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WSU readies for its first spring scrimmage

Are you ready for some football?

PULLMAN, WA - MARCH 23: Washington State Cougars football program kicks off spring training at Rogers Field Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Spring football continues on the Palouse, and your Washington State Cougars are preparing for their first scrimmage today at 10 a.m. PT. This being spring, there may be some experimentation on the field, and that is a-OK.

All eyes will be on Cameron Ward, the hot shot FCS transfer who is the presumed starter of the new-look Air Raid. Like just about any quarterback, he’ll only go as far as his offensive line lets him, so that’s another position group worth keeping an eye one. It wouldn’t surprise me if the o-line mixes and matches throughout the scrimmage, though it also wouldn’t surprise me if there was a first team and a second team that didn’t change. It’s spring football, after all.

These scrimmages are seemingly more important in the fall as the team prepares for the season. This time of year is more of a look at how each player has progressed during the offseason and how they fit in with the new (ish) offense. Speaking of, we should see some catches from a tight end for the first time in more than a decade, so that’s cool.

On the other side of the ball, new defensive coordinator Brian Ward will have his first chance to showcase his system. The Spokesman-Review’s Colton Clark featured Ward and his defense this week, sharing how Ward wants to see more sacks this season, especially given WSU returns all of its starters on the defensive line. Ward had a top-25 defensive line in terms of sacks—36.5—last season at Nevada.

In the secondary, here’s what Ward is working with currently, courtesy of Clark:

Ward said WSU is rotating about a dozen players in its secondary to tease out combinations. The favorites to assume the majority of reps at the corner spots are Langford, Chau Smith-Wade, Kaleb Ford-Dement and Chris Jackson. Langford started every game last season after two years as a key reserve. Smith-Wade, a sophomore, was the Cougars’ No. 3 CB last year while Ford-Dement and Jackson, both FBS transfers, provided support if necessary.

Clark also noted that Langford sat out Thursday’s practice due to injury (so did De’Zhaun Stribling, per Clark).

It’s a long way to the season opener, but today’s scrimmage is the first step in cementing the team that will take the field this fall.

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