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WSU ready for third day of preseason camp

COUGARS

Another beautiful August morning in the Palouse, with the sun shining and the temperature rising. And that's your Tuesday weather report. Now let's get to the news. Read on.


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• Washington State: One of the things we like to do the first week of practice is introduce you to the newest Cougars, especially the ones who may have an impact this season. Along those lines, we wrote about defensive end Ian Knight for this morning's paper. The well-built transfer from Kansas has been sporting a throwback Dennis Rodman hairdo this week, with the top of his head a bright red. Sort of the color of a stop sign. But Knight's role on the defense is to go, and go hard. Get up the field and into the quarterback's face. If you think back to the early days of the century, when WSU was winning games at an improbable rate, the Cougars' defense always seemed to have one undersized d-end that caused problems with the opponent's blocking schemes. That's the role defensive coordinator Chris Ball hopes Knight can play with this group. You can read the story here. … Before we move on, though, it's no sure thing Knight will be the starter come game time. Current backup Pu'u Robinson, coming off knee surgery, has been singled out a couple times by different defensive coaches, mainly for playing with an intensity the defense needs – and the coaches value. Robinson is also a bit bigger (6-foot-4, 260 pounds as opposed to Knight's 6-2, 238) if not as fast. … Before the season began, the depth of the defensive line seemed to be an issue. But watching the first couple days, there seems to be a lot more guys with big bodies who can run than I expected. For example, Justin Clayton and Skyler Stormo, two guys who have been around a while, both are bigger, moving better and look as if they'll be able to contribute. Lenard Williams and Chas Sampson, one a junior college transfer, the latter a junior out of football a long time (thanks for the heads up Upthewazzu), have opened eyes. Add in a few youngsters like T.J. Polai and Darryl Paulo, and there is unexpected depth. Heck, Brandon Rankin was running with the third group at times yesterday. … And that's about it from Pullman.

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• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller looks at the Pac-12 quarterback competitions, or the lack of such. … Washington: First day of Husky practice, so there is a lot, including a Steve Kelley column, a look at the quarterback spot and the new starters. … Oregon State: James Rodgers was on the field for the Beavers' first practice. … A couple of defensive tackles are facing problems. … Oregon: Darron Thomas has taken over the Duck offense in Chip Kelly's third season. … The NCAA inquiry hung over the Ducks' first practice like a mist, as did the troubles of a couple players. … Colorado: One of the first things new coach Jon Embree did was change the strength and conditioning program. … Utah: Norm Chow is a star in Salt Lake City. … A freshman has ascended to the top of the running back depth chart. … California: A Bears receiver has minor knee surgery. … Stanford: The Cardinal's first practice under David Shaw wasn't that much different from last year under Jim Harbaugh. … USC: The Trojans scrimmage and a freshman makes an impact. … UCLA: Once again the Bruins have a quarterback battle and it features the same two guys. … Arizona State: So what's the deal with Vontaze Burfict really? … Arizona: The Wildcats might just feature the world's biggest vegetarian.

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• That's it for now. As usual, we'll be back after practice this afternoon. Until then …


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