From Pullman — After a pair of full-pads practices replete with slobber-knockers, jaw-wobblers and even a couple head-rattlers, the Cougars took it easier on Tuesday, scaling back the armament to shoulder pads, helmets and shorts and reducing the hitting to a “thud” tempo. This involves the defender hitting a ball-carrier hard enough to create a “thud” but not taking them to the ground.
More on Tuesday's practice after the jump.
From Pullman — Royce Woolridge and James Hunter will transfer from the Washington State University basketball program, the school announced on Tuesday. Additionally, signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent and will not enroll at WSU.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You know what day it is? Yep, it's Tax Day. Time to pay the piper. Read on.
Paul Petrino wore a wide smile after practice on Monday evening. Maybe that was because the Vandals had another solid spring session, or maybe it was because of who was in attendance. Standing on the sideline were former Seahawks offensive lineman Robbie Tobeck and Tobeck's son, Mason. Earlier in the day, Idaho offered a scholarship to Mason, a junior tight end and linebacker at Cascade Christian in Puyallup, Wash. He's also been offered by Colorado State. Robbie played at Washington State and spent 13 years in the NFL.
After Petrino shook hands with both Tobecks following practice, we ran through a quick one-on-one interview with the second-year coach. Petrino said he doesn't foresee naming a starting quarterback before the start of fall camp, and he also gave us his philosophy on long scrimmages.
Sources have confirmed that former Mike Leach quarterback Graham Harrell will be joining his old coach as a member of the football staff at Washington State. The team already has nine assistant coaches, the maximum allowed by the NCAA, so Harrell will likely serve in an operations capacity, possibly as an “offensive quality control” staffer or in some other capacity.
Harrell's addition to the staff likely won't become official for at least a couple days. When that happens we will have a better understanding what his role in the program will be.
Harrell played under Leach at Texas Tech from 2004-08 and won a Super Bowl as a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He spent the 2013 NFL preseason playing for the New York Jets but was released when the team signed Brady Quinn.
In yesterday's paper we had a story on Vince Mayle, who has dropped 20 pounds since arriving at Washington State and the lithe receiver has been showing off his increased speed all spring. For the story I spoke at length with strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo, not just about Mayle but also River Cracraft, new recruits and more.
We've transcribed the highlights of that interview, after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There is something to be said for learning lessons. Even if those lessons come with a really high price. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Want to be right about a baseball trade? Avoid the impulse to make a quick judgment. Read on.
Sebastian LaRue's athleticism has been apparent throughout the spring as the Texas A&M transfer made an immediate mark as a returner candidate on special teams while showing off his quickness and agility as a receiver on the scout team. With a crowded receiver corps and a wide open secondary the Cougars coaches are willing to see if that playmaking ability might best be used on the defensive side of the ball. Our practice report touches on LaRue's switch to a white uniform and we have a story on Vince Mayle, who has risen to the top of that deep receiving unit.
A trio of Pac-12 squads held their spring games on Saturday. Arizona's offense was its usual flashy self, Colorado's young receivers shined and Stanford's defense appears to be overcoming its offseason losses. Cal's coaching search continues, without Chris Mack and Eric Musselman.
Spokane won a sloppy, penalty-filled AFL game on Saturday night, pulling away with a big second half for a 55-27 victory over the Portland Thunder.
My unedited game story is below.
S-R photojournalist Dan Pelle covered the Shock's victory at the home game against Portland, 55-27. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
From Pullman — There was no “scrimmage” but Washington State's football practice on Saturday had live tackling, fights, guests, a potential position switch and a lot of moms.
Our practice report is after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
No writer's block today. The subject of today's column is obvious. Read on.
Dezmon Epps and Deon Watson had huge receiving days. Kris Olugbode churned out yards on the ground. And Irving Steele made his presence felt at linebacker.
Epps, Watson and Olugbode were three of several offensive standouts for the Idaho football team on Friday, which held its second scrimmage of spring practice at the Kibbie Dome.
After converted receiver Josh McCain put up big numbers in the first scimmage last week, Epps had the spotlight on Friday with 17 catches for 218 yards and four touchdowns. Watson, a redshirt sophomore from Coeur d'Alene, had nine catches for 170 yards and two TDs, while McCain went for seven catches for 73 yards.
Olugbode rushed for 200 of Idaho's 321 yards. And once again, redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Linehan attempted significantly more passes than Chad Chalich. Linehan was 33 of 52 for 401 yards, but Chalich (18 of 32 for 304) squeezed more yards out of his attempts.
Steele, a JC newcomer, had 18 tackles, matching cornerback Jayshawn Jordan's total. Zach Cable had four tackles for loss.
Two more Cougars joined us this week for our Five Questions segment. This time it's wide receiver Kristoff Williams and offensive lineman Cole Madison.
Those videos are after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Every once in a while I sit at my computer in the early morning hours and freeze. No, I'm not cold. I guess a better way to put it is I freeze up. I have no idea what I'm going to write about. No idea what would interest you. No idea how to entertain everyone. Usually, to break up the ice on my hands, I push away from the computer, get up, walk to the kitchen and make coffee. As it percolates in the Cuisinart, I count myself lucky if a thought comes into my head. Let's hope it works today. Read on.
From Pullman — The Cougars donned all of their pads yesterday and the result was a physical practice, complete with live tackling. Here is our story and practice report. Yesterday we also posted a video tour of the new Football Operations Building, guided by linebacker Darryl Monroe. Don't forget to change your calendars to reflect the new Nevada game date … WSU's Jason Monda has been drafted twice and decided that he won't go for a third.
Washington dismissed a defensive back, likely because of an altercation with a teammate … Oregon's best receiver is now a spring casualty … Oregon State's new offensive coordinator is becoming more comfortable in Corvallis.
Don't forget to join us at 11 a.m. for a live chat.
From Pullman — Washington State finally put on full pads on Thursday. The coaches put on headsets and officials were in uniform. The reason for the extra accoutrements? The Cougars had their first live-tackling session of spring. More on that after the jump.