1. These Cougs are large
"What’s really stuck out to me is the overall size and length as compared to the past. It’s just a taller, longer, leaner and more athletic player out on the field where you’re saying 'Okay, we can compete with the top five teams in the country in just walking off the bus.' You’ve got guys like C.J. Dimry (6-5, 213); Isaiah Johnson-Mack (6-3, 218); Dezmon Patmon (6-4, 211) and then guys on the defensive line like Mason Vinyard (6-5, 223) and Hercules Mata’afa (6-2, 255) is also looking good. Cody O’Connell (6-8, 370) put on 20 more pounds of good weight which you didn’t think possible given his size already … the athleticism at all positions is (different) and Luke Falk (6-4, 225) has even bulked up some. That's probably the thing that's stood out most to me so far."
2. Loving the flexibility in the secondary
"You've got guys like Sean Harper ... D'Jimon Jones, Jalen Thompson that you'll see at safety, that you'll see at nickel ... Marcus Strong at that corner position along with Darrien Molton, I think they're doing nice things out there. And you've got veterans like Marcellus Pippins and Robert Taylor back there -- I really like that depth and experience coming back and the versatility that brings to where you can move guys around and create favorable (matchups). You can go with a nickel package or a dime package or a heavy package - whatever you need."
3. Running Back U
"WSU is really, really good at running back and it does not matter who is back there. There is so much depth and versatility. Without crimson-colored glasses on, I can say they're top 2-3 in the Pac-12 and arguably top 10 in the nation in backfield tandems/trios ... Keith Harrington is trying to fight his way back in and I really think you might have four guys there and that it might be about whoever is competing best that week in practice or about the game plan ... The quarterback is the straw that stirs the drink but the running backs play such an integral role in this offense in (receiving, running, blocking/blitz pick up). WSU is really good, really deep there."
4. Length at RUSH/DE is cutting down angles
"I think Mason Vinyard is going to be a guy at RUSH -- just how he moves, I think he's 6-5 and he's just tall and long ... The length that WSU has now at the RUSH and defensive end positions (when) you have (guys) dropping back, rushing the QB, getting in your passing lanes -- the angles close so much quicker with that kind of player. The windows are so much smaller. I've experienced that first hand (as a player and coach) and the long, lean guys are going to really start playing to the Cougs' advantage with guys like Derek Moore and Nnamdi Oguayo (pictured above) and Mason Vinyard."
5. WRs playing well yes, but DBs have caught Gesser's eye
"I've noticed a lack of separation ... when balls are complete and thrown down the field, I've seen guys being covered well. You're not seeing guys just getting beat left and right ... Luke and Tyler Hilinski are making some really nice throws, and they have to because the windows are really tight. And I think that's all about the defensive backs and how they are playing with confidence."