With dozens of countdowns and previews and breakdowns and lists and all of the other aspects of offseason college football coverage, you'd think it would be hard to have an unknown. Then, every year some player defies expectations and has a so-called breakout season. Marcus Mason was one of those players last year. Pegged by some -- including the idiot writing this -- as a likely third-string running back, Mason rose to No. 1 on the depth chart and was one of the Cougars' best offensive players last season.
Thousands of words have once again been written, yet WSU is almost guaranteed to have another Mason. With a lot of young talent on the roster and spots open for competition, there are a lot of potential breakout candidates. In an ideal world, an offensive lineman (or three) would have breakout seasons. Of the group, my pick would be Cole Madison. Penciled in to start at right tackle the redshirt freshman has a lot of talent and upside. I think he could rise and do so quickly, possibly earning some postseason all-conference votes. Talking with Nusser, I know he likes H receiver Calvin Green to breakout in a big way. Green is explosive and might be the fastest player on the roster. He had the benefit of enrolling early and could see considerable playing time as a true freshman. When picking a breakout player, it's never a bad idea to go with speed.
Although I think several players will have breakout type seasons, my pick to be the "breakout player of 2014" is cornerback Charleston White. I've been enamored with White's potential since he originally committed. He might compete with Green as the fastest player on the roster and is very explosive. He has a very good chance to start this season and if not, he'll at least see considerable playing time. He's going to be raw, but there is so much potential. I think he's in for a big season and it wouldn't surprise me if he supplants Daquawn Brown as WSU's top corner.