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

Trio of WSU football greats play final game

Half-decade of success for trifecta
Brennan Jackson recovers a fumble forced from a Ron Stone Jr. hit on Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders in an NCAA football game at GESA Field, Nov. 17, in Pullman, Wash.

Ron Stone Jr., Brennan Jackson and Lincoln Victor. Those three names hold weight for WSU football, both for the program and the fans of the team.

But those names will no longer be featured on the WSU football roster starting with the 2024 season. The trio played their final game as Cougs in Saturday’s 24-21 loss in the Apple Cup. For the three of them, it marked the end of a pivotal point in their lives.

“It’s all over, man. It’s a real final thing. I just think about all the memories I made with this team. I’m so thankful for everyone,” Stone Jr. said.

Stone Jr. and Jackson came to Pullman ahead of the 2018 season, while Victor started his career at Hawaii before coming to WSU prior to the start of the 2021 season. The two defensive linemen have been on the Palouse for a half-decade to Victor’s three years, and they all have had significant impacts on the program.

WSU edge rusher Ron Stone Jr. celebrates after defeating Colorado State 38-7, Sep. 17, 2022.

Stone Jr. has played in 58 total games over the course of six games, finishing his WSU career with 202 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 16 sacks and five forced fumbles. In his final Apple Cup, he led the team with nine total tackles, including one tackle for loss.

In 2022, he was an All-Pac-12 Second Team member. In 2021, he was on the All-Pac-12 First Team, but 2023 was arguably the best season of his career. In 12 games, he finished with 60 tackles and 11.5 TFL while adding five sacks and three forced fumbles.

Especially over the past three seasons, he has become a prominent voice of the team. Ahead of the 2022 Pac-12 Championship Game, he joined the pregame show as the first active athlete-analyst ever for the Pac-12, naturally fitting in as a talent on screen.

The communications major is well on his way to becoming a featured analyst for whatever network makes the wise decision to pick him up.

Brennan Jackson smiles with his family on his senior night, Nov. 17, in Pullman, Wash.

His counterpart at the other end of the line, Jackson, played in 44 games during his WSU career, 38 of which came in the past three seasons.

“I’m thankful for the time I’ve been here. I’m thankful for every single [person] in that locker room,” Jackson said.

Ever since winning a starting job, he has never looked back. As a Coug, he finishes his career with 164 tackles, 34.5 TFL, 20 sacks, nine passes defended, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Just like Stone Jr., he saves his best season for last, being his most productive in the 2023 season. This season, he had career-highs in TFL with 12.5, sacks at 8.5, tackles at 57 and finally in fumble recoveries with four.

His highlights will be featured during future seasons during the “Back Home” highlight package at Martin Stadium, especially his three scoop-and-score TDs, one coming against Wisconsin and two against Colorado.

In his final game, Jackson made his impact known, being a constant presence in the backfield, disrupting Penix Jr. and the UW offense. He finished the game with five tackles, one TFL and one sack.

“I knew when I came [to Pullman] that it was a special place. Nobody, even myself, would expect the impact that I’ve had on this school. I’m forever indebted to the Cougs; I’m always going to find my way back home,” Jackson said.

Lincoln Victor runs out the tunnel in the rain with his arms spread out to the side, Nov. 4, in Pullman, Wash.

Finally, Victor played in 37 games for the Cougs, battling through countless injuries to be Cam Ward’s top target in 2023. He had 137 receptions, 1,401 yards, seven TDs and one rushing TD in his career, again saving his best for the 2023 season.

Despite missing an entire game, he had 89 receptions for 860 yards and five TDs, as well as his only career rushing TD this season. One of his best performances came on his record-setting day in Eugene, Oregon. Against the Ducks, he set a program and Autzen Stadium record with 16 receptions, finishing with 161 yards in the game.

In his final career game, he once again finished with double-digit receptions. Against the Huskies, he had 11 receptions for 88 yards and a TD, his fourth double-digit reception performance of the season.

Replacing the performance and leadership this trio brought to the team will be an impossible task and head coach Jake Dickert fought through emotion over the past several weeks when talking about the three of them, as well as the rest of the graduating seniors.

“When you invest in people, you just want it so bad for them. Not for you, but for them. What they’ve given our program, they carved a future,” Dickert said.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.