Biggest shoes to fill: Washington State

Starters in, starters out. That's college football. Players' eligibility expires, and they leave for the rest of their lives, whether that includes the NFL or not.

And they leave behind shoes of various sizes that need to be filled.

Our concern with this series? The biggest shoes -- in some cases Shaq-like size 23s.

Biggest shoes: Linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis

Hoffman-Ellis started all 12 games last season and led the Cougars with 88 tackles, earning second-team all-conference honors along the way. His 68 solo tackles were tops in the Pac-12 through the regular season. He tied for sixth in the conference in solo tackles for a loss with 10, tallied a pair of sacks and had a 67-yard pick-six in the season opener against Idaho State.

Stepping in: Chester Su'a

Exactly where Su'a fits into the scheme is still to be determined as the Cougars move away from the 4-3 and more into a 3-4 set. He has the size and speed to lineup on the outside -- but the ball instincts to go inside. All indications are that he's having a solid spring. The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Su'a, from Pearl City, Hawaii, had 13 solo tackles last season and nine assisted, giving him 22 for the year. He made his first collegiate start last year against Stanford, then ranked No. 7, and recorded four tackles and recovered a fumble.