The Washington State Cougars are just days away from starting their season against Rutgers, and I am taking a look at each of the positions showing what we will see for the starters. I have already covered running backs, defensive line, quarterbacks, linebackers, and safeties. Today I will be doing wide receivers.
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The Cougars are one of the luckiest in the PAC-12 in terms of who they will be returning for the receiving group. Besides the possibility of Gabe Marks taking a redshirt year the Cougars will be returning every one of their receivers. This could mean big things for Connor Halliday and the rest of the Cougs.
At X the Cougars will be starting Vince Mayle who was tied for first with the most reception touchdowns last season with 7. His backup, Dom Williams, was also tied with him for touchdowns. Both Mayle and Williams are in the top 5 for receiving yards for the team last season. Williams however, had 108 more receiving yards than Mayle but with the amount that the Cougars pass the ball they both should see about the same amount of playing time. Drew Loftus is also listed as the backup behind Williams.
Last year, River Cracraft emerged as one of the Cougars best receivers and he will continue to show that off as he is the starter at Y. Cracraft had 614 yards on 46 receptions last year for 3 touchdowns. Cracraft’s backup will be Robert Lewis, who took a redshirt last year, so when he sees the field this season it will be his first time. Out of high school, Lewis was ranked 4-stars and Cougar fans are looking forward to seeing what he can do for the team.
Oct 12, 2013; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars wide receiver River Cracraft (84) makes a catch against the Oregon State Beavers during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Beavers beat the Cougars 52-24. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Kristoff Williams was 5th on the team in receiving yards with 490 yards on 51 receptions and he will take over the Z receiver. Last season Gabe Marks had Z locked up and was the leading receiver and became Halliday’s favorite target when he was targeted 74 times for 807 yards. Marks was tied with Mayle and Dom Williams for 7 touchdowns. Marks is listed as the backup receiver with Isiah Myers with an “or” listed between the two. There is a lot of question surrounding what is going on with Marks but only time will tell since the coaching staff doesn’t inform anyone of injuries.
At H the Cougars will have Rickey Galvin starting with Calvin Green being his backup. Galvin had the second most touchdowns last season when he hauled in 4. He was also in the top 10 receivers with 311 yards on 39 receptions. Green, who has become a player to watch for me, enrolled at WSU in January and had a great spring. It would not surprise me to see a combination of both of these two throughout the season.
The Cougars had 10 players with 100 receiving yards or more last season and had 9 players haul in a touchdown. The Cougars receiving core is more experienced and with Halliday back for another year the Cougar receivers could have a great year.
The Cougars look to start the season on a strong note by opening the season up against Rutgers on Thursday at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington.