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2011 Spring Preview Pac-12 North Positions
Washington State QB Jeff Tuel
Washington State QB Jeff Tuel
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 17, 2011


The positions to watch for each Pac-12 team going into spring practices.


2011 Pac-12 Spring Preview

North Spring Positions

Click for each team's spring preview
North California | Oregon | Oregon St | Stanford | Washington | Washington State 
South Arizona | Arizona State | Colorado | UCLA | USC | Utah

2011 Pac-12 Spring Preview  
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Buzz
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Buzz
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Attitudes
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Attitudes
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Key Positions
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Key Positions   
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Questions 
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Questions    
- Pac-12 Spring Rankings

North

California

Running back. Quarterback is the obvious choice, but the backs are also pivotal after Shane Vereen bolted for the NFL. While there’s no doubt that Isi Sofele will be a major factor, at 5-7 and 186 pounds, he hardly has the frame of a workhorse. It’s a good thing Ron Gould is one of the nation’s best position coaches because his tutelage will be needed over the next few months. Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, Dasarte Yarnway, and Trajuan Briggs will compete for touches, but none is 100% healthy and Yarnway could miss the entire spring.

Oregon 

The defensive line. Three all-stars, Kenny Rowe, Brandon Bair, and Zac Clark, are gone from a unit that did a nice job of holding the line and creating pressure in 2010. DE Terrell Turner is the lone returning starter to a front wall that’ll need to regroup on the fly. He’ll be bolstered by Brandon Hanna, Taylor Hart, Ricky Heimuli, and Dion Jordan, who’ll all be looking to win a job along the line. DT Jared Ebert, a 6-5, 285-pound transfer from Iowa Western Community College, has the motor and moves to be an instant impact recruit.

Oregon State

The defensive line. The Beavers got hit hard by graduation on defense, especially up front. Three starters, including All-Pac-10 first team DT Stephen Paea, must be replaced during the offseason. Kevin Frahm and Dominic Glover bring a veteran presence to the inside and outside, respectively, but they’ll a lot more help for Oregon State to win the battles at the point of attack. Taylor Henry, Castro Masaniai, and Andrew Seumalo are a few of the younger players who’ll need to step up in 2011.

Stanford

The offensive line. The unsung heroes from the last two years, the unit was broken up at the end of the 2010 season. Three starters are gone, leaving T Jonathan Martin and G David DeCastro as the mainstays. The competition will be heated everywhere else. In the early stages of spring, Kevin Danser turned heads at guard, Tyler Mabry is being counted on at tackle, and the battle between Sam Schwartzstein and Khalil Wilkes at center could carry on well into the summer months.

Washington

Linebacker. Cort Dennison is back for one more year to solidify middle linebacker. That’s the good news. The troubling fact, though, is that Mason Foster and Victor Aiyewa need to be replaced on the outside. The pair combined for 244 tackles, 35 stops for loss, and 11 sacks a year ago, so filling that void will require a monumental effort. Princeton Fuimaono, Jordan Wallace, and Cooper Pelluer were three young backups from last season, who will get every opportunity to contribute early in their careers.

Washington State 

Running back. Sure, the Cougars are going to throw the ball with QB Jeff Tuel and receivers Marquess Wilson and Jared Karstetter, but the ground game can’t be ignored. Wazzu needs more balance after ranking 117th nationally and averaging 2.6 yards a carry. Logwone Mitz is an experienced senior, but he has limited upside and rarely breaks off long runs. It’ll be worth monitoring the progress of redshirt freshman Rickey Galvin, who missed 2010 with a broken arm and can make people miss, a plus when running behind a poor Cougar line.

Click for each team's spring preview
North California | Oregon | Oregon St | Stanford | Washington | Washington State 
South Arizona | Arizona State | Colorado | UCLA | USC | Utah

2011 Pac-12 Spring Preview  
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Buzz
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Buzz
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Attitudes
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Attitudes
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Key Positions
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Key Positions   
- 2011 Pac-12 North Spring Questions 
- 2011 Pac-12 South Spring Questions    
- Pac-12 Spring Rankings