COUGARS • UPDATED: 9 P.M.
Though Washington State held a non-tackling practice Thursday, one of four it has to hold during the 15 spring workouts, there was a bit more intensity and focus on the field, something WSU coach Paul Wulff noticed was lacking Tuesday and praised on Thursday. For more on that and an injury update, read on.
• The practice Tuesday was physical, in the sense there were a lot of drills designed around hitting. But afterward, Wulff expressed disappointment with the intensity, saying some players were ready for the level of physical play and others weren't. And some players didn't come out of Tuesday's practice 100 percent. That was evident Thursday with the number of players missing with new injuries. To whit ... Linebacker Sekope Kaufusi did not practice after suffering a concussion Tuesday. Whether he'll return at all this spring is up in the air. ... Running back Carl Winston was on crutches with a knee sprain, suffered on a scrimmage play in which linebacker C.J. Mizell drove him out of bounds and into the ground. ... Cornerback Nolan Washington was also out due to a shoulder sprain, meaning four corners did not suit up Thursday (Daniel Simmons and Brandon Golden have been out all spring with injuries and Aire Justin was out due to class). ... Receiver Blair Bomber was out with a knee sprain, though he wasn't on crutches. ... On the positive side, receivers Jared Karstetter and Bobby Ratliff, who missed time with ankle sprains, were back, though neither went through scrimmage sessions. ... With tackling verboten, the offense got the better of the team sessions, though Wulff's whistle might have been quick a couple times and slow others. The Cougars wore shoulder pads and helmets, with some players in shorts and others in sweats. ... The injury bug has culled the defensive line as well, so converted tight end Skylar Stormo was actually running some with the ones at defensive end. Stormo seems to have taken to his new spot and is playing with abandon. ... The Cougars will hold their second-to-last scrimmage Saturday. The contact should start at 10 a.m., though the team will take the field earlier for warmups. The final scrimmage of the spring will take place in Spokane next Saturday. ... We have a story for tomorrow's S-R on a guy whose play has really stood out to me this spring, cornerback Damante Horton. The sophomore-to-be showed potential last fall but he's taken that a step further this spring. Big deal, you say? It's only spring? Well, today he spent almost the entire practice locked up with Marquess Wilson, who did pretty well as a freshman in the Pac-10. And Horton won nearly every battle. That potential might just be realized as early as this fall. ... UPDATE: The story can be found here.
• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning with more. Until then ...