With the Washington State football season starting in just 3 days I take a look at each of the positions and what players we will see starting for the Cougars. So far, Running backs, defensive line, and quarterbacks have been covered. With a new day, I will take a look at the linebackers group.
The Cougars lost just one of their linebackers this past year but did a little bit of moving around in the position. Justin Sagote graduated this past year leaving Tana Pritchard with the starting roll. Destiny Vaeao moved from Buck to defensive end which makes Kache Palacio the starter.
At Will back Cougars will have Pritchard who recorded the 5th most total tackles for the team with 56 and had 8 tackles for a loss. After starting last season behind Sagote, he earned his way to starting the last few games of the season. Starting at Will is no surprise for Pritchard as he proved he deserved that spot last season. Backing him up will be Chester Su’a who we saw start two games last season.
Darryl Monroe will be making this the third season in a row that he will be starting at Mike back. This is not a surprise for Cougar fans as he has proved he deserves this spot for the past few years. Last season Monroe tallied 94 tackles which was good for 3rd on the team. Jeremiah Allison will be backing up Monroe, he was mainly seen running special teams but did have a few games where he played linebacker.
Sam back will be taken by Cyrus Coen again. Coen has started all but one game each season the past two years for the Cougars. He also had 61 total tackles last year including 3 sacks. Backing up Coen will be Paris Taylor, Taylor came in as junior college transfer but redshirted last season for the Cougars. Taylor has a lot of talent and will be able to prove it when he sees the field this year.
Kache Palacio will start at Buck after starting the last 4 games last year in place of Vaeao. Palacio had 48 tackles for the Cougars last season and was 10th on the team. He also had 6.5 tackles for a loss which was good enough for 4th on the team. Backing up Palacio will be Ivan McLennan. McLennan is also a junior college transfer and took last season as his redshirt year so this will be the first time he sees action for the Cougars.
The linebacker position is full of talent and is deep and players can easily get moved to play another position. Four of the top 5 tackle leaders last season were linebackers and it would not surprise me to see it be that way again this year.
The linebacker group looks to keep that up and lead the team on Thursday when the Cougars take on Rutgers at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington.