The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Three Cougs receive national honors for week two performances

Awards flooded in following huge victory for WSU football
WSU edge rusher Ron Stone Jr. celebrates after defeating Colorado State 38-7, Sep. 17, 2022.

The Cougs secured a massive win over then-No.19 Wisconsin in week two. The victory was not just big for the team and program, but for three standout players who shined under the primetime spotlight.


Ron Stone Jr. – Edge Rusher

After a 2022 season where Stone Jr. recorded just two sacks all year, the sixth-year veteran recorded two strip-sacks in the win over the Badgers. The performance not only earned him Pac-12 Defensive Player and Defensive Lineman of the Week, but he was also named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is given to the best defensive player in college football, as decided by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). Stone Jr. was a pre-season All-Pac-12 second-team selection and a Reese’s Senior Bowl watchlist selection.

It is a great sign of Stone Jr.’s stock rising, both in the college football ranks and ultimately in the eyes of pro scouts. The award is “awesome” and speaks to the WSU defense’ effort as a whole, head coach Jake Dickert said.

“He’s playing the way he needs to play. RJ is a power player and he played with power and had some great pass moves and sacks are great, but sack fumbles are even better and to have two of them and have [Brennan Jackson] get one as a touchdown just shows how much you can impact that game,” Dickert said. “Proud of RJ, and I think accolades are a product of teams as well.”


Jaden Hicks – Safety

WSU Athletics
Defensive Back Jaden Hicks makes a tackle in an NCAA against Oregon in Pullman, Wash. Sept. 24, 2022

Hicks has been arguably one of, if not the, best defensive players in the country through two weeks. After recording nine tackles, two passes defended and a pick-six in week one, Hicks followed it up by racking up seven tackles, a half sack, a forced fumble and two more passes defended in week two.

His performance last week earned him Chuck Bednarik Player of the Week honors as the nation’s best defensive player of the week. 

From being a third-team Freshman All-American last year, to a top-five rated safety by Pro Football Focus for the 2024 NFL Draft, Hicks has received unrelenting national attention this year. His rise to stardom may have not been obvious two years ago, but it was this off-season, Dickert said.

“This year I think we knew what we had in Jaden and how hard he’s worked,” Dickert said. “He’s focused, dedicated and [his] discipline to his craft and his athleticism at that size [6’3, 212lbs] is off the charts. He’s an amazing tackler in space. He is the complete package, and he’s continually getting better. That’s what’s fun as a coach, he’s not satisfied, he understands the awards and praise and those are things he’s earned.” 


Lincoln Victor – Wide Receiver

WSU wide receiver Lincoln Victor runs back to the sideline after a kickoff during an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Sep. 24.

Year five for Victor has been a revelation in his career. In week one Victor recorded a career-high 168 receiving yards. Week two Victor had a 65-yard kick return called back, threw a 39-yard pass and caught seven passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. 

His performance in week two earned him one of four spots on the Paul Harmung Award Honor Roll for the nation’s most versatile player. Victor also is just nine receptions, 74 yards and three touchdown catches away from career highs for a season in all three categories.

He also is the Coug’s primary return man, a team captain and now has a role in the offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle’s playbook of tricks. Quarterback Cam Ward recognizes Victor’s efforts on and off the field.

“[Victor] is that guy man. You’re talking about a person who’s one of the first ones up here every day, whether it’s recovery, the training room or in the film room. He’s the definition of a Coug. I believe this is his year, and to have a guy like [Victor] right there beside me each and every day with a [team captain patch] on his chest, he motivates me. He’s a key player on this team. We wouldn’t be in this situation without him,” Ward said.

The recognition shows not only the effort and growth of the three individuals but the team as a whole. It stems from the success of the whole squad and shows that despite being a less-recognized Power Five program, the Cougs flash on the football field like anyone else.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor
Luke Westfall is a junior in Broadcast News from Custer, WA. He is an avid fanatic of the many sports at many levels who spends all his available time indulging in them. Luke began working at the Evergreen in Spring 2022.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.