From Pullman — As we noted in our practice report, prep quarterback Tyler Hilinski attended Washington State's football practice on Thursday and evidently he liked what he saw, making a verbal commitment to play for WSU according to a Rivals.com report($). Hilinski is rated the nation's 14th best quarterback by Rivals and is a four-star prospect, the second four star QB landed by Mike Leach at WSU, along with Tyler Bruggman in 2013.
Hilinski is WSU's third recruit in the class of 2015, along with defensive tackle Thomas Toki, who is also currently on campus, and cornerback Austin Joyner.
The 6-foot-3, 187 pound quarterback plays for Upland High School in Upland, Calif., and also held a scholarship offer from Utah State. He will likely be the only quarterback recruit in the class. The Cougars have taken one scholarship quarterback in each class under Mike Leach, starting with Austin Apodaca in 2012, who has since transferred, and then Bruggman in 2013 and Peyton Bender in last year's class.
From Pullman — The clouds broke for the final Washington State football practice before the spring game. The coaches have split up the roster into two teams and are hoping for as competitive a game as possible. I will have those rosters for you sometime tomorrow morning. It wasn't a very newsy practice today with the teams split up and the Cougars in just helmets (and jerseys, pants, etc. But my point is that they were not in pads).
The practice report is after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Let me check the calendar. It is April, right? Seems like there is a heck of a lot of NFL news for April. Read on.
From Pullman — The Cougars won't be in pads when they take the field today for their final tune-up before Saturday's spring game at 1 p.m. in Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium. The Tuesday practice following that scrimmage will officially mark the end of spring football and will mean our Cougars coverage is going to really start winding down, sans the occasional baseball story.
But the Washington State football team is still making news, such as yesterday's announcement of a 2018 game against Eastern Washington. In case you missed it we have a profile of Mitch Peterson, a former walk-on safety turned scholarship linebacker. When I was in Spokane for the NCAA tournament I met ESPN's newest contributor to the Pac-12 blog, Chantel Jennings and she has her first WSU story up, a look at Vince Mayle.
That old so-and-so Christian Caple takes a look at where Washington is with spring practice in the books … The Pac-12's new coaches have been the story of spring … In its spring game Oregon will finally have to try and stop itself … The Beavers are seeing some movement in the running back depth.
If Idaho's Silver and Gold game on Friday night (7:30, Kibbie Dome) goes as well as the first four weeks of spring practice, Paul Petrino will walk away a happy coach. Asked about where the Vandals are relative to his expectations for the spring, Petrino had this to say on Wednesday evening: “You know what? I think we’re ahead of them. I think we’ve had a better spring than I hoped to (have). I’m happy. We’ve done better than I thought we would at this point. And so, it’s been good. It’s been real good.”
We have the full Q&A that Petrino had with a handful of reporters after a practice that he labeled as “really good.” Read on.
From Pullman — Washington State announced on Wednesday that the school will host the Eastern Washington football team for a game on Sept. 15, 2018. The release from the school is below.
Raul Vijil, one of the Shock's all-time greats, isn't grabbing touchdown passes anymore but he still has an important role with the team.
Vijil, now with APX Strength, helps guide Shock players through strength and conditioning drills, often at the conclusion of the team's practices early in the week. He was joined Tuesday by another ex-Shock great, Kevin McCullough, who recently purchased a home near the practice facility.
More on Vijil's role and other Shock notes here.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There are some questions that are impossible to answer definitively. Like why the M's are so mediocre year-in and year-out. Or why Pete Carroll is always smiling. Or why kids decide to leave one college for another. Read on.
From Pullman — Rain, rain, go away. Today's torrent drove reporters and athletic support staff into the upper bleachers to seek refuge beneath the overhang. Refuge was not to be found. I could go on about the weather but then we'd both be in a stormy mood.
Practice report is after the jump.
From Pullman — Multiple recruiting websites are reporting that East Los Angeles CC power forward Aaron Cheatum (6-7, 240) made a verbal commitment to Washington State last night, making him the first recruit for new basketball coach Ernie Kent at WSU. Assistant coach Greg Graham reportedly took the lead on Cheatum's recruitment.
He joins Tramaine Isabell as the second member of WSU's class of 2014. According to Cougfan.com's Braulio Perez, WSU sophomore guard Que Johnson and Cheatum were AAU teammates in high school.
According to Cheatum he chose the Cougars over scholarship offers from Central Florida, Tulane, Idaho and others. He becomes WSU's 10th scholarship player, meaning Kent has three more spots available should he choose to use them.
Cheatum was a sophomore this past season and will have two seasons of eligibility at WSU as well as a redshirt year available. The 2013 South Coast Conference Player of the Year averaged 15.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Terrelle Pryor, lined up in the slot receiver position, goes in motion. He receives a handoff from Russell Wilson and it looks as if he's going to pass. But instead he takes off running. Ten yards, 20, 30, 40 and he's run out of bounds at the San Francisco 8. A spike, a few words and … darn, there's the alarm. Time to go to work. Read on.
From Pullman — It's Spokane Week for the Washington State athletic department and here in Pullman the Cougars have just one week left of spring football. We began the week yesterday with a lunchtime chat. We also had a blog post on Gabe Marks' successful surgery as well as an off day Five Questions segment with Toni Pole. Cougar fans seemed pretty happy yesterday with the news that Bill Moos is no longer looking to make games in Seattle a priority. Last night the news came out that men's basketball coach Ernie Kent landed his first recruit at WSU.
Oregon still doesn't know who its backup quarterback will be … Arizona recruit Stanley Johnson was named California's Mr. Basketball … It was a Bruin who won the Boston Marathon … Cal's new coach has named two assistants.
From Pullman — Washington State has played a Pac-12 opponent in Seattle the past three season with pretty paltry results. The Cougars, hosting some stiff competition, went 0-3 in their home games away from Pullman, losing to Oregon State, No. 2 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford by an average score of 50 to 22 ⅓.
On Monday Bill Moos announced that the Cougars will no longer host conference foes in Seattle, keeping all Pac-12 home games home, in Pullman. Moos and coach Mike Leach spoke at the Spokane Luncheon on Monday as part of WSU's Spokane Week festivities. According to Cougfan.com, he said:
When I first got here, we didn't have TV money and the Pac-12 money. We needed to build a cash flow. I decided to schedule Oregon State and Oregon games in Seattle becasue we needed the money … That's not the case now, so we're going to reevaluate playing games in Seattle. I think it's served its purpose.
WSU opens the 2014 season in Seattle against Rutgers.
Surgery was successful. Shoutout to pullman Regional hospital— VINO (@Gabe_Marks) April 20, 2014
Washington State receiver Gabe Marks has been limited this spring with a groin injury and has only participated in a few receiving drills. Yesterday, Marks indicated on Twitter that he had undergone surgery.
Marks was WSU's most productive receiver last year, leading the team with 74 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. His receptions total is the second most in WSU single-season history. Marks achieved those impressive totals despite totaling only six catches in WSU's final three regular season games.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Turns out a lot of people had the same idea on Easter. Who would have thought it? Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Happy Easter. Read on.
From Pullman — Happy Easter, everybody. I hope you're enjoying your chocolate goodies. We've got some links for you to peruse while the children tear up your neighborhood in the relentless pursuit of multicolored eggs.
The Huskies finished off the year with a Spring Game that wasn't … Ted Miller gives his thoughts on Washington's legal troubles and more in his mailbag (sorry Vince) … USC's Spring Game was a cautious affair … The Bruins are ready to feast, with the NCAA's blessing.