B.J. SALMONSON (No. 75) Cougfan.com/Commons

Coug OL B.J. Salmonson is the least surprised guy in the room after leading the way at right guard this spring

PULLMAN — Surprised? Hardly, says B.J. Salmonson. The fifth-year senior came into the spring at the top of the depth chart at right guard but highly touted transfer Robert Valencia, who arrived in January, was right on his heels.

Many thought Valencia, a 6-6, 295-pounder ranked the No. 21 overall JUCO prospect this past recruiting cycle, would seize the job by spring's end. B.J. Salmonson, however, tells CF.C that was never even a concern on his end.

“I wasn’t even thinking about it, honestly,” said Salmonson (6-4, 300) after WSU’s final practice of the spring. “I was just doing what I always do.”

What he did this spring was to author a whole lot of steady play. And though Valencia started to find his rhythm towards the end of spring, o-line coach Clay McGuire said Salmonson (No. 75 in the photo above) is still at the top of the depth chart at right guard.

While remains confident that he’ll remain there, Salmonson admits, “there’s always work to do,” citing blocking fundamentals with his hands as his biggest need for improvement.

“I’m a good hitter, but I gotta stay back and work on my technique,” he said, adding that he’s excited to be a part of what should be a formidable offensive line for Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense with three veteran starters returning in LT Andre Dillard, LG Cody O'Connell and RT Cole Madison. At center, rising sophomores Frederick Mauigoa and Noah Osur-Myers continue to do battle.

But back to Salmonson and to why he remained so confident about keeping his starting job: Salmonson explained that he was in constant communication with his coach.

“I knew where I was standing,” said Salmonson. “Me and McGuire talk about it. I was pretty confident I was gonna keep my starting position as long as I held up my end of the bargain and did what I needed to do.”

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