Scholarship math: Taking a look at WSU's post signing day

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a lot of comings and goings over the last few weeks, so let's check in on the state of WSU's roster.

With the dust from National Signing Day settled and transfer season mostly complete, we have a very good idea of how Washington State's roster will look in 2014. There could be another departure or two before fall camp, the incoming class still needs to qualify and walk-ons will be added, but for the most part the roster is set. That makes now an excellent time to run through the roster with a projected scholarship update and roster breakdown.

Once again, exact scholarship numbers are not available, so the chart below represents the most educated guess we can make.

Key: Bold = scholarship player, Italic = walk-on, * = used redshirt season

Position
Sch
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
QB
3
Connor Halliday*

Tyler Bruggman*

Connor Ennis*

Luke Falk*

Domenic Rocky*

Peyton Bender

RB
6

Theron West*

Marcus Mason

Teondray Caldwell

Parker Henry*

Gerard Wicks*

Jamal Morrow*

Squally Canada

WR
14

Vince Mayle*

Kristoff Williams*

Isiah Myers

Rickey Galvin*

Dom Williams*

Gabe Marks

Brett Bartolone

Drew Loftus*

Tyler Baker*

Daniel Lilienthal*

River Cracraft

Willie Roach*

John Thompson

Robert Lewis*

Sebastian LaRue*

Zaire Andre

Calvin Green

Keith Harrington

Barry Ware

OL
16

Jacob Seydel*

Devonte McClain*

Gunnar Eklund*

Joe Dahl*

Pierson Villarrubia*

Sam Flor*

Eduardo Middleton*

Riley Sorenson

Carlos Freeman*

B.J. Salmonson*

Cody O'Connell*

Cole Madison*

Andy Agen*

Austin Kanouse*

Sean Krepsz

Brandon Evers

Andre Dillard

Nick Begg

DL
13

Lyman Faoliu

Toni Pole*

Jeff Waldner*

Xavier Cooper*

Moritz Christ*

Darryl Paulo*

Ivan McLennan*

Austin Brown*

Robert Barber*

Sherman Hutcherson*

Emmitt Su'a-Kalio*

Gerald Sterling*

Daniel Ekuale*

Ngalu Tapa

Jalen Canty

BUCK
5

Kache Palacio

Destiny Vaeao

Kingston Fernandez

Hercules Mata'afa

Dylan Hanser

LB
8

Cyrus Coen

Chester Su'a*

Darryl Monroe*

Tana Pritchard*

Jeremiah Allison

Peyton Pelluer*

Nate DeRider*

Nathan Hundeby*

Austin Rapp*

Greg Hoyd

Frankie Luvu

CB
8

Tracy Clark*


Daquawn Brown

Charleston White*

Kahshan Greene*

Kamel Greene*

Kevin Griffin

Marcellus Pippins

Sulaiman Hameed

Patrick Porter

Deion Singleton

S
7

Mitchell Peterson*

Taylor Taliulu

Paris Taylor*

David Bucannon*

Isaac Dotson

Michael Fields*

Beau Glover*

Darius Lemora*

Markell Sanders
K
0
Wes Concepcion



P
0

Thomas Fossedal* Erik Powell* Jonathan Weilbacher
LS
0

Ryan Saparto*

Alex Den Bleyker

Jerred Sonneborn*
Totals
80
12
19
11
15
23
Departures:

A few players have left the team since the last roster update, headlined by backup quarterback Austin Apodaca. Jeremiah Laufasa didn't get a scholarship at WSU, so he's headed to UTEP. Wide receiver Bobby Ratliff opted to retire rather than play his senior season. On the defensive side, Max Hersey departed as did Feddie Davey.

Additions:

WSU signed 17 high school players on signing day. Another six enrolled in January and Sebastian LaRue transferred in from Texas A&M. That makes a total of 24 additions, 23 of which will be true freshman next season. This is one of the rare years where WSU didn't add a single junior college transfer.

Overview:

Based on my estimations, WSU is at 80 scholarships. Of the walk-ons currently on the roster, Alex Den Bleyker seems like the most likely to be on scholarship. The five extra scholarships will come into play next season with a small senior class. Right now WSU has an estimated 17 scholarships to use on the 2015 recruiting class. A few more spots will inevitably open up with departures, but there is a chance WSU may not take a full 25-man recruiting class next season.

Quarterback:

Apodaca's departure seals Bruggman as the No. 2 quarterback next season. The Cougars will once again go through the season with two active scholarship quarterbacks. Falk is likely to be the No. 3 next year.

Running back:

WSU is positioned very well at running back, both next season and in the future. Mason will lead the way with Caldwell likely seeing considerable playing time too. If the bowl game was any indication, West will also be in the mix. Wicks and Morrow will hopefully get their feet wet next season, because a lot of playing time is going to come open in 2015. If all goes well, Canada will redshirt then compete with Wicks and Morrow for No. 2 duties behind Caldwell in 2015.

Wide Receiver:

Loaded. Even without Ratliff, the depth chart is stocked like one of those kid fishing ponds where the fish practically jump on the hook even before the cast. The Cougars have eight scholarship receivers with considerable experience and Lewis ready off a redshirt year. I'd expect those nine to contribute, with Thompson also getting some reps. The incoming freshman should all redshirt, while LaRue will also sit out due to NCAA rules. All five could break the two-deep in 2015.

Offensive Line:

Clay McGuire has to love the numbers he has at offensive line. WSU will have 12 active scholarship linemen on gameday, giving them a full two-deep and then some. Eklund and Dahl will anchor the left side with the three other spots up for grabs. My guess is Seydel, Sorenson and Freeman grab the starting spots. The good news for WSU is barring a player leaving early, it could have the starting five in tact for the next two seasons. That's likely part of the reason WSU took a chance on developmental linemen like Begg and Dillard.

Defensive Line:

Healthy scholarship numbers, but lacking on experience. Pole and Cooper are a great start while Faoliu and Paulo were in the rotation last season. McLennan moved from BUCK linebacker to defensive end, possibly adding some much-needed pass rush to the line. There are a few intriguing underclassmen. They'll have an opportunity to grab playing time next season.

BUCK:

This position seems to shuffle more than any others. Vaeao moved from the line to BUCK early last season, only to play mostly end late in the year. I would have said he'd likely play end next season, then McLennan moved to end. Vaeao could still wind up at end, with Palacio starting at BUCK. It's possible one of the freshmen could play a backup role, or another linebacker or end could switch to BUCK. Allison is a candidate to move to BUCK.

Linebacker:

We know Monroe will start in the middle. Based on last season, I'd expect Pritchard and Coen to nail down the other two starting spots. Su'a sat out last season, but is apparently still part of the team. We'll have to wait and see on his status. Pelluer will play, as will Allison. It wouldn't necessarily be a surprise to see Hoyd or Luvu play, my guess would be Hoyd if they both don't redshirt.

Cornerback:

The numbers got healthy with a huge incoming signing class, but it's going to be a youth movement next season. Brown is the only player with any considerable playing experience. Clark has seen the field some and is the only upperclassman. White will play and I would expect two of the incoming freshman to play. Pippins has a leg up by enrolling early and going through spring football. Singleton was listed as a corner by WSU, but could wind up at safety. A gun to my head right now, I'd guess Brown and White start next season with Clark, Pippins and Hameed rounding out the depth chart.

Safety:

The Cougars are going to rely on youth at safety too. Taliulu has quite a bit of experience, while Peterson and Dotson played a little last season. Taylor came highly-touted but sat out with a foot injury. Lemora was impressive as a high school player and is coming off a redshirt. The Cougars desperately need at least one of the underclassmen to be a player. Sanders is a bit of a wild card after an injury kept him under the radar as a high school senior.

The defensive back two-deep against Rutgers is likely going to be Taliulu, Brown and six players who have never or barely seen the field in a real game. It isn't quite like starting true freshman Chima Nwachukwu and sophomore JC transfer Devin Giles in the season opener against Wisconsin, but it's going to be trial by fire.

Specialists:

At this point, I'm convinced WSU should never punt, kick a field goal or extra point next season. Alex Den Bleyker is a solid snapper, so that's good. Wes Concepcion is listed as a kicker, although he took over punting duties late last season. He averaged 36.3 yards per punt on 12 punts.

With Tristan Vizcaino flipping from WSU to Washington, the Cougars have a major hole at kicker. There was a chance Vizcaino was going to kick, punt and handle kickoff duties next season. WSU will likely add a preferred walk-on kicker before fall camp, then hope he doesn't suck and can contribute immediately.

WSU already added a preferred walk-on punter with Jonathan Weilbacher committing to WSU. In his hudl highlights, Weilbacker appears to have a strong leg. He gets some solid distance and hang time on his kicks. He's also a left-footed punter, which is cool. Although I've never done the research, I subscribe to the theory that left-footed punters can be more effective because they are rare and the ball spinning in the opposite direction throws off returners.

Special teams coach Eric Russell is going to earn his paycheck next year.

If you're worried about the kicking game, I'd suggest putting it out of your mind by watching this video, the greatest punter breakdown in history.

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