Pac-12: Michael Vandenkolk

While you were on vacation ... Washington State

July, 29, 2009
7/29/09
5:50
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The tenth of 10 quick updates on offseason Pac-10 goings on.

Washington State in a sentence

  • Washington State will be the consensus pick to finish last in the Pac-10, but hope lies in players developing a comfort level with coach Paul Wulff's systems and young talent stepping up.

The big issue

  • The Cougars ranked last in the conference in scoring offense and scoring defense, so there are a lot of issues. But if one were to be tapped it would be rushing defense. The Cougs ranked last in the nation -- 119th -- against the run last fall, and just two members of the front seven are back.

Quick hit news

  • Five players won't return, including 2008 starting cornerback Romeo Pellum. Also gone are receivers Michael Willis and Michael Vandenkolk and corners Kevin Frank and Devin Giles.
  • It received a lot of local publicity and inspired suggestions that Wulff was running a loose ship, but no charges were filed against defensive backs Leandre Daniels and Tyree Toomer in connection with an alleged theft of four bicycles on June 9. Turned out the bikes in question had been abandoned. Just like the players originally claimed.
  • WSU had a long list of injured players during spring practices. The tentative, early report is generally positive, with most expected to be available by the season opener vs. Stanford on Sept. 5, if not the start of camp on Aug. 9. Linebacker Louis Bland, who's coming back from knee surgery, probably is the most worrisome. He'll be limited at the start of camp and may not be ready for Stanford.
  • Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael is listed as an "OR" on the depth chart with Kevin Lopina. Lobbestael also is coming back from knee surgery but he's expected to be fully engaged in the quarterback competition.

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