Ioane Gauta was a massive loss, but the returning line corp is equally massive. Xavier Cooper and Toni Pole lead a group of big guys that has become famous in their anonymity. We don’t hear their names as often, but that is mainly due to them taking up two or three blockers allowing the linebackers to claim glory. Mike Leach and Mike Breske have set these guys on edge, and they are hungry, ready to light up Pac-12 QBs and tailbacks in ways yet unknown.
Next up on the Cougs All-Name team we have Kingston Fernandez. Kingston will play double duty as a linebacker/ DL hybrid. He’ll be a knuckle down Linebacker, capitalizing on his speed to get to the Quarterback. This addition is much needed on a WSU team that ranked #84 last year in team sacks, an embarrassment that Fernandez can remedy in spades.
More importantly his speed and high revving motor will help bolster a FBS worst rushing defense. ASU came hunting for him after he signed with WSU, but he stood with his original decision, which Coug fans should consider heartening.
Kingston will not be starting early, but he will be on the field in some fashion come Fall, whether that is special teams or on D, well, we’ll have to wait.