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22 days to football: Grade WSU's linebacker depth

Let's talk Darryl Monroe ... I mean WSU's linebackers.

WSU Athletic Communications

Wide receiver may have the most depth, the defensive line may have the best starting unit, but for my money WSU's linebackers are the Cougars' best unit.

Led by sophomore Darryl Monroe, the Cougars have a solid starting unit with some promising depth waiting in the wings. Monroe, WSU's middle linebacker, leads the unit not only on talent but also from a leadership perspective. We all saw what Monroe could do last season, but it's important to remember he began the season less than a year removed from a torn Achilles' tendon. I think there is a very good chance Monroe could be even better athletically this season with the injury now two full years behind him.

While Monroe is the leader of the pack, Cyrus Coen and Justin Sagote proved to be solid starters last season. Coen was all over the field and looked nothing line a true sophomore former walk-on. Sagote made an instant impact as well and stabilized the linebacker unit once he stepped into the starting role. With Tana Pritchard, Peyton Pelluer and Eric Oertel running with the second team, WSU has some decent depth at linebacker. I'm also looking forward to seeing what Feddie Davey can do now that he's moved to SAM linebacker.

Then there is the BUCK position. WSU has the difficult task of replacing Travis Long and appear they will do so by committee. Destiny Vaeao is now at BUCK, providing a unique variation at 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds. Ivan McLennan and Kache Palacio are also in the mix.

Depending on Chester Su'a's status, WSU is essentially three deep at all four spots. Not only that, but of the current of the current top nine, only Oertel, Sagote and Jared Byars are seniors. With this much depth, youth and potential, I'll give the WSU linebackers an A.

How would you grade WSU's 'backers?

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