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WSU football fall camp preview

Fall camp kicks off Sunday for the Washington State football team so it's time to ramp up the football coverage. WSU goes into camp this year with plenty of questions while desperately searching for improvement. Let's take a look at what the Cougs need to find out before the season kicks off in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

  • Can the offensive line gel and learn the scheme before the season? Due to injuries and class schedules, the starters on the offensive line didn't spend a ton of time together during spring practice. They need to pick up the scheme and learn to work together in the next few weeks for WSU to have any hope on offense.
  • Which wide receiver will step up? With only four scholarship wide receivers returning, some of the incoming freshman will need to step in and play right away. JC transfer Isiah Barton and freshman Bobby Ratliff are the leading candidates, but we won't know much until they hit the field.
  • How healthy is James Montgomery? Montgomery has a chance to be the feel good story of the year. More importantly, he's the Cougs biggest hope in the backfield. WSU needs Montgomery to step in and carry the load at running back. It sounds like he's up to the task so far.
  • Where's the defensive line depth? We had depth a month ago, but the loss of Dan Spitz and potential loss of Bernard Wolfgramm (hey, Wolfgramm's good to go!) coupled with the losses from last year add some question marks this fall. JC transfers Al Lapuaho and Steven Hoffart should add depth, but WSU is still a bit thin, considering the injury history.
  • This isn't a question, but more something to watch. If you're around Pullman, you'll be able to hear the defensive backfield before you see them. The safeties love to hit and have placed an emphasis on big plays. LeAndre Daniels, Chima Nwachukwu, Jamal Atofau, and Casey Locker are all exciting to watch. The corners are also looking strong, with Aire Justin emerging as a consistent force in the Spring.
  • Who's going to play linebacker? With much of the starting linebacking corps missing the Spring, the rest of the group was able to get valuable reps and should provide great depth. They're a talented and deep bunch, even with the loss of Andre Barrington. Louis Bland's return should also make an impact.
  • Who's going to kick? Nico Grasu is the returning kicker, but the kicking game was suspect during the spring. The kickers need to be more consistent and a little competition may help.
The time before fall camp is a time for hope. WSU has a starter entrenched at the QB spot and a defense that's young and exciting. A nice dose of improvement would go a long way for the Cougs.