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The Cougars appear quite capable of finding their way to the end zone this fall. Senior running back Jerome Harrison is the primary runner, and quarterbacks Alex Brink and Josh Swogger have a variety of good targets, including Jason Hill, Michael Bumpus and tight end Troy Bienemann in the spread-the-field offense. Brink has won the battle for the starting-quarterback job and is capable of scrambling. This marks the fourth consecutive year the Cougars start the season with a different starter at QB. Brink was preceded by Swogger last year, Matt Kegel in 2003 and Jason Gesser in 2002.
QB Alex Brink > Won starting job in fall camp. Started final five games last season and led Cougars to wins over UCLA and Washington. He became first Cougars quarterback since Ryan Leaf in 1997 to beat the Huskies. Bright guy who led his high-school team, Sheldon of Eugene, to Oregon state championship. Displayed improved arm strength in camp. Backup: Josh Swogger.
RB Jerome Harrison > Cougars consider him one of the best backs in the Pac-10. Carried a school-record 42 times for 247 yards at UCLA last November. Yardage total that day was third most ever for a WSU back. Smooth, 200-pound back with speed, power and decent hands. Backup: DeMaundray Woolridge.
SE Jason Hill > Second-team All-Pac-10 last season, on Biletnikoff Award watch list this year. Voted offensive MVP by teammates. Caught 45 passes for 1,007 yards and school-record 12 touchdowns. Only sixth WSU receiver with more than 1,000 yards in a season. Backup: Trandon Harvey.
SB Michael Bumpus > Quick and elusive and a threat to go the distance. Caught 35 passes for 318 yards and one TD. Second-team all-conference as punt returner, averaging 11.5 yards. Scored on two returns. Backup: Marty Martin.
FL Chris Jordan > Kentlake High School product missed spring football after arthroscopic knee surgery on knee he originally injured in 2003 Apple Cup. Had his breakthrough game at Stanford in 2003 when he caught two TD passes in 24-14 win. Backup: Brandon Gibson.
TE Troy Bienemann > Second-team all-conference selection last year. Has started 32 of 34 games in which he has played. Student-athlete with 3.87 grade-point average who is studying communications and finance. Caught 26 passes last season for 288 yards and two TDs, one of them against Huskies. Backup: Jesse Taylor.
LT Bobby Byrd > A prize recruit in the class of 2003 who started nine games last season at guard as redshirt freshman. Has moved outside this year to replace departed sixth-round NFL draft choice Calvin Armstrong (Philadelphia) at a critical position. Backup: Spencer Hollison.
LG Sean O'Connor > Redmond High School graduate made his move in the spring and earned spot as starter. Originally committed to Arizona State and then walked on at Washington State. Considered one of the team's best athletes. Backup: Dan Rowlands.
C Nick Mihlhauser > The quarterback of the offensive line. He is the most experienced lineman and one of the brightest and most valuable players on the team. "Keeping him in place is real important," says offensive-line coach George Yarno. On the watch list for Dave Rimington Trophy. Backup: Kenny Alfred.
RG Norvell Holmes > Missed 2003 season because of back problems, but after surgery was able to play in all 11 games last year and started seven. Said he "felt blessed" to be able to play football again. Backup: Josh Duin.
RT Charles Harris > Three-sport athlete from Spokane's Mead High School, where he also was student-body treasurer. Played in 11 games last year but only start was against Idaho. Made one all-Pac-10 frosh team in 2003. Backup: Andy Roof.
PK Loren Langley > Locked in duel with Siderius, who has kickoff job sewn up because of his tackling ability. Made only 5 of 11 field-goal attempts last year but drilled 30 of 32 PATs. Backup: Graham Siderius.