The 10 best players on 2014 Cougars: No. 5

SOME POSITIONS ARE more anonymous than others, some players garner less limelight than others. But you'd be hard pressed to find a Cougar who has done so much good work on Saturdays but with so little fanfare accompanying it.

Joe Dahl, No. 10 on our list of the best 2014 WSU players, has probably gotten the most ink this offseason among the Cougar linemen. But Gunnar Eklund, a former walk on who has made good, should not be overlooked.




Only a redshirt-sophomore last season, he drew the critical task of protecting Connor Halliday's blind side at left tackle.

And the 6-7, 305-pounder is versatile. This season he's moving to left guard.

He's also a throwback, in more ways than one.

Mike Price used to love taking a tight end with a long frame and turning him into a productive offensive lineman. Eklund played tight end at Lake Stevens High.

Against Utah in 2012, he played with a broken wrist. For an o-lineman, who relies extensively on his hands, that ranks right up there with Halliday's lacerated liver the year before.

Headed into fall camp, one of the most intriguing questions for the 2014 Cougs lies up front with Eklund. In swapping positions with Joe Dahl, now at left tackle, might the Cougs try to utilize Eklund's run blocking skills more this season?

“Running the ball a bit more is going to be a big staple of our offense,” Halliday said on the Pac-12 Networks last week.

If that comes to be, chances are Eklund will play a key role in it. Quietly.

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