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WSU football set to kickoff spring practice Wednesday

It’s only March, but it’s already football season (kind of).

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 19: Washington State interim head coach Jake Dickert walks into the stadium prior to a PAC 12 conference matchup between the Arizona Wildcats and the Washington State Cougars on November 19, 2021, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA. Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Last season wasn’t an abnormally long season for Washington State football... It just felt like it.

From COVID question marks, to the ongoing vaccine controversy, to a mid-season coaching change, injuries and so much more, the 2021 campaign was a jampacked one for Washington State. After everything that happened, new head coach Jake Dickert and the Cougs were probably very thankful to see that offseason roll around.

After three months of off the field moves, it’s finally time to get back on the field. The Cougars will kick off their spring camp, the first under Dickert, today in Pullman. The Cougs will have plenty of returners on both sides of the ball when they hit the field, including 42 letter winners — 15 on offense, 24 on defense and three on special teams. But the most exciting aspect of the 2022 Cougs might be their additions. The team has added a few key pieces, led by quarterback transfer Cameron Ward. With all of those new pieces, along with a mostly new offensive scheme, Dickert says this spring is all about setting the tone.

“That’s what spring is great for: to take another step,” Dickert said Tuesday in a press conference via the Spokesman Review. “I thought we did a great job over the last eight weeks of building a culture. I think we’ve got a tight team and a team that understands who we need and want to be, and we’re heading in that direction every day.”

As mentioned, one of the most exciting parts of this team will be the offense. New offensive coordinator Eric Morris brings with him a record breaking quarterback in Ward and a new form of the air raid offense that’s sure to bring some new wrinkles... Like a tight end on the Palouse for the first time in over a decade. In his press conference, Dickert says the offense will be the thing fans should watch this most over the next month of spring ball.

“Our depth at wide receiver. Obviously, our consistency on the offensive line,” Dickert said as he highlighted the unit’s various storylines. “How our tight end position evolves, and Cam and that quarterback room’s leadership.”

On the other side of the ball, WSU has the advantage of keeping most of Dickert’s scheme that has been in place since he arrived at the school in 2020. Of course, things will be tweaked under new coordinator Brian Ward. While key players like Jahad Woods and Jaylen Watson have left, the team does return plenty of talent up front. Nearly every member of the team’s defensive line returns while Travion Brown is back to lead a young core at linebacker.

“We need to continue to make strides on our defensive front. That’s how you become a dominant defense,” Dickert said. “To have all those guys back, we’re challenging some of those veteran guys more than ever.”

Dickert knows that there’s a lot to do this spring. And he plans on making the most of every practice.

“Every second of this 20 hours the NCAA gives us is going to be used, and from our standpoint, has to be really, really efficient,” Dickert said.

The Cougs will hold 15 practice sessions, capped off with the Crimson and Gray Spring Game on April 23 in Martin Stadium.

New-look Washington State football team launches into first spring camp of the Jake Dickert era | The Spokesman-Review
PULLMAN – Throughout his 20-minute chat with local media members, Jake Dickert repeated three words that encapsulate the theme of his Washington State football team’s upcoming spring camp: process, evolve, develop.

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