Spring is in the air but it's going to seem like fall in Pullman in a few weeks as spring practice gets under on March 24th. Here's the full schedule if you're in Pullman and you'd like to take a peak from the top of the library or the CUB elevator tower.
The practices follow WSU's traditional schedule of going on Tuesday, Thursday and then Saturday. Those practice times on Saturdays remain TBA because the coaching staff will usually run scrimmages in Martin Stadium which can happen in the morning or afternoon. The Saturday you're probably most concerned concerned about though is April 23rd, which is the Spring Game at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane. The Crimson and Gray game will get underway at 1 p.m. (see you guys there, I'll be the guy in gray) but if you can't make it, Pac-12 Washington will be carrying the game ... probably.
Offensively, we're pretty light on the intrigue front besides seeing what some of the spring semester enrollees like Isaiah Johnson and Justus Rodgers can offer at wide receiver and quarterback respectively. We may also get a small look at whether Keith Harrington ends up moving out to receiver or if the coaches use him in more of a hybrid role but don't expect to find out too much.
You're going to get your first really big introduction to James Williams at running back and ho boy, by every indication is he a good one. Otherwise, outside of seeing what you really have in Kyrin Priester who will be expected to step in for Dom Williams, offense is in very, very solid and good shape heading into the spring.
Defense is where things get at least a little on the interesting side. Alex Grinch did one heck of a job turning that unit around last year but he's losing some of his most dependable players. Destiny Vaeao and Darryl Paulo are both gone up front along with Jeremiah Allison and Kache Palacio at linebacker. It's not all bad news though, Daniel Ekuale, Hercules Mata'afa (1st Team All-Freshman in your media guide, 1st Team All-Name in your hearts), Jeremiah Mitchell and Kingston Hernandez are all back but it will still be interesting to see how they plug the 600 pound hole Vaeao and Paulo have left. Ngalu Tapa could go a long way to doing that but the coaches have been and likely still remain a little worried about his conditioning.
At linebacker, the very good news is Peyton Pelluer and Logan Tago are still around, along with Parker Henry, Chandler Leniu and Frankie Luvu. There's also plenty of talent on it's way in with Chima Onyeukwu (Note to Jacob Thorpe: ask Leach if he has learned how to say his name.) and Suliasi Tamaivena transferring from junior colleges to try and shore up the gaps but they won't get here until the fall. For now, keep an eye on everybody in the front seven through the spring to see how things develop there.
Football is (kinda) around the corner. Revel in it. We'll also be bringing back the CougCenter Hour to guide you through the month that is spring football.