Washington State fall camp primer

PLAYERS OFFICIALLY REPORT today at Washington State and fall camp kicks off in Lewiston on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know.

* Washington State will practice the first nine days in Lewiston from Aug. 6-14, take one day off, and then practice the remainder of fall camp in Pullman.  (The Cougs will have four off days: Aug 15, 19, 22, 29). 

* As per NCAA rules, the Cougars will go helmets-only the first two days of fall ball, adding shoulder pads on Day Three. The Cougs will don full pads for the first time on Aug. 10, the fifth practice session of fall camp. For the complete schedule, CLICK HERE.

* Washington State returns 16 starters (8 offense, 6 defense, 2 special teams). From the Pac-12 prospectus:

* According to the Pac-12 prospectus, the Cougs are t-2 with UW in the Pac-12 for most starters behind leader Colorado (20). First-team All-Pac-12 selections Luke Falk and Gabe Marks return, as do five Cougars who received All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades in 2015: Shalom Luani, Cole Madison, Riley Sorenson, Hercules Mata’afa and Peyton Pelluer.

* The official fall camp roster was released late Friday afternoon: CLICK HERE

* The pre-fall camp depth chart will be the same as the spring game depth chart. You can always find the latest WSU depth chart towards the top of our message boards. We've also included the latest depth chart here:

* New faces: Click HERE. Note: Three players on this list did not ultimately sign with WSU (Isaiah Love, Josiah Westbrook, Stephen Houston). The one other player on this list not expected to be there for the start of fall camp is LB Suliasi Tamaivena.  The latest word was that he still had some academic work to finish up. We'll keep you posted. Outside receivers Dezmon Patmon, Isaiah Johnson (arrived in January) and Grant Porter figure to receive every chance to earn playing time and get into the rotation. Safety Jalen Thompson, another early enrollee, had a great spring session and heads into fall camp in the mix for playing time and possibly for a starting job. The incoming o-linemen will all get long looks, assistant Clay McGuire told CF.C this summer, with WSU needing to establish proven depth behind the projected starting five.

* New coaches: Both wide receivers coaches are new to WSU this season: outside receivers coach Dave Nichol and inside receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard.  Nichol, whose relationship with WSU chief of staff Dave Emerick goes back to their Texas Tech days under Mike Leach, comes to WSU from East Carolina where he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this past season.  Shephard spent the past two seasons as the receivers coach at Western Kentucky.  Nichol replaces Graham Harrell (North Texas) and Shephard replaces Dave Yost (Oregon).

* Key losses to graduation: LT Joe Dahl, LG Gunnar Eklund, WR Dom Williams,  DT Destiny Vaeao, DE Darryl Paulo, WIL Jeremiah Allison, strong safety Taylor Taliulu, Rush Kache Palacio, Rush Ivan McLennan, OL Jacob Seydel.  Other losses of note: QB Peyton Bender, WR Kyrin Priester, LB Chandler Leniu.

* Deepest positions: On offense, Washington State is stacked at running back. Over on defense, the Cougs boast considerable talent and experience in the defensive backfield. For more, click HERE and HERE.    

* Falk for Heisman: WSU's Falk is one of only five returning QB starters in the Pac-12, having thrown this past season for 4,566 yards and 38 TDs vs. 8 INTs. 

* Position battles to watch:
- Gerard Wicks, Jamal Morrow, Keith Harrington and James Williams figure to wage a battle royale at running back in camp. 
- While Luani and Darrien Molton look to have a safety and corner spot locked down, respectively, there are numerous defensive backs who will vie for playing time and starting gigs, including safeties Thompson and Taylor, plus Charleston White, Deion Singleton, Marcellus Pippins, Hunter Dale and Treshon Broughton.
- At the H, the underrated Robert Lewis and rising Kyle Sweet provide an intriguing either/or heading into fall ball.
- Tavares Martin heads into fall camp as the projected starting X receiver with the aforementioned trio of freshmen - Patmon, Johnson and Porter - looking to make a splash.
- The d-line (T Daniel Ekuale, NT Robert Barber, DE Hercules Mata'afa) and linebackers (Rush Logan Tago, WIL Frankie Luvu, MIKE Peyton Pelluer) tentatively appear well established but Washington State is looking to develop solid rotations over the course of August and not all of the players listed above are considered locks. Names to watch for include Rush Dylan Hanser, WIL Paris Taylor, DT Garrett McBroom, NT Ngalu Tapa, DE Nnamdi Oguayo and LB Aaron Porter.
 
* Five veterans who need strong fall camps: CLICK HERE

* Three WSU fall camp storylines: CLICK HERE 

* Special teams: Have the Cougs turned the corner? CLICK HERE 

* WSU 2016 football schedule


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