Transfer portal, coaching changes rock Wazzu, Pac-12

Coach Prime comes to Colorado, 11 Cougs enter transfer portal



WSU wide receiver De’Zhaun Stribling celebrates with teammates after defeating Colorado State 38-7, Sep. 17.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

There has been a plethora of football news over the past week, defensive coordinator Brian Ward is leaving WSU and the transfer portal and Name Image and Likeness have hit college football hard. The biggest news in college football and the Pac-12: NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was hired to coach Colorado.

Brian Ward:

WSU is losing its defensive coordinator Ward to Arizona State University.

ASU hired a new head coach, Kenny Dillingham, the former offensive coordinator for the Oregon Ducks. Brian Ward led the WSU defense to be top in the Pac-12, they were first in the Pac-12 in scoring averaging 19.3 points allowed per game.

The defense looked like one of the best Cougar defenses in decades, possibly since the “Palouse Posse.” Ward led this team with the best game planning possible and supported the WSU defense to be top-tier.

This loss for WSU is a big blow, but not a game-ender. As much credit as WSU head coach Jake Dickert likes to give his coaching staff, he has been the main factor in turning the defense around and making them elite. There are multiple prospects available to be the defensive coordinator at WSU, but whoever is hired, the defense will remain very good.

Transfer Portal:

College football has had a change of power. Instead of a dictatorship over players and where they have to play football at one school and take a year off of football when transferring, the transfer portal and NIL deals have changed the game.

More than 1,000 players have already entered the portal, according to CBS Sports.

As of today, 11 WSU players have entered the portal. The biggest names involved are De’Zhaun Stribling, Donovan Ollie, Travion Brown and Francisco Mauigoa.

WSU wide receiver De’Zhaun Stribling celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the 2022 Spring Game, April 23, at Martin Stadium.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Stribling, he has been at WSU for two years and has shown flashes of being a potentially great receiver. Stribling is 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds. He has the build of a great x-receiver, can run great routes, out-muscle cornerbacks, and get up and get the ball. He has led WSU all-season with 51 receptions for 602 yards and five touchdowns.

It makes sense for Stribling to transfer and make money from a bigger named school. He has already received offers from Utah and Oklahoma State.

Coach Prime:

Sanders is leaving the historically Black university, Jackson State, where he coached for three seasons. He got hired at Colorado and signed a contract for $29.5 million over five years.

This is exponentially more than what he was making at Jackson State, with a contract of $300,000 per year. This is a game changer for the transfer portal, Sanders and the Pac-12.

Bringing in Sanders is quite the move for Colorado. At Jackson State, he turned the program around and finished with a 27-5 record. Which includes two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and a 12-0 record during the 2022 season.

Colorado finished dead last in the Pac-12 with a 1-11 record and barely being able to get any offense or defense going.

The transfer portal will be changed as players will want to play for Sanders and Colorado will dish out money for some of the top talents on NIL deals.

This hire will also bring fame to the Pac-12 as Sanders is one of the biggest names in the coaching scene.