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Spring football continues at Washington State

The Cameron Ward Show begins.

PULLMAN, WA - MARCH 24: Washington State Cougars football program takes to Rogers Field for spring practice
Cameron Ward, ladies and gentlemen.
Jack Ellis/CougCenter

We interrupt your postseason basketball viewing to bring you some football content. Your Washington State Cougars take the field today for the third spring practice, as the team got things started on Wednesday, bright and early. In fact, all practices during the week will begin at either 6:50 a.m. or 7 a.m. Hope they got a good night’s sleep.

Of course, this season is the first with Jake Dickert leading the team without an interim tag. It’s also a return of sorts to an Air Raid-style offense, which now features a tight end under new offensive coordinator Eric Morris. WSU has some tight ends on its spring roster, including former Rush Linebacker Moon Ashby.

Cameron Ward is in the spotlight as the new hot shot quarterback. The FCS-to-FBS transfer is in the driver’s seat for the starting position and presumably will slide in relatively smoothly, given that he already knows the offense after playing for Morris and University of The Incarnate Word.

WSU seems somewhat solid at wide receiver. Remember: Renard Bell is expected back in the fall, and he’s apparently practicing this spring in a limited fashion. Bell is coming off an ACL injury suffered prior to last season.

The Cougs will be relatively green at running back and on the offensive line. Liam Ryan and Abe Lucas graduated, and Brian Greene transferred to Michigan State. We all saw how the patchwork offensive line worked in the Sun Bowl. That squad has a ways to go, and hopefully it comes together during spring ball and over the summer. It does return three players with experience: Jarrett Kingston, Ma’ake Fifita and Konner Gomness.

On defense, the Cougs need to fill five spots lost to graduations. The defensive line should have the same names returning last year, but beyond them, there are jobs up for grabs. The linebacker position is open, though Travion Brown is the returner with the most experience. Nevada transfer Daiyan Henley is also practicing this spring. I’m intrigued by Francisco Mauigoa.

The secondary is anybody’s guess, though Armani Marsh returns.

WSU will practice through April 21 before hosting the spring game on April 23 at 3 p.m. They’ll have scrimmages on April 2 and 16. Here’s Dickert after Thursday’s practice:

Former WSU assistant football coach Dave Nichol passes away

Real said news from USC, where former WSU assistant Dave Nichol was coaching:

Nichol was just 45.

Nichol coached at WSU from 2016 - 2019 and followed Mike Leach to Mississippi State. Lincoln Riley hired him at USC this past offseason.

USC Football Assistant Coach Dave Nichol Passes Away - USC Athletics
Dave Nichol, who was hired this past December as USC’s inside wide receivers coach and associate head coach for offense, passed away today.

Links

Commentary: Washington State’s dominant run to the NIT semifinals bodes well for this season – and beyond | The Spokesman-Review
Despite the National Invitation Tournament’s secondary status, this stands as a significant development for the Cougars and, potentially, the conference.

Cougs Move Up Two Spots in the Second Round at The Goodwin - Washington State University Athletics
STANFORD, Calif. – The Washington State men's golf team has four players sitting inside the top 50 of the player leaderboard after two rounds of play at The Goodwin.

Cougs Record Double-Digit Wins In Spokane - Washington State University Athletics
SPOKANE, Wash.— The Washington State men's and women's track and field team continued their excellent start to the outdoor season by winning 10 total events at the Buc Scoring Invitational.

Cougars Fall to No. 18 Stanford in 12 Innings - Washington State University Athletics
The series continues Saturday at 2:05 p.m.

Cougars Fall in Eugene - Washington State University Athletics
Cougars are next in action Friday when they visit No. 17 USC.