WSU Chalkboard: Breske breaks down NT

THE COUGS LOSE senior Ioane Gauta to graduation but there are reasons to feel good when it comes to WSU's nose tackle position in 2014 -- three of them to be exact.

"We've got three solid guys right there at the nose position," Breske said.

Toni Pole will be a fifth-year senior, Daniel Ekuale a second-year freshman and Robert Barber a third-year sophomore.

Pole (6-1, 302) logically figures to be the man in the middle for 2014, with a combined 15 starts at the nose and d-end positions over the last three seasons.

BUT DON'T SLEEP on Ekuale (6-3, 275), says Breske.

"So you've got Toni Pole back for his senior year and then we've got Daniel Ekuale, who redshirted and was on our scout team," said Breske. "And he did a great job over there (against the No. 1 offense) for Coach Leach.

"He's going to get a lot of reps this spring."

Barber, (6-3, 297) who finally was able to start getting healthy this past season and ended up playing in four games, may be ready in 2014 to start capitalizing on his potential.

The first year back after a knee injury a guy can go out and play, but oftentimes that last bit of explosion and speed doesn't fully return until the second season back, which for Barber would be this upcoming campaign.

It's also worth noting this will be Barber's first spring session with the Cougs – he suffered the knee injury his first fall camp in 2012 and missed spring ball last year.

"And for Robert Barber, being able to go through the spring for the first time, that will be a real plus for him," said Breske.

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