The top 10 players returning to the Washington State Cougars for the 2020 college football season.
Important to note that this list is based upon last year's data and film from on each specific team as well as judgment based upon the player's position both his skill and the level of talent around him at the said position and influential cohorts. Positional value also plays a large factor in these rankings as does the offensive or defensive scheme.
1. Abraham Lucas, T
2. Max Borghi, RB
3. Liam Ryan, T
4. George Hicks III, CB
5. Jahad Woods, LB
6. Dallas Hobbs, DI
7. Josh Watson, G
8. Will Rodgers III, DI
9. Justus Rogers, LB
10. Willie Taylor III, Edge
Honorable Mention: Calvin Jackson Jr., WR; Davontavean Martin, WR; Renard Bell, WR; Ron Stone Jr., Edge; Armani Marsh, CB; Skyler Thomas, S
Arguably the nation's best pair of bookend tackles starts with Lucas, who could very well be a first-round pick, and an early first-round pick at that. What Lucas does extremely well is what NFL teams are looking for, and that's pass protect. He can slide in pass protection very well, use his hands tremendously and possesses a great sense of balance and instincts at what his defenders will attempt. He will have a clean sheet more often than not, and it was by no means because of the quick passing Air Raid offense of old.
Ryan is a similar talent with a great get off at left tackle. He can maul defenders into the ground with a great sense of strength and balance as well and both he and Lucas are strong in the run game, which of course, we'll likely see a bit more of in 2020.
Speaking of run game, Borghi will finally get to see more than a handful of touches on the ground while also continuing to haul in a bevy of passes as well. On the ground over the past two seasons, Borghi has ripped off 1,183 yards on just 199 carries and has great vision through the line of scrimmage and in space. Counting his career 965 receiving yards and his 2,000-plus total offensive yards showcase why fantasy football owners are just so excited about what we may see from him with more carries.
Elsewhere, Woods and Taylor are an incredibly gifted set of all-around defenders for their positions. Woods can chip in with great blitzes while also standing his own against the run and racking up the tackles in space with terrific form. Taylor rushes the passer extremely well and should see an uptick in production.
Speaking of rushing the passer, both Hobbs and Rodgers can do the same as Hobbs may be the most unheralded of the group. A dynamic dual-sport athlete, Hobbs has great hands, strength, speed and athleticism through contact with offensive linemen, and in an extended role along the interior, could see even more pressures on the QB this year.
Hicks is a talented cover man with a pick and three pass breakups to his credit a year ago. He allowed less than 50.0% of passes thrown his way to be caught and should easily repeat that feat in 2020.