Signing Day 2013 is in the books which means the focus begins to shift from the recruiting trail to next season. As we saw last year, a number of players who signed on Wednesday could make a major impact on the field next season.
With the start of spring football still weeks away it would be way too premature to try and predict a depth chart for the 2013 season ... but what the heck, why not? There is a considerable amount of guessing involved as I don't know what position some incoming guys will play or how others already on the roster have progressed. Instead, this is just as educated of a guess as I can take. We'll start with an early look at the Cougar offense.
Note: players in italics are members of the 2013 signing class.
Halliday is the early favorite to start, although he will likely be pushed by Apodaca. Bruggman and Dotson will compete with walk-ons to fill out the depth chart. Dotson may eventually switch to another position, but he will get a shot at quarterback first. Both freshman quarterbacks are likely to redshirt although with the current lack of depth one could be pressed into action due to injury.
Caldwell has the skills to be an every-down running back, but the coaching staff didn't bring Jenkins in for his senior season only to have him ride the bench. Both will likely split time. Mason looks like the third guy right now and is the speed demon of the group. Brooks saw occasional action last season and will likely play a similar role this season. Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks signed on Wednesday, but Leach traditionally gives the bulk of the work to the top two guys, so unless either freshman can break into the two-deep they are both likely to redshirt.
Mayle projects as an outside receiver and while it's tough to say whether he will play the X or the Z, I'm going to slot him into the X for now. Mayle will play, but I still expect Dominique Williams to be the starter. He has the advantage of being in the system for a year and as we saw in the Apple Cup, he can really play. That said, he is going to get a strong push from Mayle and Kristoff Williams.
As we saw last season, the coaching staff will shuffle the wide receivers around quite a bit. It's possible some of the players at other positions will be moved to Y, but this would be the early projection. I would not be surprised at all to see Cracraft play next season as the depth chart at inside receiver is very unsettled giving him plenty of opportunity to earn a spot.
On first glance, this should be a very solid group, especially if Galvin can stay healthy. Bartolone was solid as a freshman and Lewis has the potential to be very good. Galvin should be recovered from the wrist/arm injury he suffered during the season. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the players from this group shift over to the Y spot.
Marks and Myers should lead the way here, unless the coaching staff decides to try Marks on the inside again. Beyond them, depth is a little thin which could lead to Williams fighting for playing time at Z and X. Marks and Myers traded the starting job back-and-forth last season so it will be interesting to see if one can take control this season. If one is able to pull significantly ahead of the other, the No. 2 could factor in at other spots.
Eklund took control of the starting job last season and played decently well. He'll likely open fall camp as the starter, but should be pushed by the three players coming off of redshirts. Any number of freshman could factor in here as well, but unless one wins a starting job they are likely to redshirt. If anyone was going to do it, my bet would be on Riley Sorenson. Based on talent alone, some of the incoming freshman are probably more talented than players above them, but remember, Leach said some of the redshirting players last year could have potentially started yet they resisted burning their redshirt.
Fullington started the majority of his first three seasons in Pullman and while he's had his issues at times, I find it highly unlikely he doesn't start in 2013. Dotson was the No. 2 left guard at times last season, but still managed to redshirt. Dotson could also factor in at right guard which could change things.
No. 1 - Elliot Bosch (RSSR)
No. 2 - Zach Brevick (RSSR)
No. 3 - Carlos Freeman (FR)
No. 4 - Denzell Dotson (RSFR)
Bosch may have been WSU's best offensive lineman last season. Considering none of the other players have much, if any, game experience Bosch has a significant lead on the starting job. That said, Carlos Freeman could be the future at the position. He may still redshirt, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's in the two-deep all season to get him the necessary experience to take over the job in 2014.
Rodgers started most of last season, moving back-and-forth between right guard and right tackle. He seemed to play better on the inside than he did at tackle, so that would be my early guess for where he starts 2013. Goetz also saw game action at right guard and should be in the mix. Sale and Dotson round out the depth chart. Once again a freshman or two may be good enough to factor in here but the coaching staff will likely resist any urge to play them and redshirt everyone.
No. 1 - Rico Forbes (RSSR)
No. 2 - Jacob Seydel (JR)
No. 3 - Sam Flor (RSFR)
No. 4 - Pierson Villarrubia (RSFR)
Forbes was on his way to winning the right tackle job last season before a knee injury derailed his season. Assuming he is healthy, I'd give him the early advantage to win the job in 2013. That said, I would not be surprised at all if Seydel started at some point. The more I read about Seydel, the more i see people talking him up. He could factor at really any spot except center, but for now I'll stick him at right tackle.
So how does Washington State shape up? Well, for one thing it's a good feeling to be able to compile a complete offensive line depth chart without filling it with walk-ons. There are decent numbers at really every position except for quarterback. Running back appears to be the deepest as in most years Wicks or Morrow and possibly both would play.
The Cougars are also looking very solid at outside receiver. Williams-Mayle and Marks-Myers should form very solid duos on the outside. There may not be a star in the receiver group, at least not this season, but the receiver group is shaping up to be the full of average to slightly above players. Not a bad place to be.
Defensive depth chart coming soon.