WSU Cougars

WSU’s inside linebackers come in all shapes, sizes

Jeremiah Allison and Peyton Pelluer may be Washington State’s starting inside linebackers, but they aren’t even close to the biggest.

Both weigh a little over 225 pounds, big enough to mix it up with Pac-12 running backs between the tackles, but much lighter than other inside backers such as 261-pound Chandler Leniu and 242-pound Aaron Porter.

There is such a discrepancy in the players’ sizes that it is surprising at first glance that they play the same position, and that gives the Cougars a lot of flexibility whether they are playing a power-run team like Stanford or a speedy offense like Oregon’s.

“I haven’t had the variety in size (before),” coach Mike Leach said. “A lot of our young guys are identifying what they can do, but I haven’t had the variety in size that we do right now.”

Although Leniu and Porter have added size, they seem to have kept their speed. Porter has made a few plays in coverage to break up passes and Leniu chased down running back Keith Harrington -- the team’s fastest running back -- and tackled him for a loss during Friday’s practice.

Leniu is a freshman who redshirted last year and Porter transferred from California’s Cerritos College after beginning his collegiate career at UCLA.

“I’m happy because they came in to compete and it gives us depth at that position,” linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. “We’re getting some options in there now, and if they continue to come on we’ll have some good options on the inside.”

Priester may play

WSU fans might not have to wait a year to see what Kyrin Priester can do after all. The receiver transferred from Clemson at the beginning of the 2015 spring semester, and was expected to sit out the customary year before becoming eligible for the 2016 season.

But because the Tigers dismissed Priester, he can receive a run-off waiver from the NCAA that allows him to play immediately. To qualify for the waiver a player must provide documentation stating he would no longer be welcome at his previous institution, a written statement from the previous institution supporting the waiver and documentation from the applicant’s current academic institution showing that he remains in good academic standing.

Sources have indicated to The Spokesman-Review that Clemson will provide such paperwork to the NCAA, meaning that Priester should qualify for the waiver if he is in good academic standing. Priester has been one of WSU’s most dynamic players through the first week of preseason camp.