10 Cougs who have caught Jason Gesser’s eye coming up on midway point of spring drills at WSU

JASON GESSER has a tendency to talk fast when the topic centers around the Cougs. All we had to do was to ask him for a few guys that have caught his eye with spring ball not quite to the halfway point. Before we knew it, Gesser had rattled off 10 players.

1. CB Marcus Strong
"Marcus Strong (pictured above) is looking good. I know he played a little bit last year but he’s really surprised me … I saw him locking up Tavares Martin off the jam, locking Dimry up. His ability, his footwork, he was impressive to me."

2. LB Isaac Dotson
"Isaac Dotson has turned it up a notch at the WILL. He’s been pretty banged up over his career, but he just looks like a different person out there with his size and his speed this spring. He’s always been a great leader for this defense but you can tell he’s really taken that over."

3. LT Andre Dillard
"On the offensive line, Andre Dillard looks different out there at that left tackle spot. He’s bigger, and you knew that was only a matter of time with his frame. I think he’s a guy to look at this year who is going to do some really good things up front.

4. RB James Williams
"He’s not the established starter but James Williams in that backfield, he’s just different when he gets that ball. It seems to me this spring he’s more confident, he’s more comfortable -- and he’s stronger. He’s looking like he’s taken that next step. I know he’s still young but gosh, he has so much potential."

5. Center Frederick Mauigoa
"Fred Mauigoa is filling in nicely at that center position as a second-year sophomore. He is doing a really nice job for Clay (McGuire) up front on the offensive line."

6. RUSH/DE Derek Moore
"The great thing about spring ball is you can take a guy like Derek Moore who played last year as a freshman and put him at d-end and also put him at RUSH, and then you can see what you’ve got. He’s a true sophomore and he’s only going to get so much better. He’s put on some good size too this offseason.

7. QB Tyler Hilinski
"At quarterback, hey, Luke is Luke. But just to talk about some of the other guys there, Tyler Hilinski’s release has gotten a lot quicker, a lot better. And he’s shown some good mobility on the field."

8. QB Anthony Gordon
"And another guy at quarterback, Anthony Gordon, he has been rolling with the threes and it seems like every time he just makes something happen … I’d like to see him get some reps with the twos and see what he can do those guys."

9. RUSH Mason Vinyard
"I think Mason Vinyard is going to be a guy at RUSH -- just how he moves … he's just tall and long."

10. DL Hercules Mata'afa
"Hercules Mata’afa looks a little thicker to me this spring -- and he also looks a little more explosive coming off the ball. I think he might be ready to not just hold down that role as a pass rusher, but become a more complete defensive lineman. Time will tell, I want to see a little more of him this spring before making a full judgment."

RELATED: 5 spring observations from Gesser

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