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Spring begins anew today on the Palouse

Spring practice starts today in Pullman.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Spring has arrived and so has Cougar football. Spring practice starts today at 3:30 in Pullman. The reigning Sun Bowl champions will be back at it, trying to build on last year’s success with a number of returning starters including stars like Luke Falk and Gabe Marks. There will be numerous position battles to held throughout the depth chart. Here a few storylines to watch for:

Back-up QB:

Peyton Bender and Tyler Hilinski figure to have rousing battle this spring to see who is the next man up behind undisputed starter Luke Falk. Bender saw action in four games last year as a redshirt freshman, performing solidly against Colorado and UCLA, but really struggling against Washington and Portland State. Hilinski was a top recruit out of California last year who has already been through one spring practice and the coaches are high on him. With both them having some experience in the system, we should find out this spring who will emerge.

Starting linebackers:

Peyton Pelluer is entrenched on the inside,  and we should expect Logan Tago, Frank Luvu, and Dylan Hanser to emerge at the other positions. Chandler Leiniu and Greg Hoyd will also be given every opportunity to step up in this currently very thin linebacking corps. Their performance will determine whether WSU will need to turn to the incoming freshman and junior college recruits at these positions. Things are very fluid when it comes to this position group.

Early arrivals:

Justus Rogers, Isaiah Johnson and Jalen Thompson are already on campus after graduating early from high school. Rogers will trying to show he should remain at quarterback, rather than say moving to outside linebacker. Johnson will be in the mix of the vacant outside receiver spot with Dom Williams' graduation. Thompson will try to crack a fairly deep secondary group.

These practices will all culminate with the Spring Game April 23 at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane at 1 p.m. Great to have Cougar football back!


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