There’ll be some new faces donning WSU’s No. 9 and No. 21 jerseys this year

We look at new WSU roster numbers, and analyze the roster to see who packed on some muscle and who shed some weight in the offseason.

Gabe Marks and River Cracraft made history wearing the No. 9 and No. 21 jerseys, respectively during their Washington State careers. The No. 9 WSU jersey and the name “Gabe Marks” became synonymous especially after Marks created his Twitter handle “ThrowItUpTo9” and in a show of solidarity, Marks even wore Cracraft’s No. 21 during some practices the week after Cracraft tore his ACL last fall.

Marks and Cracraft finished their WSU careers last fall ranked first and second on WSU’s career receptions list, but as the new 2017 football roster that was released Wednesday shows, you will nonetheless see the No. 9 and No. 21 jerseys on the field again at Martin Stadium this year.

Sophomore outside receiver Isaiah Johnson-Mack switched from the No. 5 he wore in 2016 to Marks’ No. 9. We won’t read too much into it, but, from a standpoint of pure moxie alone, perhaps it bodes well for the Cougars that a promising young receiver is embracing the spot vacated by Marks.

Johnson-Mack and Tavares Martin Jr. — who retained his No. 8 jersey — are two of the favorites to fill Marks’ shoes as Luke Falk’s go-to outside target.

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Coug fans who’ve become accustomed to seeing Cracraft’s No. 21 jersey on offense will have to re-calibrate their brains this year. The No. 21 jersey has been claimed by senior cornerback Marcellus Pippins, who wore No. 27 last season. If history is any indication, Pippins will be on the field a lot. He’s started 24 games in the last three years and is fighting to reclaim his starting job again going into fall camp next week.

Other interesting jersey number observations from the new roster:

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