EASOP WINSTON (Cougfan.com/Commons)

Breaking down our post-spring depth chart on WSU offense

PULLMAN — The running back position yielded the biggest Washington State depth chart surprise this spring. But there's plenty of intrigue elsewhere on offense too post-spring.

1. Luke Falk, senior (6-4, 225)
2. Tyler Hilinski, sophomore (6-3, 217)
No explanation needed here, other than noting that Hilinski had a better spring than the spring game may have indicated.  Should disaster happen, or in just looking ahead to next year, Cougar fans can feel confident knowing the Cougs have two guys who can go out and win games in crunch time.

Running back
1. James Williams, sophomore (5-11, 192)
2. Keith Harrington, junior (5-8, 194)
3. Jamal Morrow, senior (5-9, 200)
4. Gerard Wicks, senior (6-0, 228)

Running backs coach Jim Mastro told CF.C Williams and Harrington would be 1-2 if the season started today. Williams showed his versatility as both a rusher and a pass-catcher, while Harrington’s size was no issue in his emergence as the Cougars’ best RB blocker  this spring. Harrington also showed marked improvement in using his speed and power.

With Morrow in a yellow “no contact” jersey all spring and Wicks missing a large chunk of the spring — and with both seniors not playing in the Crimson and Gray game — Williams and Harrington both had a great opportunity to move up the depth chart, and did they ever take advantage.  Expect one serious battle royale in fall ball at Wazzu at running back.

Left Tackle
1. Andre Dillard, junior (6-5, 310),
2. Nilsson Gaisoa, freshman (6-5, 313) / Cedric Bigge-Duren (6-6, 321)

Right Tackle
1. Cole Madison, senior (6-5, 315)
2. Josh Watson, freshman (6-4, 285); Christian Haangana, freshman (6-4, 358)

Left Guard
1. Cody O’Connell, senior (6-9, 370)
2. Keenen King, freshman (6-4, 324) / Liam Ryan, freshman (6-5, 287)

With three established vets, the Cougar offensive line showed glimpses on great pass protection for its quarterbacks. The bar will be set higher in fall camp -- to go from good to elite.  Keep an eye on Watson and Ryan. The three starters listed above have their starting jobs on lockdown but Watson and Ryan turned some heads this spring, Ryan particularly in the spring game.

1. Frederick Mauigoa, sophomore (6-3, 305)
2. Noah Osur-Myers, sophomore (6-4, 307)

Right Guard
1. B.J. Salmonson, senior (6-4, 300),
2. Robert Valencia, junior (6-6, 295)

Center and right guard were the big questions coming into the spring on the o-line and both starting spots remain in play. Mauigoa ended spring ball as the leading candidate but it wasn't a blowout victory. Meanwhile, Salmonson has a starter's mental approach and it showed.  OL coach Clay McGuire seemed pleased with the work the fifth-year senior put in, while Valencia started to find more of his rhythm in the latter half of the spring session.

Outside Receiver X
1. Tavares Martin, Jr., junior (6-1, 183)
2. C.J. Dimry, senior (6-5, 213)

Outside Receiver Z
1. Isaiah Johnson-Mack, sophomore (6-3, 218)
2. Dezmon Patmon, sophomore (6-4, 211)

Martin ended the spring with a firm grasp on the X. Johnson-Mack was pushed more at the Z by Patmon. But with using four-man rotation at the outside spots, all four will likely see plenty of action this season. Patmon greatly exceeded expectations in improving his games this spring. Dimry flashed at time as well, though he continues to struggle to stay healthy. Both got better at using their significant height advantages against shorter corners and safeties.

Inside Receiver Y
1. Easop Winston, junior (5-11, 183, pictured above)
2. Kyle Sweet, junior (6-0, 192)

Inside Receiver H
1. Robert Lewis, senior (5-9, 170)
2. Renard Bell, freshman (5-8, 155)

I'm putting Winston on top here based on his surge in the latter half of spring ball. Sweet was solid but didn't stand out as much to me as Winston did all told. The wildcard here is junior Kyrin Priester (6-1, 195) who was on the field for fewer and fewer snaps as the spring went on to focus on his academics. If Priester is a full participant in fall camp, inside receiver could see one heckuva battle top to bottom on the depth chart, especially with Jamire Calvin and Travell Harris arriving this summer.

This receiving corps figures to one the deepest in recent memory, even without graduated proven stars like River Cracraft and Gabe Marks. But will they be better? You can make an argument they can be. But you can also point to the spring game, where the group was challenged to slip the coverage by an amped up Cougar secondary.

RELATED: Spring ball ends on two impressive notes

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