WSU Pre-Spring Depth Chart released

THE PRE-SPRING DEPTH CHART is in. After a quick examination of the hot-off-the-presses chart, a few items stand out -- including that the position of fullback makes an appearance, while some seniors and upperclassmen get the pre-spring nod headed into the 15-practice session at positions where competition for jobs is expected to be heightened.

Washington State lists 12 positions offensively on the depth chart, one more than will take the field. The extra position is fullback, where sophomore Jared Byers is listed as the starter, with junior Corey Laufasa tabbed the No. 2. Both are walk-ons and both began their collegiate careers at linebacker.

Byers, a graduate of Pullman High, was moved from linebacker to fullback in October of last year. Laufasa, a graduate of Seattle's Evergreen High, comes to WSU by way of Army.

The Cougs did not list a FB on the depth chart last year on either spring or fall camp prospectus. An initial check shows the last time the Cougs listed fullback on the depth chart was the post-fall camp depth chart of 2005, when Jed Collins and Brandon Asuega-Stark were listed 1-2 headed into the season opener.

To what degree Paul Wulff intends to implement more two back sets in 2010 remains to be seen, starting perhaps as soon as this Thursday when the Cougars kick off spring drills.

Also of note is that a depth chart is but a guide. Drawing hard and fast conclusions on what 1st string vs. 4th string really means can be erroneous, in part because a pre-camp depth chart often emphasizes seniority. There also figures to be movement at some positions by newcomers and redshirt freshmen -- Wade Jacobson, Brandon Rankin and Sekope Kaufusi are but a few examples.

Jacobson is listed as a third string left tackle while Rankin, listed at 271 pounds, is a third string defensive end. But both are expected to battle for starting jobs this season, and Rankin may play some inside. Meanwhile, Kaufusi is listed as the fourth string SAM linebacker on the depth chart, but he too is expected to be a key contributor this season and also, between now and the season opener, has the potential to earn a starting job.

Also, Wulff has indicated more than once this offseason Kaufusi might not necessarily play a typical SAM linebacker role -- he might be more of a loaded SAM type and/or could at times be putting his hand down on the line.

Here's Washington State's pre-spring depth chart:

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