The day has finally come. Washington State released their first depth chart of the 2023 season. It’s like Christmas, except you have to wait four more days to open the presents, but you already know what they are. The Cougs are just four days away from kicking off their season. Before they can do that, lets dive into who we will be seeing this coming weekend against Colorado State.
Starting with the offensive side of the ball and the big boys up front, we will see Esa Pole at left tackle and Ma’ake Fifita, who started last season at right guard, will move over to the left side. Konnor Gomness will retain his role as the anchor at center. On the right side we will have either Brock Dieu or Christian Hilborn at guard. Hilborn started a majority of last season as the left guard. Fa’alili Fa’amoe will return at right tackle after finishing the last 7 games as the starter.
We will see Fresno State transfer Josh Kelly at X and UNLV transfer Kyle Williams at Z. Lincoln Victor, DT Sheffield, or Isaiah Hamilton will line up at H. At tight end we will see former walk-on Cooper Mathers come out first.
Of the Cougs starting receivers, quarterback Cam Ward will have thrown an in-game pass to just two. With a lot of new faces running routes, it will be interesting to see how OC Ben Arbuckle utilizes Ward’s abilities.
One stable thing Ward will have is at the running back position with Nakia Watson getting the nod. Jaylen Jenkins, who started just one game last season will back up Watson. Jenkins tallied 396 yards on 68 attempts last year.
On defense, Brennan Jackson and Ron Stone Jr. will look to lock down the defense at the edge positions once again this year. David Gusta and Nusi Malani will plug up the middle and let the edge rushers eat. Devin Richardson will line up at MIKE with Kyle Thornton opposite of him at WIL.
At nickel we will either see Kapena Gushiken or Jackson Lataimua. Chau Smith-Wade will get the start at one of the corner positions and either Cam Lampkin or Javan Robinson on the opposite side.
At the two safety positions we will see some familiar faces with Sam Lockett III at free safety and Jaden Hicks lining up at strong safety.
Can’t forget to give the specialists some love too as we will see Nick Haberer again punting with Dean Janikowski kicking field goals. Colton Theaker will take over as the kick-off man. Long snapper Simon Samarzich will return giving Haberer a familiar ...behind... to look at as he is holding for Janikowski or taking a punt snap. Sheffield will return punts with either Victor or Jenkins returning kickoffs.
Washington State opens the 2023 season with a trip to Fort Collins, Colo. for a Saturday matchup at Colorado State. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. (PT) on CBS Sports Network.
That means lots of things for the Cougars – they’ve been working toward their season-opener, Saturday at Colorado State, for untold amounts of time – but for the time being, it means they’re sorting out some personnel matters.
The usual suspects lined the list: Cameron Ward will start at quarterback, Nakia Watson at running back, Brennan Jackson and Ron Stone Jr. on the edges. Chau Smith-Wade and Cam Lampkin will start at cornerbacks, and Jaden Hicks will start at strong safety.
Honored to stand beside this season’s team captains. Leadership isn’t made for the easy times it’s made for the storms. #CvE23@konner_gomness @LincolnVic5 @Cameron7Ward @BrennanJ88 @Rj___Stone @Chau__Smith pic.twitter.com/ZypQNICGJL— Jake Dickert (@CoachDickert) August 28, 2023
Washington State soccer senior Bridget Rieken was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, the Conference announced Monday afternoon. Rieken scored the game-winner in WSU’s first program win over Portland and became the second Cougar in as many weeks to earn conference weekly honors.
The NACDA Board of Directors has officially appointed Washington State University (WSU) Director of Athletics Patrick Chun to serve as the Association’s President for the 2023-24 academic year. Chun has served as a NACDA Officer since 2021 and was previously a NACDA Executive Committee member from 2016-20.