Good news for the Washington State Cougars defense today with word that redshirt senior linebacker Peyton Pelluer has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. Pelluer suffered an unspecified season-ending foot injury against the Oregon State Beavers last season.
Following Pelluer’s injury, we saw Nate DeRider and Jahad Woods fill in more than admirably in his absence, with Woods most notably causing a game-sealing strip sack of Sam Darnold in WSU’s upset of the USC Trojans at Martin Stadium. DeRider was injured last season, necessitating the arrival of Justus Rogers perhaps earlier than the coaches would want but he still showed flashes of good things to come.
Pelluer provides, at the very least, depth at a position that was in desperate need of it last season. But assuming Woods stays at WILL (or whatever equivalent position new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys deploys), Pelluer will likely be the presumed starter at MIKE unless Rogers makes some significant strides this offseason.
Pelluer combined for nearly 200 tackles in 2015 and 2016 to go along with 18 tackles for a loss. His second career interception last year against the Boise State Broncos was returned for a crucial touchdown in the Cougs’ thrilling triple overtime comeback win. Pelluer has already earned his bachelor’s degree and will work towards his master’s in teaching during his final season.