Cougars Set to Begin Spring Football Practice

March 14, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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The Washington State University football team will begin its spring practice schedule, Monday, Mar. 17, the first of 15 practice dates that conclude Apr. 12 with the Cougars' annual spring game.

Under first-year head coach Paul Wulff, WSU enters spring ball with 36 returning lettermen from last year's squad and a coaching staff that features eight new faces, including Wulff, who was named the Cougars' 31st head coach last December.

'I am very excited to get going,' said Wulff. 'In fact the best all of us coaches have felt is when we are with the current players working out. It's exciting just to get on the field finally and get to work.'

Offensively Washington State returns six starters from last season, through junior running back Dwight Tardy will not participate in spring drills as he recovers from knee surgery last fall. Joining Tardy is senior wide receiver Brandon Gibson, a first-team All-Pacific-10 Conference selection last year, along with four starters off the offensive line, seniors Vaughn Lesuma and Dan Rowlands, junior Kenny Alfred and sophomore Micah Hannam.

On the defensive side of the ball, seven starters from last season enter the spring atop the depth chart. Senior linebackers Kendrick Dunn, Cory Evans and Greg Trent lead an experienced linebacker group. Senior defensive tackle A'i Ahmu returns after starting three games last season and junior defensive end Andy Mattingly moves from his outside linebacker position last season where he registered a team-leading eight sacks.

In the defensive backfield senior safety Alfonso Jackson and sophomore cornerback Chima Nwachukwu, who started all 12 games as a true freshman, headline the group.

The Cougars will practice, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the first three weeks with scrimmages Friday of the second and third weeks. The final week of spring ball the team will practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the final practice being the annual spring game at 11 a.m., Apr. 12.
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