WSU Chalkboard: Breske breaks down the E

ONE OF THE more versatile Cougars this past season in the tackle box for defensive coordinator Mike Breske was Destiny Vaeao, who played both BUCK and defensive end in the Cougars' base 3-4. But in 2014, Vaeao figures to focus on just one of those spots.

Washington State's official stats list Destiny Vaeao with 10 starts in 2013 at the BUCK spot.

This season, Vaeao (6-4, 290) is moving up on the line.

"Destiny kinda played the BUCK position and the defensive end position for us last fall. He will work at the defensive end position this spring," Mike Breske told this week.

THE COUGARS LIST the three down lineman in their base defense as nose tackle, tackle and end. This spring, Vaeao will be at the end, Xavier Cooper at the tackle and Toni Pole will be at the nose, said Breske.

"I think as the season went on, well, we started with Destiny at the BUCK position and we were very happy with him there… He did a good job for us but as the season progressed, we had some ‘owies' as you always do, and Destiny showed so much flexibility… so he was able to make that transition," said Breske.

IN THE two-deeps at E, Vaeao will be joined by Lyman Faoliu (6-3, 267), a former JC transfer who will be a senior at Washington State in 2014.

"Lyman will be there and so will Destiny… And with Lyman, he's a special person who gives us flexibility, be that at the defensive end position or at the BUCK position. He's got experience at both which can only help you because you don't know how the fall will go, you don't know how injuries will go," said Breske.

Emmitt Su'a-Kalio could also be one to watch here in the spring.

BRESKE AND Co. in their first season at Washington State didn't have the luxury of redshirting Vaeao as a freshman as they did with Su'a-Kalio and others this past season. Vaeao will be a third-year junior this fall.

"That's a big thing when you're able to redshirt a guy -- especially up front where physically, there is a difference. And coming from American Samoa, which is limited in terms of high school football, and physically those kids just aren't around what kids in state of Washington or the state of California are around in terms of facilities, in terms of coaching and that type of deal," said Breske.

So a player like Vaeao who doesn't redshirt has some "catch up" to do, and it's done in an on-the-job setting on Saturdays. But with two seasons now under his belt, might Vaeao be poised for a breakout type of season in '14 coming off the edge?

"He'll have a great offseason, he'll continue to work hard -- the expectations for Destiny are much more than they were last fall," said Breske. "As we go into spring ball, we have a simple goal here: Improve as a player, become a better football player as compared to what you were last fall – whether you were a backup, whether you were on the scout team, whether you were a starter.

"We want everyone to improve and my expectations for Destiny are that he will."

Stay tuned for more from our conversation with Breske here on CF.C…

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