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One more practice before the real(ish) thing

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN -- WSU practices this afternoon for the 13th time this spring -- and the final time before perhaps the most anticipated spring game in the history of the program. (The Cougars do have another practice scheduled for the following Tuesday, though I'm guessing that won't receive as much attention.)

...

We conducted our weekly live chat yesterday, and you can read a recap of that here. We also posted some video of WSU linebacker Darren Markle in this blog post. ... Athlon released its rankings of the Pac-12 quarterbacks, slotting Jeff Tuel at No. 3. That might seem a tad high at first glance, but he's one of a very few proven passers returning to the conference this season, as CougCenter notes in this post. ... In case you missed it yesterday, here's the ESPN.com story about the prevalence of marijuana among athletes at Oregon (and everywhere else). Bill Moos is quoted in the story, and WSU is also mentioned briefly. ... Bud Withers profiles Andrei Lintz and his role in WSU's offense, including some comments at the bottom from Mike Leach about the departure of Aaron Dunn. ... Howie Stalwick profiles WSU defensive end Xavier Cooper, who has played just about every one of his reps with the No. 1 unit this season and will figure prominently into WSU's plans at that position. ... Also, wanted to address the comments Leach made about Marquess Wilson on Tuesday. A bit of panic seems to have resulted among the fan base. Not trying to play apologist here or anything, but I'd advise a few deep breaths. It's spring. That means that whatever message the coaches are trying to send, Wilson has a few months to let  it sink in and respond accordingly. If he's still not practicing the way they want in mid-August, then maybe it's time to be concerned. But not just yet. It's early and Wilson is talented. You know this. The coaches know this. And he'll have his opportunities to show he can improve his work ethic.

Around the Pac-12 ... There's plenty to be done at Arizona this offseason. ... Arizona State might return to an old site for preseason training. Might Vontaze Burfict go undrafted? ... Some Utes are on the NFL draft radar. ... Carlon Brown is hoping his strong senior season at Colorado will parlay into an NBA future. ... Some reaction -- and documents -- from the Oregon weed situation. George Schroeder has some prudent thoughts in this column. ... An Oregon State newcomer has found a fit at linebacker. ... Looking ahead to California's spring game. ... Washington is hoping for a boost from another former baseball player. Josh Shirley is maturing at defensive end.

That's all for now. We'll be back with more after practice.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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