference at Kilgore College in Texas.

Here are some other changes this season:

  • Anthony Carpenter to 4 from 35
  • Brandon Rankin to 5 from 98
  • Bennett Bontemps to 25 from 45
  • Connor Halliday to 12 from 13
  • Zach Koepp to 48 from 63

    Three numbers you definitely won't see on the field today are 7, 14 and 91. Mel Hein's 7 and Jack Thompson's 14 have been officially retired and Leon Bender's 91 has been unofficially retired. A glance over rosters of recent years suggests that Ryan Leaf's 16 may also be unofficially retired.

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