11 days to football: Who will lead the way for WSU?

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

Football is a team sport, but today we're talking about individual leaders.

WSU's roster has taken shape over the course of fall camp and we're beginning to have a good idea of who will play key roles for the Cougars this season. With that in mind, we're going to try and predict individual stats. I don't exactly have the best track record for predicting stats, so I would suggest looking at my predictions and doing the opposite.

Predicting exact outcomes would be a bit much, so instead let's see who you think will lead WSU in several key statistical categories this season.

Passing yards:

Contenders: Connor Halliday, Austin Apodaca

My pick: Halliday has the starting job locked up and barring injury he should be the easy pick here.

Rushing yards:

Contenders: Teondray Caldwell, Marcus Mason, Jeremiah Laufasa, Leon Brooks, Theron West

My pick: I still believe in the skills Caldwell flashed as a freshman. Laufasa has had the best camp, but I'm sticking with Caldwell.

Receiving yards:

Contenders: Dominique Williams, Gabe Marks, Kristoff Williams, Isiah Myers, Vince Mayle, Brett Bartolone, Rickey Galvin, Bobby Ratliff, Robert Lewis, River Cracraft.

My pick: So many options here. Dominique Williams and Marks are likely the favorites, but I'm going to go with Kristoff Williams. In re-watching some games from last season, Williams jumped off to me for his physical play. I think this is the year he puts it all together. I also expect the receiving stats to be bunched and the leader won't lead by much.

Sacks:

Contenders: Xavier Cooper, Logan Mayes, Toni Pole, Ioane Gauta, Ivan McLennan, Kache Palacio, Destiny Vaeao

My pick: If Mayes were still at BUCK, he'd be the easy pick for me. As it stands now I'm going to go with Palacio. He looked like a rangy, explosive athlete as a freshman and is probably the most complete of the three contenders at BUCK. I think he'll see the field a lot and Mike Breske will find a way to use him.

Tackles:

Contenders: Darryl Monroe, Deone Bucannon, Justin Sagote, Cyrus Coen, Eric Oertel, Casey Locker, Anthony Carpenter

My pick: Monroe is going to finish with a lot of tackles, but I'm going to go with Bucannon to repeat as the leading tackler. He's just all over the field and always seems to be in the action. He's bigger this year and could be even more of a force in run support.

Interceptions:

Contenders: Nolan Washington, Damante Horton, Daquawn Brown, Deone Bucannon, Casey Locker, Anthony Carpenter, Taylor Taliulu, Charleston White, Cyrus Coen

My pick: Bucannon led the team last year, but did you know Cyrus Coen finished second? I'm actually going to go with Carpenter here. It's a tough pick, because we still don't know how much he's going to play, yet I like his coverage ability at safety and could see him playing a roving role over the top with the bulked up Bucannon playing closer to the line of scrimmage.

Those are my picks, who are you taking? Feel free to add statistical projections if you are really feeling lucky.

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