WSU football: Depth chart breakdown on O

PULLMAN – Mike Leach says he doesn’t pay much attention to the Washington State depth chart, that it changes by the day. But after watching every fall camp practice and with the season opener less than two weeks away, I’ll go position by position and give you my top three at every spot on offense.


1. Luke Falk
2. Peyton Bender
3. Tyler Hilinski

Leach says it’s still officially a position battle between Falk and Bender and will be until he decides to publicly announce the starter. But from where I’m sitting, that guy is Falk. One big reason has been his ability in camp to bounce back with a great play after a misstep. Falk still looks the most comfortable in the offense to me, but Bender has been gaining confidence lately. Also, Bender hasn’t received a lot of first-team reps lately. It’s Leach, so that could change tomorrow. But it looks to me like it's Falk with the Sept. 5 opener looming.

Running Back
1. Gerard Wicks
2. Jamal Morrow
3. Keith Harrington
4. James Williams

Wicks is receiving the lion’s share of the first-team snaps. He’s showing the most burst and providing the offense with a lot of stability. That doesn't mean he doesn't still have those plays pop up where he misses an assignment. But he's looking the best overall. Arguably, Morrow is still probably the better all-around back -- he does everything well and he's a great receiver out of the backfield. But he doesn't have Wicks' speed.

Harrington has shown flashes and continues to improve but a big hit he took on Wednesday resulted in him sitting out the next day. I included Williams, a true freshman, because he’s shown great speed and vision. I would imagine he'd redshirt with three upperclassmen here but he's looked good and can't rule out all four receiving snaps this season.

Left Tackle
1. Joe Dahl
2. Andre Dillard
3. Cedric Bigge-Duren

About as cut and dried as it gets when it comes to the starting left tackle. Dahl is an awards candidate and NFL prospect. He's a lock. Dillard looks like the backup as he’s been the only one receiving second team snaps at LT of late. (If Dahl were to get dinged up, o-line coach Clay McGuire could conceivably plug in another one of the starters at left tackle. But Dillard is getting the LT reps right now behind Dahl). Dillard Bigge-Duren was the third team’s left tackle in the first scrimmage back in Lewiston.

Left Guard
1. Gunnar Eklund
2. Cody O’Connell
3. Noah Osur-Myers

Eklund, similar to Dahl, has the starting job locked up but that doesn't mean he is guaranteed to finish the game as the starter. He struggled on Thursday and was replaced by O'Connell after the team gave up two sacks of Falk during team time. O’Connell, as the backup left guard, has gotten most of the 11v11 snaps with the second unit throughout fall ball. Osur-Myers was the third team’s left tackle in the Lewiston scrimmage.

1. Riley Sorenson
2. Eduardo Middleton (pictured above)
3. Carlos Freeman
4. Sam Flor

Sorenson started 10 games last year and looks to be the choice -- but he and starting RG Middleton have shared snaps. Sorenson has struggled with snap height: too high one day and too low the next. When Middleton goes with the ones at center, Sorenson has moved to the No. 1 right guard. Flor, a former starter, was the second stringer for a while in camp but his struggles, combined with Middleton’s success at center, have moved him to third or even fourth string at times, with Carlos Freeman getting some run.

Right Guard
1. Eduardo Middleton
2. Riley Sorenson
3. Mack Hopkins

Middleton, CF.C has been told, killed it in the weight room this offseason. His play in camp has locked this RG spot up (unless he moves to center and Sorenson slides over here). Middleton looks to have really taken that next step and is having a solid camp. Hopkins received snaps with the threes during the scrimmage in Lewiston.

Right Tackle
1. Cole Madison
2. Jacob Seydel
3. Brandon Evers / Davis Perrot

Madison, as with the other returning o-line starters, looks destined to continue in his No. 1 role. Seydel is receiving the second team snaps almost every day and remains a solid option behind Madison, and Seydel could also slide inside to a guard spot if need be. Evers and Perrot split third team snaps during Lewiston’s scrimmage.

1. Dom Williams
2. Kyrin Priester
3. Daniel Lilienthal

1. River Cracraft
2. Tyler Baker
3. Kyle Sweet

1. Robert Lewis
2. John Thompson

1. Gabe Marks
2. Tavares Martin
3. Zaire Andre

Each of the four receiver positions in Leach's Air Raid make for a complex task in filling out a depth chart. Williams and Marks seem to have all but solidified themselves as the top outside receivers, but WR is really where Leach's comment of potential daily chart changes comes into play. I have Priester behind Williams right now, but check in again with me tomorrow. And the following day. And Martin has been making a strong bid for playing time as well.

It's a little clearer at the starting inside receiver spots: Cracraft and Lewis have been the top guys on the inside. Cracraft turned it on in the scrimmage and looks primed for a big year. Lewis, with his burst, is going to catch a team or two by surprise this season. The interesting thing, though, is Leach has his wideouts capable of playing multiple positions so there could be a lot of different looks for opponents.

Thompson has played a little at the Y and the H. I put him as H because he will likely find more playing time there with the Y overcrowded and with all three capable of doing big things on any given Saturday. Leach wants to rotate eight players at wideout every game, so it isn't just at the Y that could see more than one player grabbing headlines on Saturdays.

Check back in a little later for my defensive depth chart breakdown.

Cougfan Top Stories