clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Roundtable: WSU football releases week one depth chart

New, 29 comments

WSU released its depth chart for the season opener vs. Eastern Washington. Let's break it down.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

College football is close to happening. We know this because the calendar says so, but also because Washington State released its depth chart for the season opener against Eastern Washington this Saturday.

So, back by popular demand, we bring you the CougCenter roundtable, where Brian Anderson, Kyle Sherwood, Michael Preston and Britton Ransford take to Slack to ramble about the depth chart below and what it all means.

EWU Depth Chart

********

Bkransford
The most disappointing thing to me is the lack of the "OR" designation at quarterback, to be honest.

goldenthroat
It was a weekly highlight for me, be damned whether there was even an ounce of truth to it or not

brian_anderson
It's kind of hard to make a Heisman campaign and not be the starter on a weekly depth chart

goldenthroat
There was at least some competition last spring and a little last fall for the starting spot, I suppose. Where as Falk has had it on lock down since he took a knee in El Paso

bkransford
Where's Boobie?

brian_anderson
Browsing in incognito mode

bkransford
There's a sports bra joke in there somewhere.

sherwood
BOOBIE COMIN’

brian_anderson
He can probably be named "Person Not On The Depth Chart That Will Score The Most Points And Wreck The Most Shop"
if we're handing out Depth Chart awards
Also not listed -- Keith Harrington
Think there's any roster Tom Foolery to not listing them, or is it just not wanting to go three deep?

bkransford
Last year they listed Harrington and Morrow behind Wicks as "OR" so they kind of listed a three-deep.

goldenthroat
They’ve got three deep at X with Patmon and Dimry at OR
Only other place is at PR

brian_anderson
Right. So you're both going with Tom Foolery?

bkransford
They're definitely going to find Harrington ways to get the ball, whether that be at H-receiver, where he lined up late in camp, or at running back.


goldenthroat

As long as it’s not at strong safety, I’m happy

bkransford
Harrington played quarterback in high school. Bender leaves, now he's not on the running back depth chart? You never know.

goldenthroat
Maybe some Tom Foolery but coaches have to know he exists. Not that Leach really gives to much of a crap about the depth chart

bkransford
Harrington will move around, I assume, so no real position on the depth chart. Unleashing Boobie on fools is the real Tom Foolery.

sherwood
BOOBIE COMIN’

brian_anderson
Yeah, I just can't gaze into the crystal ball and see too much of a reason to leave Williams off. Harrington it could be more a "we don't know where we're gonna play him yet" sort of a deal, so I get that.

goldenthroat
Four freshmen listed in the two deep for offensive line, that’s at least a small surprise for me
Not that I know a crap load about who they’re favoring there

brian_anderson
How about a true freshman at center behind The Wizard?

bkransford
Mauigoa as the No. 2 at center was one of the first things that jumped out to me. It's such a big jump from Samoan football to college football, and having arrived just this summer, he must have REALLY impressed to make that big of a move up the depth chart.
Is it worrisome? For sure. We're talking about a really sought-after recruit, though, in Mauigoa, so it's encouraging, if anything, because I think the offensive line is one of the deeper groups on this roster.

brian_anderson
I think the other competition at center was Carlos Freeman, who was a pretty solid recruit out of Oklahoma a few years ago.

bkransford
Yeah, Freeman was one of the higher-rated linemen in Leach's second class. Big, smart kid but hasn't been able to elevate to that next level. A kid that has elevated to that level? Noah Osur-Myers listed behind Middleton at right guard.

brian_anderson
That also caught my eye. Of all the position groups on Leach's team, you would've thought offensive line would be the toughest to crack as a freshman. They've recruited that position so well over the past few years, seeing these younger guys up there gives a little hint at their quality.
Both Drew Norvell at LG and Osur-Meyers at RG.

goldenthroat
Osur-Myers was a big surprise for me

bkransford
And another redshirt freshman, Cedric Bigge-Duren at left tackle, though I think he's a guy that, if an injury occurred to Dillard or O'Connell, would realistically be the next man up.

goldenthroat
I do know one thing for sure: I feel a lot better about the depth up front than I have at any point in Leach’s tenure, which we can say about a lot of positions but especially up there

brian_anderson
Starters average 322.6 pounds, that would be close to, if not the heaviest offensive line in the conference last year. Size isn't everything, but it sure is nice to have

bkransford
A quick look at the depth chart shows ~16 scholarship offensive linemen and handful of capable walk-ons, including Norvell.

goldenthroat
Remember when a 265 pound guy started at LT? I like 2016 much better

sherwood
It was a gritty 265 though

goldenthroat
So was I before my New Years Resolution (weight loss humble brag)

bkransford
The starters' average weight on the offensive line is up 13 pounds from a year ago.

brian_anderson
A big part of that is Cody O'Connell's 354 pounds stepping into the starting spot

bkransford
That's true, but Sorenson is up 11 pounds, Madison is up 15 and Middleton is up 9 -- not to mention Dillard up 30 pounds since he arrived. They eatin' over there.

brian_anderson
Training Table doin work in the offseason

bkransford
Anyway, how about that Gabe Marks kid? He any good?

brian_anderson
This is where Sherwood uses reverse-jinx motivation, I think.

goldenthroat
He’s okay, IMO

bkransford
We all pretty comfortable with Martin, Jr., Cracraft and Lewis and Marks?

goldenthroat
Very
I’d be pretty damn comfortable with the backups, too

sherwood
In this offense, i'd be comfortable with the four of us out there.
just kidding, I'm terrible

brian_anderson
I really like Johnson backing up Marks. I think that kid could have a real breakout year.

bkransford
Johnson-MACK!

brian_anderson
There's probably only 30ish recs to go his way, but I'm pretty excited to see what he can do with them

goldenthroat
I always forget Juju Smith-SCHUSTER
Isaiah Johnson is gunna be stupidly good when he gets on the field and I’m very, very excited for him

bkransford
Someone needs to reassure me that the depth is fine, though. Would have been really nice to have a cooperative Priester still in the mix at receiver, given the amount of inexperience behind the big four.
And I know, I know – Patmon and Johnson-Mack have reportedly looked really good, but that's still just practice. And while Dimry appears to be back, he may be somewhat of a one-trick pony in the red zone and can't seem to stay healthy.

goldenthroat
I, uh, I cannot do that
There’s a lot of players there! I don’t know if they’re really good or not

brian_anderson
I think inside receivers will be fine. Sweet was stellar as a freshman, really getting into his stride by the end of the season, and Harrington can help out there as well. Thompson is now a scholarshipped rock-solid behind Cracraft. And really, they'll probably be doing a ton of two-back this season anyway.
You bring up X, which is a little worrisome. Dimry needs to stay healthy for a few weeks before I can put a lot of confidence in expecting him to see the field on Saturdays, outside of that I hear he's one of the quicker guys in and out of breaks, which would make him pretty lethal even outside the redzone. Patmon will do freshman things, at times, like all of WSU's first year receivers have done, going back through Mayle, Marks, and Martin Jr.

goldenthroat
There’s a lot to replace out there in Dom Williams, too. It wouldn’t surprise me if the production gets spread around a little more, at least this year

brian_anderson
It'll look like 2013 and Mayle, but on the opposite side
12-14 recs at Z and 130 yards or so, with about 9 recs at X and 90-110 yards or so. Per game.
If I had a guess

bkransford
Are we ever going to see the H-position produce as much as it did during the Tech days?

goldenthroat
What is driving the lack of production there?

brian_anderson
I don't know that they will. That position feasted on backers that weren't great at pass coverage, now teams have Nickel packages that defend it a little better.
You really need a guy that can manufacture his own yardage after the catch, and they haven't quite found that yet either, though

sherwood
Congrats on finding an adjective for Sweet other than Sweet.  We earned our substantial pay checks here.

bkransford
Defense!

brian_anderson
clap clap
How we feel about that DL depth?

bkransford
Well, you see... Um, I don't feel great.
I'm reallllly worried about a clogger in the middle should Barber get injured/slow down. And we still aren't hearing a lot of Tapa buzz, though he's listed as the No. 2 there.


goldenthroat

Turrible

sherwood
Rien Long has a year of eligibility

brian_anderson
What happened with Tapa, Britton? He had a lot of hype as a recruit.

bkransford
He was an animal at Burbank and I think he can be really good in small doses, but from what I've seen/heard, he's not going to be able to play at a high level multiple drives a game, which I think is a conditioning thing. They may have to play small in the middle at times.

goldenthroat
Would reeeealllllly love it if that kid who I'm forgetting had qualified

bkransford
You're thinking of Toki.

goldenthroat
Yes, him
They're really one injury away from being in trouble and that's scary
Which is what Britton already said. I pay very close attention

brian_anderson
Do we know much about Tago or Hanser? Replacing Rush production will be tough

sherwood
They're really one injury away from being in trouble.

goldenthroat
YOU'RE HILARIOUS SHERWOOD

bkransford
I really like Rush, actually. Tago showed some promising things and Hanser has put on a ton of good weight without sacrificing any speed. They'll get after the quarterback. I think they're pretty set at tackle, too, with HERCULES and Oguayo.
Oguayo is my sleeper this year. I think he can be really special.

sherwood
Does your phone autocorrect Hercules to HERCULES too?
I have the same issue with TOTCHOS

brian_anderson
Ekuale really needs to be a force up front, think he can step into the Vaeao/Cooper role?

goldenthroat
If Barber stays healthy, is it possible for him to win more than one Heisman

sherwood
What comes after Heisman?

bkransford
PIESMAN

sherwood
Sold

brian_anderson
a 3yr $30 million dollar contract with the Jags

bkransford
Ekuale can do a lot of cool things. May be the best all-around defensive lineman they have right now. It's all about health. I think they'll be fine if they stay healthy, but can't count on it.

brian_anderson
Aaaand behind him we got a transfer in McBroom, who coaches seem to be excited about

bkransford
OKLAHOMA STRENGTH

sherwood
So you're saying they're really one injury away from being in trouble.

bkransford
I don't think anyone saw Dotson over Luvu.

brian_anderson
I hear a lot of "Luvu got a new bike" comments...

bkransford
Bikes are the worst.

brian_anderson
Dotson had been getting a lot of good press during camp though. I think he's a better fit at backer than he was at safety, chasing fast guys around 20 yards downfield
Plus it fits with the whole "we are stupid fast at every position on defense" theme they're going for

bkransford
Certainly brings more speed to the position with Pelluer and Tago/Hanser.

sherwood
How fast is he on the bike?

bkransford
Paris Taylor, behind Pelluer, a pretty athletic, too. Injured his knee right about the time he arrived. Fifth year senior now, and he'll see plenty of the field, though I don't know enough about him on the field to definitively say MIKE is deep. I previously though that Luvu would move to the middle to spare Pelluer should he need it, but bikes and stuff.
Taylor's another former safety, too.

brian_anderson
I remember going to a practice a couple years ago and thinking Taylor was our best "off the bus" athlete on defense
He certainly looks the part.

bkransford
That's half the battle, obviously!
Nickel is suddenly in good hands, which is good!

brian_anderson
BULLDOG
Who would've thought that kid would have the season he did last year? Pretty incredible.

bkransford
You could make a strong case that he was the MVP of that defense.

brian_anderson
It really doesn't work unless you have a versatile guy at Nickel that can do all the things Henry was asked to do
Having Parker go in behind him (6-1, 185) takes away some of the run-stopping ability, and makes me a little nervous

bkransford
Bulldogs don't come off the field

goldenthroat
Are we worried about defending the run this year? They got better overall last year but were still barely mediocre against the rush

brian_anderson
Oddly enough they were pretty solid against between the tackles run teams -- Stanford, UCLA, Wyoming, Rutgers. They got eaten alive by mobile QBs. And even some not-really-all-that-mobile QBs that decided to run. Plays with a QB rush over 10 yards; PSU (7), Oregon (2), OSU (4), UofA (3), Stanford (3), UCLA (3), CU (1), UW (1). The read-option / inverted veer PSU ran gave them all sorts of problems, but was more or less kept in check outside of the occasional massive break for the rest of the season. Collins, Lockie, Randall, Hogan (twice), and Rosen all busted for 30+ yards.
so. yes.

bkransford
But I think we're less worried about the secondary, yes? There's a lot going on back there.

brian_anderson
I think that position group will turn some heads this year. They're really good.

goldenthroat
Anywhere we’re most surprised? Thompson at SS is at least a small one, yeah?

bkransford
Eh, I wasn't too surprised to see Thompson hold on there. He ended spring practices as the guy at strong safety, according to most reports. Then Taylor shows up, takes a hack at it, impresses, but then is listed at cornerback. I think he's just that good.

brian_anderson
Thompson was a little bit of a surprise to me, just because of his youth. I thought it might take a few games, like until conference play, for him to earn his way there. Pretty awesome to see him get it done right out of camp.

bkransford
Molton and Broughton appear to have won jobs out of camp, if you're one to trust the depth chart. Thoughts?

goldenthroat
Happy to see Broughton living up to that potential

brian_anderson
I thought Molton would be playing opposite Pippins, but apparently the switch was made last week or so in camp. Speaks to how well Broughton has developed.

goldenthroat
Molton might be as close to a lock down corner as we've had in ... well, a long time

bkransford
Same! Broughton was really hamstrung by arriving late into camp last year, and it's tough to play catch up during the season. Still found the field and really progressed having been in the system for a year.

brian_anderson
Side note: Pippins is my Mom's favorite player because she loves his dancing between plays

bkransford
Pippins tweeted that MJ was his idol growing up, so that's where the moves come from
This is hard hitting stuff

brian_anderson
I just broke out QB rush attempts, what's up

goldenthroat
I also like Pippins' dance moves

bkransford
So, say that Shalom is "happy, healthy and just fine." Next man up is Hunter Dale (or Charleston White, possibly).
Or you could see Robert Taylor, who has been mixing in at cornerback (behind Broughton now) and safety. He's going to force his way on the field, one way or another.

goldenthroat
White seemed to be acclimating well to safety, at least that's how the practice reports made it seem.
I'm never against just getting your best athletes out there

bkransford
Taylor's one of them!

brian_anderson
Shalom's physicality will be extremely hard to replace, I think Robert Taylor will eventually be able to fill whatever role they want him to on defense, but not having Luani early in the season would really hurt

bkransford
Dominos sucks.

brian_anderson
You think the depth chart is any indicator whether or not he'll play?

bkransford
I wouldn't be surprised if he played and I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't play. I assume he sits, as it sounds like he wasn't at practice late last week, so I think this is a "these guys did the best in camp" chart.
So, no. I don't think the depth chart indicates much of anything.

goldenthroat
Agree completely with Britton, it doesn't mean anything from a "will he or won't he play" perspective

brian_anderson
I dunno, I think it's hard to look at Dotson over Luvu and assume it has something to do with needing to ride a bike, and look at Luani listed as the starter and not assume that means something too
Leach isn't particular about depth charts, or even care about them much, I just think it'd be an easy opportunity for him to punish Luani, if had the intention of doing that

bkransford
Fair point. And it's not like the depth chart is completely meaningless. Even though "Falk was listed as "OR" all last season," there was still plenty of changes made week to week that played out on the field.
Anyway, overall thoughts on the depth chart?

goldenthroat
Nothing that jumps out at you as "WOAH!" which is a good thing

brian_anderson
Fossum returning punts!

goldenthroat
Oh, almost forgot about that!

bkransford
Oops! Special forces

goldenthroat
Powell earned himself a scholie, which he deserves and Charme punting again is no surprise

bkransford
I think you'll see Taylor return some punts this year, too. Half his JUCO highlights were him roasting fools
And a little Boobie on kick return? I like.

brian_anderson
And they are fun highlights. Skyler Thomas and Renard Bell, who'll both probably redshirt, had insane PR highlights too. I remember hearing a bit about Williams returning kick-offs, think Martin Jr. stays back there with him?

goldenthroat
I like Boobie anywhere I can get Boobie

bkransford
I think we're all team Boobie.
Yeah, Martin and Boobie. Sounds like a movie about an old grumpy man and his happy-go-lucky dog.

goldenthroat
I think Walter Matthau was in that one

brian_anderson
No, Britton's talking about Up, I think
There will be a special teams TD this year. I feel it in my bones.

bkransford
Opening kick vs. Eastern.  Book it.

goldenthroat
10/10, would appreciate a 7 point lead without having the offense take the field

brian_anderson
What odds you give this being the depth chart for the Apple Cup (not considering injuries etc)? Where you see the most potential movement?

goldenthroat
Exactly the same? Somewhere near zero.
I think the weaknesses are on defense and with a lot of talent gone from linebacker but still plenty left, I'll say there
In terms of improvement

bkransford
Ideally this is the depth chart I want for the Apple Cup, because that means things progressed nicely.  I think you'll see the most movement in the secondary, playing with who meshes well together, not necessarily bad play. And then at linebacker, I'd like to see an Aaron Porter/Greg Hoyd emerge. There's not a lot of bodies on the defensive line, but a guy like Mattox that could come in and make some plays would be fun. On offense, I don't see a lot happening.

brian_anderson
I'm thinking the same. Can see the secondary shuffling around a bit until they find a groove

goldenthroat
Offensively things may be exactly the same, again, not considering injury

bkransford
And we're never punting, yes?

brian_anderson
Never. And especially not fake punting.

goldenthroat
Hell no

sherwood
I go out to get some pizza and miss the whole damn 2nd half.
I WANTED TO TALK BOOBIE