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Cougs set to start spring practice Thursday

The wait is (nearly) over. Cougar football is (almost) back (kind of).

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Spring arrived on the calendar just a couple of days ago. But any true football fan knows that spring doesn't truly arrive until the pads start popping and spring football gets underway.

For those fans the good news is: the wait is almost over.

Washington State formally announced their 2017 spring practice schedule on Tuesday. We've known the dates for about a month now, but today, the university added practice times:

Thur. 3/23

2:30 PM

Sat. 3/25 TBA
Tue. 3/28 2:30 PM
Thur. 3/30 2:30 PM
Sat. 4/1 TBA
Tue. 4/4 2:30 PM
Thur. 4/6 2:30 PM
Sat. 4/8 TBA
Tue. 4/11 2:30 PM
Thur. 4/13 2:30 PM
Sat. 4/15 TBA
Tue. 4/18 2:30 PM
Thur. 4/20 2:30 PM
Sat. 4/22

2 PM

Crimson and Gray Game

Tue. 4/25 2:30 PM

All the practices will take place in Martin Stadium and on Rogers Field, with the April 22nd Crimson and Gray game once again heading north to Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium. That game will once again be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

One of the main talking points when the Cougs hit the field Thursday will be all the returners on offense. The team returns their all-conference, record breaking quarterback Luke Falk, their unanimous all-american (and honorable mention all Pac-12) offensive lineman Cody O'Connell, and their three headed monster at running back, including James Williams, Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks.

But as nice as all the returners are in those positions, another talking point will be the losses at the wide receiver position. Gone are Gabe Marks and River Cracraft. Who will step up and fill those shoes? From returning transfer Kyrin Priester to one of last seasons underrated targets, Tavares Martin, the list is long. It should be interesting to see who takes a step forward in 15 practices this spring.

But the story lines don't stop there. Can the Cougar defense take another step forward in 2017? How will the new assistant coaches mesh in the program? Who will fill holes on the offensive line? What questionable comment will Mike Leach say next? How much beer will you guys drink at the CougCenter spring game tailgate?

There are so many questions to address... And the answers will start to come tomorrow afternoon in Pullman.

Football

Cougar Football Opens Spring Practice Thursday - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
The Washington State University football team will begin its spring practice schedule, Thursday, March 23, the first of 15 practice dates that conclude April 25.

WSU Spring Football: Wide receiver the biggest glaring hole in Cougars’ offense | The Seattle Times
Quarterback Luke Falk is one of seven starters returning on offense for a WSU team coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in more than a decade.

Washington State offers 2018 3-star offensive lineman - Pacific Takes
The Cougars are the sixth Pac-12 team to offer Bishop Gorman’s Jacob Isaia.

Basketball

Cougs Raring To Host UC Davis In The WNIT Round Of 16 Thursday Night - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
WSU will host the 3rd round Thursday at 7 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum.

WBK: Cougs host UC Davis Thur. night in WNIT 3rd round matchup

The Washington State women's basketball team hosts UC Davis Thur. night in the 3rd round of the WNIT.