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Passing game shines for WSU


The first practice of the day is over and the Washington State football players are on their way to the Lentil Festival parade. We have our news and notes from the morning practice. Read on.

• We had our story this morning on WSU's receivers. In that piece there was a lot said about the growth and maturity of sophomore Kevin Norrell. Which made me think the S-R jinx had hit early in practice when Norrell turned to run too soon and basically dropped a perfect Marshall Lobbestael pass into Daniel Simmons hands during a skelly drill. But that was the last time the thought of a jinx entered my head. From that point on Norrell was electric, starting with a one-handed grab of a pass that was a foot behind him in a passing drill. In the Cougars' 30-minutes of scrimmaging to end the full-pad practice, Norrell keyed a 70-yard touchdown drive with two catches, one down the middle for 28 yards – Norrell broke open and would have scored but the ball was tad underthrown – and another good for 18 yards and the touchdown. The catch on the scoring pass was impressive. Norrell ran a fade to the left side of the end zone and Lobbestael put the ball away from Aire Justin and onto Norrell's fingertips. It was almost if Norrell caught the last few inches of the ball. ... Jeff Tuel also had a touchdown throw running the second offense. He hit Randy Johnson with a laser on the run from 28-yards out and Johnson made a nice over-the-shoulder grab.

• Give you an injury update, like we did yesterday, and it changes. No, most of the guys are still out, but Myron Beck had pads on today for the first time in a while and Alex Hoffman-Ellis said he got a good report from his MRI and he would be back in four or five days. ... Freshman linebacker Andre Barrington hasn't practiced the past two days as he waits for a final word from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Though the school expects Barrington's clearance at any time, he could only practice through Thursday while waiting for approval of his eligibility to come through. ... There weren't many sacks in the scrimmage portions as the offense moved the ball through the air well. But Travis Long did break through clean one time to touch Tuel down. For the most part the defense did a good job against the run, with the tackles, including Dan Spitz and Toby Turpin, building a wall. Freshman Carl Winston, with the one offense, had one big burst around left end for 14 yards.


• That's it for now. We'll be back with our quarterbacks preview and an afternoon practice update. Until then …

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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