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Dickert adds clarity to first depth chart of the season

Game week is here and on Tuesday, head coach Jake Dickert gave us an even better idea of who might be seeing the field on Saturday against Idaho.

Washington State v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Jake Dickert and the Cougs dropped their first depth chart of the 2022 season. The two-deep provided clarity at some positions, like wide receiver where De’Zhaun Stribling and Renard Bell will start at X and H respectively. In other positions, however, it wasn’t as helpful.

The best example might be at tight end where four players are all listed, separated by that pesky “or” designation. The race for backup quarterback, backup running back, starting mike linebacker and starting free safety also used an “or” when laying out the lineup.

on Tuesday, Dickert met with the media and helped shine a light on some of these questions.

“There’s a lot of things that you can see during scrimmages,” Dickert explained after practice on Tuesday, “but those positions will be decided on Saturdays.”

In the race to be the first starting tight end at Washington State in a decade, four players are all on the depth chart, separated by the “or” designation. Sophomore Billy Riviere III, freshman Andre Dollar, junior Cameron Johnson and freshman Moon Ashby are all listed as options. Dickert says that all four will likely see time, but he expects Riviere to take the lead, at least in week one.

At running back, junior Nakia Watson is listed as the first stringer, with three freshmen still fighting for that backup role. According to Dickert, Jaylen Jenkins is expected to share the most of the workload with Watson, while Djouvensky Schlenbaker and Kannon Katzer will fill in gaps as necessary.

Meanwhile, at quarterback, Cameron Ward has been the presumed started since he took the practice field, but there has always been a question about his backup. The Cougs have seven signal callers currently listed on their roster, but freshman John Mateer and redshirt freshman Xavier Ward have stood out this camp and are listed as the options for backup QB.

“I think John [Mateer] has a slight edge right now,” Dickert said, “but we’ll see how the games go. Hopefully we get a chance to get those guys work as we go throughout the season. John’s progressed at a high rate, and it’s exciting for him. If we ever get to the point where we need a backup guy to play, you’ll probably see both of them.”

Another mystery that Dickert helped to solve was the absence of wide receiver Zeriah Beason from the depth chart. Dickert explained that the transfer is working through some eligibility issues, saying he is working through that right now and could not give a timetable on his return.

Of course, as we all know, the depth chart is a nice guide to have, but things can change quickly once things kickoff. We’ll see how things shape up for real once the team takes the field Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. against Idaho.

Washington State coach Jake Dickert provides some answers to depth-chart questions | The Spokesman-Review
Jake Dickert expects several position battles to proceed well into the season, but the Washington State coach has identified a few favorites ahead of the Cougars’ Week 1 matchup with Idaho.

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