BY SPNW Staff 12:27PM 03/25/2014

Cougars football gearing up for spring practice

Coach Mike Leach’s Washington State team returns the top eight wide receivers, all-purpose yards leader RB Marcus Mason and sack leader DT/DE Xavier Cooper.

The Washington State defense returns seven starters in 2014, plus LB Chester Su’a (77), who missed all of 2013 with an undisclosed injury. / Mike Lewis, Sportspress Northwest

The Washington State football team starts its first of 15 spring practices in Pullman Thursday in the run up to the annual Crimson and Gray Game at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium April 26 at 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks). The final spring practice is April 29.

The Cougars return 36 lettermen (15 starters) from a 2013 team that finished 6-7 and reached a bowl game for the first time since 2003.

Chief among the eight returning offensive starters is redshirt senior QB Connor Halliday. As a junior, Halliday put up historic numbers in coach Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. He set WSU single-season records for completions (449), attempts (714), passing yards (4,597) and tied QB Ryan Leaf’s single-season record with 34 touchdown passes.

The Cougars also welcome back their top eight receivers and all-purpose yards leader RB Marcus Mason.

Defensively, seven starters return, but the Cougars must deal with the departure to the NFL of All-America safety Deone Bucannon. DT/DE Xavier Cooper (Tacoma), who led the Cougars last season with 13.5 tackles-for-loss and five sacks, will be a redshirt junior, as will LB Darryl Monroe (94 tackles).

WSU will practice Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Rogers Field and Martin Stadium. Here’s a look at their depth chart.

Thursday, March 27, 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 29, TBD
Tuesday, April 1, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 3, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 5, TBD
Tuesday, April 8, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 10, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 12, TBD
Tuesday, April 15, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 17, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 19, TBD
Tuesday, April 22, 3 p.m.
Thursday, April 24, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 26, 1 p.m. (Crimson and Gray Game at Joe Albi Stadium, Spokane)
Tuesday, April 29, 3 p.m.


  • Richard D. Cox

    Go Cougs!