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X now marks the spot for this Washington State wide receiver

MIKE LEACH is not a wholesale changes kind of guy, but the Washington State head man does like to tinker. And one Cougar wideout will be lining up in a new spot this spring.

With starting X wide receiver Dom Williams graduating, it is our understanding Tavares Martin will be moving from the Z to the X when spring ball kicks off March 24 at WSU. 

Martin (6-1, 165) this past season served as the second-string Z on the depth chart behind Gabe Marks.  In moving to the X this spring, Martin figures to compete with Kyrin Priester (6-1, 190).

Leach generally (and liberally) uses an 8-man rotation on Saturdays, so four (at least) receivers between the X and Z figure to see significant turns.

With Williams (6-2, 200) gone, Martin figures to carve out a larger role in 2016. The bulk of his yards last season at the Z came after the catch. As a true freshman, he had 16 receptions for 124 yards with 1 TD.  He also was the Cougs’ primary kickoff return man, running back 25 KOs for 552 yards (22.1 avg.) 

At the Z, Marks is of course both starter and star. But keeping the fifth-year senior at optimum levels as the season goes along also means giving him adequate rest. With Martin moving to the X, who lines up behind Marks at the Z this spring? 

We’ll see but Isaiah Johnson stands out to us in looking over the roster. The 6-3, 211-pound Johnson told CF.C earlier this offseason he might get his first look at slot but he seems like a natural at the Z -- and a year spent getting his feet wet behind Marks could be just the tonic to put him in position to earn the starting Z job after Marks graduates.  Johnson arrived early to WSU out high school, enrolling in January, with Marks recently telling CF.C that Johnson is a fast learner.

C.J. Dimry would seem best suited to the X with more freedom to run go patterns but much remains unknown about what the 6-5, 200-pound wideout can bring to the table after he missed significant practice time to injury last season, his first at WSU. And spring is the time for experimentation.

A pair of true freshmen wideouts who arrive for fall ball, and who could earn early playing time on the outside, are Dezmon Patmon (6-4, 202) and Grant Porter (6-2, 185).

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