PULLMAN — Redshirting freshmen — having them sit their first year in exchange for a fifth year of eligibility — is often considered a sign of a healthy program. After all, it is in effect trading a player’s worst season for their best one.
In Mike Leach’s first season at Washington State, the Cougars played nine true freshmen and won three games. Last season they played just five first-year players and won six.
Here are six candidates to play early.
Calvin Green, WR, 5-10, 170: It’s amazing how quickly Green picked up the nuances of playing wide receiver, considering he played running back in a wing-T offense in high school. Still, Green established himself as one of the better route runners on the team when he enrolled early for spring practice. He’s also one of WSU’s fastest players, and as he gets more comfortable in what he’s doing that speed becomes more apparent.
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Jordan Dascalo, P, 6-1, 180: Even if Dascalo doesn’t emerge as the starting punter, it seems a virtual certainty he will play sometime this season.
Marcellus Pippins, CB, 5-10, 163: The Cougars need all hands on deck in the secondary, and Pippins arrived in the spring, giving himself a leg up in the race to contribute.
Pat Porter, CB, 5-9, 163: There is room for more than one cornerback to play early, and Porter didn’t make the trip all the way from Tuscaloosa, Ala., to sit and watch.
Sulaiman Hameed, S, 5-10, 180: The depth at safety is better than cornerback, but it’s also been tested by injury.
Jeff Farrar, CB, 5-11, 196: Farrar originally signed with Virginia before making his way to Pullman. He’s only had two practices in pads but has played well in coverage and hasn’t shied away from physical situations.