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Cougs get back on the football field with first practice of spring


Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Even if the weather doesn't show it, spring has arrived in Pullman as the football team practiced for the first time this year, Thursday. After three lowly months we're now getting the first glimpse at the promising 2016 Cougar football team.

The Spokesman-Review's Jacob Thorpe reported on yesterday's practice, and one position group in particular stood out. With a pair of new coaches and some positional shakeup the wide receivers may be the most interesting group to watch this spring.

A major story line coming out of day one is where junior receiver Kyrin Priester will line up. Many expected Priester to start at the X this season, after backing up Dom Williams there in 2015. However, Thursday, Priester was playing inside at H according to Thorpe (Cougfan tweeted he was at Y), while Tavares Martin Jr. got the start at X.

Last season Martin saw significant playing time as a true freshman backing up Gabe Marks, but Priester moving inside turned a lot of heads. In the long term this might not mean anything. Priester could be back outside tomorrow to stay, but it is something to keep an eye on throughout spring. This may be an effort to get Marks, Martin, Priester, and River Cracraft all on the field together, certainly a fearsome quartet of receivers.

Thursday also marked the first practice for new receivers coaches Dave Nichol and JaMarcus Shephard. Per Thorpe, both seem to bring more energy to the field than their predecessors. It was also early enrollee Isaiah Johnson's first practice. The big receiver is already making plays.

On the offensive line, the incumbents returned to their starting spots while Andre Dillard and Cody O'Connell got the nod on the left side of the line. Dillard was the presumed replacement at left tackle after filling in for Joe Dahl there last season.

On the defensive side there are a healthy number of new starters, and I'm sure will we see some shakeup before the season starts. Former cornerback Charleston White played alongside Shalom Luani at safety in Taylor Taliulu's old spot. This will be another fun position to watch for the next month with Suli Hameed potentially in the mix. Thorpe also reported that Dylan Hanser started at rush linebacker while Paris Taylor looks to be the Jeremiah Allison replacement after day one.

Here's some highlights:



Tacoma Weekly | Bellarmine’s Glueck is walking a different path
The two-time Tacoma Weekly All-City selection at middle linebacker will be packing his bags for the Palouse and donning the crimson and grey of the Washington State Cougars next fall.

What's goin' on: Washington State spring practice begins - Pacific Takes
Wake up everyone! Cougar football is back! Who will be protecting the blind side? Where does Grinch go from here? What's the best uniform combo? All that and more.

CFC TV: Moving inside to the Y receiver spot suits Kyrin Priester just fine - Washington State - Scout
Kyrin Priester is moving inside to the Y receiver -- and he’s thrilled about it. CFC’s Tyler Baker asks Priester about the move after the first day of spring ball.

Video: Luke Falk after practice | The Spokesman-Review
Quarterback Luke Falk after WSU's first practice.

Video: Gabe Marks after practice | The Spokesman-Review
Gabe Marks holds court with reporters after WSU's first practice.

Video: Mike Leach after practice | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars held their first practice of spring. Then, Mike Leach talked to the media.

Report from WSU's first spring practice | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State's football team took the field on Thursday, and was promptly greeted with driving hail.

Men's Basketball:

WSU all over the Pac-12 All-Academic teams | The Spokesman-Review
The Washington State men's basketball team had two players earn first team All-Academic honors, and placed two more on the second team.