It was a somber Washington State football team that took the practice field yesterday afternoon after being told the news concerning teammate LeAndre Daniels. But football being football and young men being young men, the attitude didn’t last long. After a quick, light practice, the day ended with many of the Cougars laughing and one saving a sportswriter from a Stuart Scott situation. Read on.
• Washington State: After practice, the first person we interview is coach Paul Wulff. Where that happens is often dictated by the position of the sun and whether there are TV cameras. Such was the case Friday, so we were near the west practice field with the sun to the cameraman’s back. When the Wulff interview ends, it’s time to talk with players. My first interview yesterday was with Tyree Toomer, Daniels’ roommate and best friend. He was standing in the east practice field end zone. Being the airhead I am, I failed to hear or see the Jugs machine spitting out footballs for the wide receivers in between. A quick turn, a recognition of where Toomer was standing and off I go. Right in the middle of the post-practice drill. Except Jeffrey Solomon anticipated my stupidity and yelled my name as the ball was leaving the machine. I stopped. Just in time. And yes, I thanked Solomon profusely after finishing my interviews. This face is too pretty to ruin with a football. Who am I kidding? It probably would have helped. … On to the morning links. We had our story on Daniels, along with our preview of the linebackers. We also had more notes from yesterday’s practice. … From Oklahoma State, defensive end Jamie Blatnick plea bargains his bar fight down to a misdemeanor, probably giving the school an out to not suspended him. … A defensive back’s play is earning praise. … The Cowboys are hustling to install their new offense. … Did you watch the Saints’ exhibition game last night? Yes, Tim, I know you did. But anyone else? If you did, you saw former Cougar Chris Ivory put on a show, which you can see if you follow the links here. Everyone connected with WSU knew Ivory had this kind of potential, it’s just injuries, academics and personal issues kept him from realizing it in Pullman. Now that he’s playing professionally, maybe such things will not be as important. … That’s it.
• Around the Pac-10: ESPN.com’s Ted Miller does his usual Friday mailbag. … Washington: Another top recruit picks Washington, though this one was pretty much expected. … Oregon State: Defensive end Taylor Henry sprains an ankle. … Oregon: The quarterback decision is made. And the winner is Darron Thomas. … Cal: Some notes about the Bears’ two-deep. … That two-deep shows Jeff Tedford is not afraid to use freshmen. … Stanford: Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh names a surprise as the backup quarterback. … USC: Speaking of freshmen, the Trojans are going to play quite a few. … Meanwhile, a sophomore displaces a senior at middle backer. … UCLA: The Bruins may have to rely on backup Richard Brehaut at quarterback against Kansas State. … Arizona State: The Sun Devils lose two players to academics. … Arizona: High definition replay. Really old eyes looking at it. Maybe it will help.
• That’s all for this morning. We’ll be back this afternoon with our practice report and defensive line preview. Until then …