Where does Kaufusi line up this spring?

WILL SEKOPE KAUFUSI, the 6-3, 236-pound freshman who spent last season redshirting, line up at defensive end or linebacker this spring? Washington State head man Paul Wulff delves into that topic and more..

The short answer is that Kaufusi will play at both the defensive end and linebacker spots this spring.

"He's definitely going to play some defensive end for us -- we're going to give him a shot to play down there for us. But don't be surprised if he does a little of both, depending on the defensive package...you could see him in a 2-point (stance), you could see him in a 3-point," said Wulff.

However, Wulff says it is the defensive end spot that is his future.

"I think ultimately with his frame, he's a defensive end. Right now he's 6-3.5, 240 pounds -- still being 18 years old, I think his frame is nowhere near where he's going to end up being when he's 21-22 years of age. I think he's got all the frame to be a true defensive end," said Wulff.

Cougar fans have been excited to see Kaufusi take the field on Saturdays since he came to WSU as part of Wazzu's 2009 class. The main reason -- you don't normally see guys his size who can run like he does. And he hits hard.

"He's only going to get bigger and bigger," said Wulff. "But he is athletic enough to play in a 2-point in certain situations and depending how we run our defense."

THERE ISN'T MUCH controversy at quarterback this spring, with Jeff Tuel atop the pre-spring depth chart. But Wulff did say the plan is for both Tuel and Marshall Lobbestael to get roughly the same amount of reps. Both had "great off-seasons," said Wulff.

The head man also wants to get David Gilbertson some quality reps this spring, looking to solidify the No. 3 QB spot.

WULFF SAID he expects every position will see heated battles this spring. Two that could stand out, however, are at safety and running back, he said. Why? Safety features a large number of potentially very good players, said Wulff. Running back also has a large number of candidates.

"Each guy is going to have limited reps at both those positions so they've got to make the most of their opportunity, because we do have a number of bodies at those positions," said Wulff.

Running back this spring features Marcus Richmond, Carl Winston, Chantz Staden, Logwone Mitz and Leon Brooks.

Wulff said that Brooks, a walk-on, along with Staden, may well see increased reps to show what they can do catching the ball out of the backfield -- or in the slot. As for carries, it looks to stack up somewhat evenly.

"We're going to try and balance their reps. And maybe one or two of them are going to emerge as 'the guy', the clear cut guy, over the next 2-3 weeks," said Wulff.

At safety, the Cougars feature a lot of promise and potential. Among those in the fold this spring at strong safety -- Chima Nwachukwu, Tyree Toomer, Casey Locker and Jamal Atofau, with LeAndre Daniels, Jay Matthews, Anthony Carpenter and walk-on Kyle McCartney over at free.

RECEIVERS COACH MIKE LEVENSELLER, one of the premiere technical coaches in the game, looks to have his work cut out for him this spring.

"Let me say this, every position I believe truly has competition now. The receiver position is our thinnest so competition isn't as great right now (there). I think in the fall it will get better it will get better based on the new players coming in," said Wulff.

WULFF HAS BEEN consistent this offseason in talking about where the Cougs are headed in 2010, and the eve of spring ball was no exception.

"Just realize that the worst of it is over and behind us," said Wulff. "And moving forward, we will be a much improved program. (We're) a young team that will continue to have bright days ahead of them -- not only this next year but years after that.

"Enjoy the process -- because as each year moves along, you're going to see an improved football team. The arrow is pointing upward, and we're going to continue to climb that ladder...We are moving forward and I think everyone is going to see that this fall."

NOTABLE: Here's Washington State's pre-spring depth chart can be found here:

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