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Posts tagged: WSU football

Looking at the WSU pre-camp depth chart

I was handed a media guide recently and inside was an updated depth chart. I've taken the liberty of scanning that page (Thanks, Cam Scanner!) and posting it below. Here are a few items of interest I saw while perusing:

— Freshman receiver Calvin Green is now listed as the backup H receiver. The former running back enrolled early to participate in spring ball, a decision that sure seems to have paid off.

— Jamal Morrow is listed as Theron West's backup at running back.

— Jeremiah Allison has moved to MIKE linebacker from WILL.

— Seems like quite a battle at cornerback with Tracy Clark or Charleston White starting on one side and Daquawn Brown and Marcellus Pippins starting on the other.

— Apart from Darryl Monroe (who is listed as 235 but says he's actually 239) the biggest weight gainer appears to be strong safety Isaac Dotson, who is listed at 218, 12 pounds more than he was listed in the spring.

Wednesday WSU chat

 

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Catching up in time for fall camp

Well, summer is almost over. What's that you say? It's still as hot as a feverish St. Bernard outside and the kids won't be out of your hair for another month? Sure, I guess it's still summer for those of you who base your seasons on the public school calendar, the life cycles of various flora or the proximity of the sun to the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

But over here we like to align our seasons to the thumping of pads and the dribbling of basketballs. So with Washington State's fall camp set to begin on Saturday, let's consider that summer is coming to a close. I hope it was a good one.

We'll get ready for camp after the jump.

*Note: We will have a live chat on the blog tomorrow at 11 a.m. to preview camp. These chats will continue every Wednesday until the end of the season.

Fast forward: Arizona

There was a time when the Texas coaches thought Connor Brewer could carry the Longhorn's weighty legacy. That the high school All-American had the talent and poise to start at quarterback for one of the country's most prestigious programs. So too, the LSU coaches once thought Jerrard Randall could steer the Tigers in their ongoing quest for national championships, or at least contribute as a wide receiver.

As a fresh-faced high school graduate Jesse Scroggins took his quarterbacking talents to USC, dreaming of ruling the west coast at a school where seemingly every starter is an automatic NFL draftee.

Rocky starts deferred those dreams of glory for all three signal callers, and each made their way to the University of Arizona to play for Rich Rodriguez. One of the talent quarterbacks will emerge as the starter, unless of course redshirt freshman Anu Solomon wins the job as the only quarterback on the Wildcats roster who signed with UA out of high school.

At media days Rodriguez refused to hint who was ahead in the quarterback competition, which he said could continue even past the first game of the season.

We'll take a look at the rest of the Wildcats after the jump.

WSU gets a kicker, announces fall practice dates

The Washington State football team didn't just get a football operations building out of all that construction going on by Rogers Field last year. The Cougars also found a new August home in Lewiston, Idaho. Because WSU's practice fields were temporarily unavailable the Cougars spent part of fall camp at Sacajawea Middle School and the coaches liked the experience so much they'll be there even longer this season, from Aug. 2-13, before returning to Pullman to get ready for the season-opener against Rutgers.

Last year the Cougars went 6-7 and played in their first bowl game since 2003.

Washington State also appears to have found their kicker of the future in Petaluma, California's Matt Abramo, who announced his intentions to become a Cougar last night. Abrama told Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com (pay article) that he also holds scholarship offers from Air Force and San Jose State, and says he can punt if needed.

If that's not enough WSU news from yesterday for you, how about this? Pullman finally got another Taco Bell yesterday, and she's a beaut.

 

Flashback: Stanford

Merrily, the 2013 Cougars rolled through their first four games, emerging from the season's first chunk of games 3-1 with a surprising win over. Mike Leach's offense had started to match the hype, putting up 90 points in wins over Southern Utah and Idaho after some early hiccups.

But Washington State fans expected to score points – Leach had had been received in Pullman as an offensive rainmaker, and not a cheap one. The welcome surprise was the Cougars defense that had given up just 17 total points in the previous three games, including a single touchdown on the road at No. 25 USC.

The WSU Football team was rolling, on a three-game winning streak and with one of its tougher conference games already happily in the rearview mirror. Not even running into the wall of muscle and discipline that is the Stanford football team could put a damper Cougar fans' spirits, or so they thought.

No shirt, no helmet, no problem

Washington State football coach Mike Leach likes to exercise. He walks to work every day, and can often be spotted on one of his various constitutionals around Pullman.

So it makes sense why he spends his downtime in the offseason in Florida's Key West. Not only can he bike wherever he pleases, but with a dress code is apparently a little looser than that of a starched-collar town like Pullman, it's easy to show off the results of that hard work.

Cougars land Bigge lineman

Dominic Davis wasn't the only recruit to declare his intentions to play in the crimson and gray yesterday. According to Britton Ransford of Wazzuwatch.com, 6-foot-6, 307 pound offensive lineman Cedric Bigge-Duren also plans to play his college ball at Washington State.

Despite his size, Bigge-Duren appears to be flying a bit under the radar. Unrated by Rivals.com and ESPN, the Oceanside, California lineman says he was offered scholarships by Nevada and San Jose State in addition to WSU. He'll be the second Oceanside High product on the Cougars offensive line, joining redshirt sophomore Eduardo Middleton.

Fleet Dominic Davis says he’ll go to WSU

Update: Greg Biggins of Scout.com has more from Davis.

Today wasn't Washington State's turn to speak to the print writers at Pac-12 media day but still a bit of WSU news came out. Dominic Davis, a speedy athlete from California's Bishop Alemany high school, told Scout's Barry Bolton that he will sign with the Cougars over scholarship offers from schools like UCLA, USC and Washington.

The 5-10, 175 pound Davis plays running back in high school but could make the switch to receiver at WSU much like former running backs Rickey Galvin and Calvin Green.

As always, there are the caveats that Davis' announcement isn't binding and according to Scout.com's Greg Biggin's the kid still hasn't visited the school. Still, it looks like another piece has been added to what at present looks like a very good recruiting class.

Here is his Scout.com recruiting profile.

Pac-12 media day one roundup

From Hollywood — Bronzed from the sun and with A-list actors and actresses (depending on your preference) hanging from both arms, the Pac-12 media members emerged victorious from the first of the Pac-12's twain media days armed with a season's worth of sumptuous story lines and juicy anecdotes.

OK, so most of us are simply hot, whiny and secure in the knowledge that this was not the first college football offseason ever in which the players shrank. But there were some good stories to come out of Wednesday's session and I've collected a number of them here, starting with my own, after the jump.

 

Notes, quotes and stories from media day

On Wednesday, Washington State coach Mike Leach, quarterback Connor Halliday and linebacker Darryl Monroe had lots of time to speak to reporters without side distractions such as preparing for football games. In the relaxed atmosphere at Paramount Studios the Cougars opened up about a variety of topics once they were done with TV interviews.

Follow the jump for notes, quotes and stories from Pac-12 media day.

(Transcript) Mike Leach at media day

Mike Leach addressed the media here in Hollywood this afternoon. The format has been changed from previous seasons, where the coaches and players simply came up for their “podium session” group by group, and were asked inane, “off the wall” questions that nobody used in their actual stories. This year the coach and each player were available at separate podiums for 40 minutes. The verdict seems to be that the questions were a little better (we still got most of the good stuff at lunch with the players and coaches afterwards) but that there were many repeat questions as reporters moved around the room. The Pac-12 was good enough to transcribe the interviews with the coaches for us, and we've passed along Leach's after the jump.

… 

Pac-12 Media Day (live stream)

Pac-12 Media Day begins today at 9 a.m. when commissioner Larry Scott will address the media. The rest of the schedule, and a live stream of the proceedings, is after the jump.

College football is just around the corner

The Pac-12 is holding its annual gathering of coaches, players and reporters tomorrow and Thursday. Media Day (or Media Days, in this case) is a nice chance of us reporters to speak with coaches and players from different schools and send back a few stories and notebooks for you all to peruse.

More importantly, however, it signals the end of the offseason. You will start to see a lot more Washington State football news around here, and not all of it recruiting. We'll get back in the swing of things with our morning links, and keep an eye out for some live chats.

While the offseason was slow, there were some NCAA and WSU developments that will have an impact on the upcoming months. In case you have been hibernating since the end of last football season and are just now leaving your man, woman or bear-cave, follow the jump to see what you missed.

Fast forward: Stanford

Will Stanford's reign of terror ever end? It was one thing when you could count on cutting down the Tree's football team every year. Then it didn't matter that the fans in Palo Alto drove the nicest cars, had the best jobs, won nearly every Olympic sport and had a beautiful campus, to boot. Their football team sucked. John Elway never played in a bowl game.

But the Cardinal just played in its fourth consecutive BCS bowl game, losing to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl. Losing one of the NFL's best coaches, Jim Harbaugh, and one of its best young quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, barely registered.

Stanford is now one of the elite teams in college football, competes for a championship every season, and shows no signs of slowing down. Sure, they lost some notable players this offseason, including defensive stalwarts such as Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy, Ben Gardner and Ed Reynolds. The offense took some hits, too, losing leading rusher Tyler Gaffney and All-American guard David Yankey.

But Stanford has proved it can handle losses in the past, and has enough sustained football success that it can use it can recruit against anyone in the country. And while its academic standards give it a limited pool of talent from which to choose, the players who can get into Stanford are the most likely to value its reputation.

Follow the jump for our 2014 Stanford preview.

Tyler Bruggman transferring?

 

Tyler Bruggman has become the second quarterback to transfer from the Washington State football program this offseason, according to a report on Twitter from WazzuWatch.com's Britton Ransford. I have not yet confirmed the report. Bruggman was the first major quarterback signed by coach Mike Leach at WSU, and it was widely assumed that he would take over as the starter when Connor Halliday graduates.

Even the transfer of backup quarterback Austin Apodaca was supposed to break up the logjam at quarterback and pave the way for Bruggman to back up Halliday next season. But Bruggman did not look ready this spring and former walk-on Luke Falk played well enough to at least create a controversy if not take the No. 2 spot outright. Both Bruggman and Falk redshirted as freshmen last season.

If Bruggman is indeed leaving the program it leaves he Cougars membrane-thin behind Halliday, a fifth-year senior, with just Falk and incoming freshman Peyton Bender as scholarship quarterbacks.

Monday fast forward: Cal

(Sorry today's installment is a little late in the day. I'm out of town and don't always have the best internet access. – Jacob)

There is something pure about a 0-12 record in college football. Well, purely pathetic. There are so many opportunities for a major college team to pick up a win or two over glorified NAIA teams that most of the worst teams skate by and are merely remembered as appallingly bad, if they are remembered at all.

But to reach true infamy, a team needs to catch all the bad breaks. Key players need to be injured, questionable flags need to be thrown, a schedule can't have any games that are too easy and at the end of it the coach probably wishes he could have a few calls back.

Achieving an “imperfect season” puts a major conference team in rarified air, truly. Recently, it probably means you're the Duke Blue Devils, a program that managed to do it in 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006.  Prior to that, South Carolina pulled it off in 1999, Illinois went winless in 1997 and Kansas State didn't win a game in 1987 or '88.

Don't forget – as if any of you could – that the purple people eaters from the wet side of the state had 12 long bus rides home in 2008.

So when looking ahead to Washington State's game against California next season, remember that the Golden Bears were just a 37-30 home victory over Portland State from entering the Pantheon of Pitiful.

Follow the jump for our Cal preview.

Friday flashback: Idaho

If you thought 2013 was fun, you should have seen 2003.

You can tell things are getting better for the Washington State football program because the Cougars are starting to do things that haven't been done since the halcyon days of 2003, when Marcus Trufant was young, Oregon and Stanford were gimmes and the streets of Pullman were paved with Cougar Gold.

That year was the last time the team went to a bowl game until last season's trip to the New Mexico Bowl. It was also the last time the Cougars shut out an opponent, opening the season with a 25-0 victory over sometimes rival Idaho.

Well, if Cougars fans started to get a sense of déjà vu while watching the Cougars last season the nostalgia likely began in the team's fourth game, when WSU sent those same Vandals home with nary a point to show for their pillaging.

Flash back to WSU's 48-0 beat down of Idaho, after the jump.

Leach lands seventh commit

Adam Gorney reported on Twitter that Darrien Molton, a cornerback from Temecula, California has decided to play football at Washington State. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound cornerback plays for Chapparal High. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star cornerback and he claims scholarship offers from California, Colorado, Duke and Utah.

Below is a video of Molton's defensive highlights.

 

Monday fast forward: Utah

Monday fast forward: Utah

In Mike Leach's two full seasons as the Washington State football coach, no Pac-12 opponent has been as consistently memorable as Utah. In Leach's first season the Cougars were embarrassed 49-6 in Rice-Eccles Stadium, the sixth loss in an eventual eight-game losing streak. Leach was so unhappy with the Cougars' effort in the game that he made the unusual move of sending the entire offensive and defensive lines to speak to the media as units after the game.

The postgame setting following last year's win over the Utes in Pullman could not have provided a starker juxtaposition as fans stormed the field when the Cougars attained bowl eligibility for the first time since 2006.

In Leach's third year the Utah game likely won't have such an immediate reaction due to it being just the fifth game of the season, but it is a winnable game on the road against a well-coached opponent and should prove to be very important in the long term.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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