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No LaRue at WSU’s practice

Tomorrow will be a Thursday Night Football underclassmen scrimmage, Wednesday will be a walk-through and travel day and on Thursday the Cougars open the season in Seattle against Rutgers.

So, today was the last "typical" day of practice, complete with drills, more drills, some passing drills and even the far-off echoes of electric drills from last year's constant construction reverberating around the Palouse.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Today is the first day of the first week of classes at Washington State. That means that more walk-ons can join the team, as many as the Cougars like as long as they fall under the 105-man roster limit, with 85 scholarship players.

These are the uninvited walk-ons, the ones with even less of a shot of traveling or making an impact than the usual crew, but still important because they give the coaches more bodies to work with and makes going through drills easier.

"Yeah it helps, coach Mike Leach said after practice. "It helps and we had some good guys so yeah that definitely helps."

Leach also said that winning and success pays off with a higher-quality of player willing to walk-on at WSU rather than chase a scholarship at a smaller program, but that, "We'll know more about them after we coach them for a little while. The interest level is (higher)."

The first day of classes was also the expected return date for cornerback Sebastian LaRue, who is attending to a family matter according to Leach. After practice Leach said he still expects LaRue to return soon.

Teondray Caldwell and Jeff Farrar were both in yellow today, although both appeared to be practicing without many if any restrictions. Both are in the defensive two-deep and expected to play on Thursday.

The defensive line has started doing a drill in which players drop a tennis ball from one hand and try to catch it with the other hand.

During scout period Daquawn Brown came up with an interception, although the scout quarterbacks fared better than usual. A few plays later Peyton Bender made a nice throw to Daniel Lillienthal, who made an even nice catch, out-leaping Brown who played the curl route well.

Receiver Vince Mayle (I think, they were wearing black pennies that blocked their numbers) made the biggest hit of the day, unleashing a fall camp's worth of offensive frustration on linebacker Darryl Monroe during a kickoff return drill.

Kristoff Williams had a good practice both as a receiver and kick returner. He and Connor Halliday had a great connection on a deep post route in which Halliday zipped the ball as quickly as I've seen him throw about 30 yards to Williams who reeled it in over a defender without breaking his gait.

Vince Mayle also had a nice day, making a number of catches including a one-handed one in the skeleton period.

The punt return game still looks like a work in progress. Even River Cracraft, the steadiest of the bunch, muffed a punt today that he tried to field when it hit the ground and bounced over his head.




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Jacob Thorpe
Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.
















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