PULLMAN, Wash. — The first day of fall camp is in the books for Washington State football which also means the first day as a head coach at fall camp for Jake Dickert.
“I get goosebumps when I walk out on the field, you know, and it isn’t just the first as a head coach; it’s because I’m a football guy, and I love fall camp. I love being out here with the guys,” said Dickert. “The last of the first’s, I’m sure there’ll be many. You never stop going through that list as you go throughout your career.”
Now the man in charge, Dickert no longer has his full attention on the defense as he did at the start of last season as defensive coordinator.
Dickert’s WSU defense led the Pac-12 in takeaways in 2022, averaging 2.2 per game. Multiple key players from that unit return this season, such as 2021 first-team All-Pac-12 defensive lineman Ron Stone Jr. and All-Pac-12 honorable mentions Brennan Jackson and Armani Marsh, to name a few.
The defense should be a strength of the team and the hope to be even better.
“We’ve got experience, so that is a good thing from last year,” said 2021 All-Pac-12 honorable mention defensive back Armani Marsh. “You know, having that confidence that we can play better, and we have that confidence because not only did we do it, but we prepared this offseason.”
“Continue to progress,” said Dickert on his goal for the defense. “That’s our focus now. Where can we take it? Why just be happy making improvements?”
It’s a new-look offense with two new faces at the helm.
The package duo of offensive coordinator Eric Morris and transfer quarterback Cameron Ward are both coming to Pullman from Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
While Ward may know the offense like the back of his hand from his time with Morris at UIW, it’s still a work in progress for the rest of the group.
“It’s still day-by-day progressions. We’re still adding little, but they have the base offense down and doing great from the starters all the way to the bottom of the depth chart,” said Ward.
“I think as we go throughout camp now, we’re finally gonna get into the full depth of the offense because spring was about just getting some of the basics in. So, I’m excited about where we can go, and I thought Cam was extra sharp today,” said Dickert.
“I feel great as a team. I feel like we’re right where we need to be going into September 3rd,” said Ward. “As a whole, we’re a player-led team right now, so that’s good. Just getting that team comradery come the first game. I’m just excited to play out there with those guys.”
Now, the countdown begins. The Cougs open the season on September 3rd against the Idaho Vandals at home.