5 WSU rookies who could make instant impact

WITH SO MANY Cougar freshmen playing last season, any true freshmen from this year's recruiting class who see playing time at Washington State are going to earn it. But the incoming freshmen aren't the only Cougar rookies in 2015, and these five are our picks for most likely to make an instant impact.

WR C.J. Dimry (6-6, 210)

With Dom Williams and Gabe Marks the projected starters at the outside receiver spots, the chances of Dimry earning a starting job barring injury appear quite slim. But Mike Leach likes to use an eight-man receiving rotation on Saturdays. More, a strong red zone TD presence has eluded WSU in Leach's first three seasons. Enter Dimry. He's 6-6 and Cougar fans might see more fade routes and jump balls in close than ever in 2015.

DE Jeremiah Mitchell (6-4, 265)

Mitchell had a quiet spring and was limited, particularly in the latter two-thirds of the session. But now that he's gotten at least some early reps under his belt, we won't be surprised to see him make a statement in fall camp. Indeed, if healthy, what will be a surprise is if he's not (at least) in the rotation by the end of fall ball. He's a guy who can get into the backfield and disrupt: at Riverside last season, he racked up 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

S Shalom Luani (6-1, 200)

Named JUCO All-America last season, he could help turn a position of need into a strength -- consider that Luani will join two rising safeties in Sulaiman Hameed and Isaac Dotson, and veteran Taylor Taliulu. But there's another possibility with the Cougs' changing up their base defense in adding a nickel back and subtracting the SAM. Luani has been called a guided missile by Scout.com analysts, with good feet and good size. Those traits could serve him well at NICKEL should Darius Lemora not lock down that spot coming out of fall camp.

LB Aaron Porter (6-3, 240)

Porter's versatility -- he can play any of the linebacker spots -- opens up all sorts of possibilities. He moves a lot faster than his size would suggest, posting a team-high 87 tackles with 11 TFLs and 5 sacks at Cerritos last season. He could challenge Peyton Pelluer at the MIK in fall camp. Or the former UCLA bounce back could, as the season goes along, give new defensive coordinator more reason to plug in a SAM and confuse opposing offenses expecting WSU's nickel sub-packages.

CB Treshon Broughton (6-1, 175)

Broughton is said to have excellent range and was quietly pegged among the nation's top 100 JUCO prospects this past class. This past season at Riverside he posted 11 pass break ups and five interceptions along with 34 tackles. Still, Broughton may have his work cut out for him. Cougar corners took their hits last year but Charleston White and Marcellus Pippins showed considerable promise too. The bottom line is WSU needs significantly better corner play than last year and a whole lot more interceptions in '15. Broughton could be the man to deliver on both. You could also peg another JUCO transfer corner here: Kirkland Parker.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Nine true freshmen and 20 freshmen total saw their first collegiate action this past season at Washington State.


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