Everything tagged

Latest from The Spokesman-Review

WSU’s Dave Emerick named a Director of Operations of the Year

Washington State's director of football operations Dave Emerick got some recognition from CBS.

From linebackers coach Ken Wilson:

What does a director of football operations do, exactly? Here's a Spokesman-Review profile of Mike Leach's chief of staff from 2012

Texas defensive back commits to WSU

Spring, Texas cornerback Willie Sykes committed to play football at Washington State on Monday evening.

Britton Ransford of Rivals.com first reported the news, and says that Sykes chose the Cougars over scholarship offers from Purdue, Nebraska, Oregon State, Utah and others. Both Rivals and Scout.com rate Sykes as a two-star prospect but his scholarship offers seem to indicate he's a good prospect.

Sykes is 6-foot, 180-pounds and is supposed to be very fast.

He is the third defensive back Mike Leach's staff has recruited out of Texas, joining Charleston White and Darius Lemora.

Here is some video of WSU's newest recruit:

California offensive lineman gives verbal commitment to WSU

 Offensive lineman Joseph Price of California's Redlands East Valley High will play at Washington State next season, according to his coach.

REVHS coach Kurt Bruich tweeted the news along with a picture of Price at his home with WSU coach Mike Leach. Offensive line coach Clay McGuire and linebackers coach Ken Wilson were also on the visit.

Scout.com lists Price as a 6-foot-6, 267-pound offensive tackle and gives him a three-star grade. He reportedly also holds scholarship offers from California and Fresno State.

Price is the fifth known offensive lineman in the 2015 recruiting class to accept a WSU scholarship offer.

WSU makes manning hire official

Washington State announced on Sunday that Roy Manning will join the Cougars and coach the outside linebackers.

Here is the release from the school: 

WSU Names Roy Manning Outside Linebackers Coach
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State Head Football Coach Mike Leach announced Sunday that Roy Manning has been named the Cougars’ outside linebackers coach. Manning arrives in Pullman after serving the past two seasons at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.
“Roy is an outstanding technical coach, a passionate recruiter and a great person who loves football,” said Leach. “He will be great for our players and our program.”
In 2014 Manning served as the cornerbacks coach at Michigan after coaching the outside linebackers in 2013. Under his direction, Michigan’s SAM linebackers Cam Gordon and Jake Ryan combined for 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2013 while defensive back Raymond Taylor earned 2014 All-Big Ten honors in 2014.
Prior to arriving back in Ann Arbor, Manning served as the running backs coach at the University of Cincinnati in 2012. That season Manning's group led the Big East in rushing in 2012, averaging 201.5 yards per game. Running back George Winn totaled the second-best rushing season in school history with 1,334 rushing yards (102.6 per game) and 13 touchdowns, both conference bests.
Prior to joining the Cincinnati staff, Manning served as offensive graduate assistant at Michigan, where he worked with the offensive line and was part of a coaching staff that led the Wolverines to an 11-2 record and a victory in the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl. Manning's first coaching experience came at Cincinnati in 2010, when he worked as a defensive assistant.
Prior to his appointment in Cincinnati, Manning spent three seasons in the NFL with five different teams. He signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers in 2005. He played in 15 games and started two contests as a rookie, tallying 41 tackles and one pass breakup. Manning tied for third on the team with 21 tackles on special teams. He also had stints with the Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals.
Manning played in 37 career games and made 10 starts at linebacker as a fifth-year senior with Michigan. He was named the Roger Zatkoff Award winner as the team's top linebacker in 2004 after posting 39 tackles, six tackles-for-loss and one sack. Manning finished his career with 72 stops, nine TFLs and three sacks.
Manning earned his bachelor's degree in general studies from Michigan in 2004.

Cougars hire second defensive coach

Washington State hired its second and possibly final coach this offseason on Saturday, tabbing Roy Manning to coach the outside linebackers.

Manning comes to WSU from the University of Michigan where he spent last year as the cornerbacks after coaching the outside linebackers in 2013. Manning was a four-year letterman for the Wolverines from 2001-04 and then spent three seasons playing in the NFL before returning to UM as a graduate assistant.

He has also coached running backs at the University of Cincinnati in 2012.

The UM school website conducted an interview with Manning shortly after he was hired in 2013.

"In coaching, you have to know it all, and that's the one thing I've learned," Manning said in the video. "As a player, you focus on your position and what you have to do …  but in coaching, you've got to understand all of it, and sometimes your career will take you different places and you'll be in different roles."

He continued, "I think the important thing is to just embrace it, because it'll only make you better at the end of the day."

The hiring of Manning comes just three days after WSU announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. During an interview on Friday Grinch indicated that he would coach the secondary if the Cougars did not hire a defensive backs coach.

The two vacancies on the staff were due to the dismissals of defensive coordinator Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero shortly after WSU's season-ending Apple Cup loss.

The Cougars finished with a 3-9 record despite the country's seventh-ranked offense and ranked No. 123 out of 125 teams in turnover margin.

WSU coach Mike Leach also dismissed special teams coach Eric Russell midseason. While his replacement, Eric Mele, was dubbed the "interim special teams coordinator" indications appear to be that he will remain in the position.

Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated first reported the news late Saturday evening.

Q&A: WSU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch

New WSU defensive coordinator publicly spoke to the media for the first time on Friday. Here is a transcription of what he said:

Question: What defense do you plan to run at WSU?

Alex Grinch: We'll base out of a 3-4, which, hard to say exactly whether similar or not so much to what’s been done in the past but at least similar up to that point in a 3-4 structure. Three down lineman with four linebackers and four on the back end.

So that will give us the ability to be multiple from a coverage standpoint and from a pressure standpoint so that would be a good initial base rundown of what it is.

Q: Could you describe your relationship with coach David Yost?
AG: I know coach Yost going back to the early 2000s so I've known him a long time, certainly our communication back and forth over the years contributed to that relationship and our most recent communication included the position that was available here at Washington State. That, without question, kind of started the ball rolling.

Q: How long did the hiring process take?
AG: Fairly quickly, and I would tell this to everybody, I was very comfortable in my role at Missouri. I was in a position to coach very similar to the Pac-12, to coach in the SEC, and we were able to win a couple championships the last couple years as well as January bowl games, which lends itself to a comfort level there.


I wasn't necessarily looking for a job but the opportunity to come to a place like a Washington State though, in the Pac-12, in the coordinator position, was something that I was extremely interested in and so really over the last week that kind of took shape and here we are.

Q: Have you had a chance to meet with the players or watch film on them?
AG: I've seen a little bit of film and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to watch a lot more. I'll do the best job I can in terms of keeping an open mind in terms of my personnel evaluations and that moving forward, just as I would hope that they would have an open mind with the changes that are presented to them in the next few months leading up to spring football.

So, I think it's important that both sides afford each other those opportunities. Watching film and getting a baseline evaluation for both personnel and the overall scheme from a year ago, obviously there are going to be some changes, obviously there is, like anything, there's not a whole lot of magic to any defensive package so I'm sure there will be some similarities as well and some changes in terminology and those things.

But I'll continue to work an evaluation of last year's tape and get a feel or baseline for where everything's at but otherwise over the next few weeks, I'm in Pullman now with nine student-athletes this weekend for official visits. I'll be on the road Sunday with the rest of the staff and really this next month will include weeks on the road recruiting, shoring up this class, and then weekends in town for official visits so it will be an aggressive month of recruiting while still trying to work to finish our staff on the defensive side of the ball while working through some playbook stuff and those things so we hit the ground running when we visit with our guys.

Q: Do you know what you will do with the final defensive coaching position?
AG: What we want to do is we want to get the best candidate available, any way you slice it. You could possibly go with two around the defensive line, two with the possibly inside-outside linebackers, possibly two in the secondary so our aim right now is to get the best teacher, the best recruiter we possibly can to bring in here to help us on the defensive side of the ball.

Q: How long are you signed on at WSU?
AG: I'm signed on to coach this team through spring football and next fall.

Q: How can you create more turnovers?
AG: Well there's not a magic answer and we're all searching for one but I think there's a couple ingredients: one is bringing guys into understanding how important they are and it's not a "try to" type of thing – it's imperative that we get the ball out, it's imperative that we attack the football when it's in the air. Every time that ball's throw is an opportunity to change possession if you're doing the right thing coverage-wise, so I think that's where it starts is making sure that the guys understand to try to create turnovers and attacking the football is not a self-conscious thing, it's not a hope we get lucky approach.

It starts in practice and it starts with as many bodies as we possibly can get to the point of attack and that goes back to scheme and making sure we're doing the right things from a soundness defensively, making sure guys are playing aggressive and you'll hear me in every interview talk about guys playing "downhill."

When you do those things the more guys you get to the football, the more confidence they have in their pursuit to the football, lends itself to an aggressiveness that when you're at the point of attack you've got a chance to be more violent when you get there because you know exactly what to do, where you need to be, how you need to fit so some of the things it does come down to our teaching and that and some of that is defensive scheme.

Some of it's how you practice. Every team in America will do takeaway, takeaway circus where you're stripping, you're scooping, you're punching so without question those are trained habits so that will be included but every single play in practice there's an opportunity to get a turnover, whether it's on 7-on-7 or 1-on-1, when you go 11-on-11 against the offense, so every play in a game lends itself to being an opportunity to get the ball back for our offense.

Really, the brainwashing needs to begin in earnest so the guys understand that their responsibility is to get the ball back for the offense. And again, some of it's mindset, some of it's technique and some of it's the defensive scheme being taught as such so the guys can be aggressive.

Q: Are there any challenges or positives you see coaching a young defense?
AG: Well I think the positive is you always kind of want to, the idea of having a little bit more of a clean slate allows you to train them in ways that you don't have to break bad habits so you may kind of point to that.

But hopefully when you're talking about young football players, and even guys that have experience, what we need is a room full of guys that are sponges to what we're teaching and so in a our world I think that's important: that every single guy in that room has the ability to get better. It's got to be our expectation as a coaching staff they do just that and then their expectations of us are that we do a great job teaching them and developing them so that they can be successful.

Obviously, more successful than last year, sure. But what our aim's got to be is practice two of spring football they've got to be better than practice one. And so when you're talking about, again, I think young and old but I think no matter what end of the spectrum you're at we need a room full of guys trying to get better.

Q: What will your recruiting area be?
AG: That hasn't been decided. Once we finish the staff that will obviously be a bit of a shakeup that way but at this point it hasn't been defined.

Q: How important is it for you to sell recruits that they should choose WSU for the same reasons you did?
AG: Well I think you bring up a good point. They're in a situation, almost to the man, where they obviously have other options. Whether they're in the conference or out of the conference.

Obviously in a completely different stage of life when you're talking career-wise, but I had options and my main option was to stay put exactly where I was. And so there was enough here in Pullman, enough at Washington State and specific to Mike Leach's program where he's been successful everywhere he's ever been, to make me want to I guess, quite honestly, leave a comfort zone to come out here and be a part of this program.

Any time you're making the transition from high school to college, unless you're from Pullman, you're going to leave your comfort zone in one respect or another. So without question you bring up a good point, it's probably more similar despite the different stages of life than you might assume.

Q: Do you approach junior college recruits in a special manner?
AG: One I think, part of the evaluation changes because when you're talking about a junior college player your time to develop them is obviously a lot shorter. Everyone can still develop whether they're coming from high school or junior college but again, you won't have as much time with them.

What you're hoping to get is someone that possesses a little higher skillset than a high school kid. So that's part of it. You want a guy that can make an instant impact on your program in some capacity or another.

Beyond that almost every single one of those guys is not confused as to the short duration that they're going to have an opportunity to spend playing in the Pac-12. So you've got to develop a plan very quickly, you've got to earmark a place where they can help you, to see the field right away, and then you've got to do a good sales job in terms of them understanding what you're going to do to develop them, to have a plan in place for a very short period of time.

So it is a unique recruiting process with junior college players.

Q: Did coach Yost contact you about the job?
AG: Quite honestly it was more of a call for a casual conversation about anything other than Missouri football or WSU football and then as the conversation progressed, I kind of mentioned my desire to look at coordinator opportunities if they presented themselves in the right opportunity, in the right situation and then obviously with the opening still here at Washington State that changed the tone of the conversation a little bit and it kind of went from there and it progressed.

Q: Did Yost go to Mike Leach at that point?
AG: That would be the long and short of it, yeah. Pretty quick back and forth I guess from there and then I had an opportunity to come out here this past weekend and get a chance to visit and talk.

Q: When did you have your original conversation with coach Yost?
AG: About a week or so ago.

Q: When did Leach get ahold of you?
A: Shortly thereafter.

Q: When did you arrive in Pullman.
A: Sunday.

Q: How do you react to people that would question if you're ready to be a coordinator?
AG: First, I haven't met anyone that was born into a coordinator role so based on my experience everyone has progressed through the ranks, if you will, to get an opportunity to run their own defense or offense over time.

Beyond that, all opinions will take place after a week we start playing games in the fall. I'm worried about the results that we produce at that time as opposed to everyone's feelings about me.

Q: Have you heard any good jokes about your last name?
A: I don't know what you're talking about. As a family, we've developed a lot of mental toughness.

Q: Has Leach decided for sure if Eric Mele will stay as the special teams coach?
A: That's a question for coach Leach.

Q: Has it been determined that you will coach the defensive backs?
A: Well we're still looking for one more hire here on the defensive side of the ball and trying to find the best candidate available regardless of position. I have a real comfort level on the back end and so if we got that direction I'd feel very confident in having all four (defensive backs).

Over the course of my career, other than really the last couple years at Missouri, have had the entire back end and there's some positives to that in terms of cross-training and those things so I would be comfortable if that was the direction we took.

Q: Have you talked to any other schools about other jobs?
AG: I have, I have. None progressed and none I felt were the right opportunity for my family and that would not just be this offseason but every offseason so this is the one that got the antennas up.

Q: Were any of them coordinator jobs?
AG: The majority of jobs I've talked about over the last few years have been coordinator jobs.

Q: How about this winter?
AG: This winter possibly.

Q: Did any of them progress to the point of an offer?
AG: I haven't found the right opportunity.

Q: What reason did you give coach Leach as to why he should hire you?
AG: Not to put words in coach Leach's mouth but along those lines my only aim in looking at this opportunity was to have an opportunity to help WSU win football games. Therein lies the motivation. This is an opportunity for me to do just that.

I think philosophically, my approach, what I've been in the past, where I've been in the past, and what we've been able to accomplish has developed that philosophy. Coach wants to find a way to be more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. I think the package lends itself to that. He wants to produce more takeaways. I think our teaching and practice structure will lend itself to that. It's important to get off the field on third downs. There's going to be a huge emphasis on that. And then obviously it's important to play good defense in the red zone and make teams count in threes instead of sevens, that can have a huge impact on winning and losing as well.

So I think all those ingredients, I think play into it and all those things I think is stuff that you can sell to the players. It's something guys can kind of wrap their heads around and hang on to in terms of what we are as a defense and I think the final thing on all those things is making sure that not one team we face out-efforts us and making sure that the produce ton the field shows a group of guys that are absolutely flying to the football and dying to produce. So again, whether that answers your question or hits home with coach Leach, that's kind of where we're at.

Q: What confidence did your successful teams at Mount Union have and how does that translate into your coaching?
A: Well one, I appreciate you bringing up my playing career. Two, both there and really every stop along the way, like you said we've won the bulk of our games there and I think it developed an approach that we were going to find a way and it wasn't always going to be easy and we were going to have to grind it out. You don't win that many games by blowing everybody out.

But a "find a way" approach, if you've got to win a game 10-7 you're going to find a way to get that done regardless of what's going on on the other side of the ball. But I've been fortunate. A four-year run at New Hampshire where at that level of football you finish in the Top-10 rankings, play in the playoffs, and two bowl games in my three years at Wyoming, a couple SEC championships in my time at Missouri.

I think at every place I've been the common ingredients have included tremendous effort, it's included a great teaching system starting with the coaches and the product on the field has been a result, if nothing else, of at least those two things.

WSU formally announces the new hire

Here is the press release Washington State Athletics just sent out regarding the hiring of Alex Grinch as defensive coordinator:
Cougars Name Alex Grinch Defensive Coordinator
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University Head Football Coach Mike Leach announced Wednesday that Alex Grinch has been named WSU’s defensive coordinator and will coach the secondary.
“We are excited to have Alex part of our football family,” said Leach. “He is a passionate, tireless worker who brings tremendous excitement and aggression to our team. He has a track record of developing young talent which will be of great benefit to our defense.
“He is highly regarded in the coaching field and has a very bright future,” Leach continued. “We are very fortunate to have Alex at Washington State University.”
Grinch spent the last three seasons at Missouri where he coached safeties, helping Missouri to a 23-5 record over the past two years, two SEC East Division titles, a Citrus Bowl victory over Minnesota earlier this month and a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State in 2014.
“I’m excited to join the Washington State football program and thank Coach Leach for the opportunity,” said Grinch. “It’s time to get to work to produce a defense that Cougar fans can be proud of!”
Grinch’s safeties played a key role in Missouri’s defensive improvement in 2014, as they combined to grab six of the Tigers’ 12 interceptions on the year - led by senior SS Braylon Webb’s team-high four picks. Webb earned Second-Team All-SEC honors for his 2014 season which included 69 tackles.
The 2013 season saw improved play from the Tiger safeties, which helped Missouri’s defense be one of the most disruptive units in the country and earn the first of two-straight SEC East Division titles. Grinch’s safeties combined for five interceptions, including three from Webb, who ranked second on the team with 89 tackles and seven pass break ups. 
Grinch’s first year at Missouri saw him get solid play from his starting safeties Kenronte Walker and Webb. Walker finished the 2012 season with 71 tackles (fifth on the team) and won the first-ever SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors for a Tiger player.
“He’s the real deal!” said Chip Kelly, who was the offensive coordinator on the same New Hampshire staff as Grinch in 2005-06. “He’s intelligent, articulate and has an unbelievable work ethic. He is one of the best teachers I’ve been around.”
Prior to Missouri, Grinch spent three seasons coaching the Wyoming secondary. Three of his Cowboy defensive backs earned postseason honors in 2011, as Wyoming reached a bowl game for the second time in his three years in Laramie. Wyoming concluded the 2011 regular season ranked No. 34 in the nation in pass defense, allowing only 202.2 yards passing per game, and ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and tied for No. 5 in the NCAA in most turnovers gained (31 total).
During his time in Laramie, Grinch coached two Freshman All-Americans, six All-Mountain West Conference recipients and five MWC All-Academic honorees. Two of his players, Chris Prosinski and Tashaun Gipson, remain in the NFL with Prosinski being a fourth round-round selection by Jacksonville in 2011 and Gipson spending the past three seasons with Cleveland, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2014.
Grinch coached at New Hampshire for four seasons from 2005-08. In his first two seasons he coached the cornerbacks before being promoted to secondary coach and recruiting coordinator for the 2007-08 seasons. At UNH the Wildcats posted a combined 37-13 record and reached the FCS playoffs four times, including three quarterfinal appearances and a No. 7 ranking in the final FCS Coaches’ Poll of 2008. He coached four players to a total of six all-conference honors, including cornerback Corey Graham, who was a fifth-round selection of the Chicago Bears in the 2007 NFL Draft and was a 2012 NFL Pro Bowl selection.
Prior to New Hampshire, Grinch was the defensive graduate assistant coach at Missouri for the 2003 and 2004 campaigns, and was an administrative graduate assistant at Missouri for the 2002 season. 
Grinch enjoyed an outstanding college playing career at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. He was a member of three NCAA Division III National Championship teams at Mount Union in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Over his four-year career, Grinch’s Mount Union teams posted a 54-1 record and won four-consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference Championships. His senior season of 2001, he was named a Third Team All-America safety by D3football.com and a First Team Academic All-Conference selection.
Grinch and his wife, Rebecca, have two children, a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Corbi.




WSU hires Missouri assistant Alex Grinch as defensive coordinator

Alex Grinch will take over as the new defensive coordinator at Washington State and will try to make the Cougars defense as potent as their offense.

Mike Leach dismissed defensive coordinator Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero six weeks ago, following WSU’s season-ending loss to Washington in the Apple Cup.

Grinch comes to WSU from Missouri, where he spent three years as the Tigers safeties coach. Prior to that he spent three seasons as the secondary coach at Wyoming.

While at MU Grinch drew praise from coach Gary Pinkel for his recruiting abilities, particularly in the Southeast. 

Now he will be tasked with improving a WSU defense that ranked No. 97 nationally in total yards allowed. The Cougars struggles on defense were the primary reason WSU backslid to a 3-9 record one year after playing in a bowl game, despite having the country’s No. 7 total offense.

It is not yet known what defensive scheme Grinch will bring to Pullman, although it is believed that one of the criteria used during the search was the use of an attacking defense that utilized blitzes and stunts to create pressure on the quarterback.

Deone Bucannon named to NFL All-Rookie team

The writers that cover NFL teams every day have decided that Deone Bucannon was one of the league's best rookies in 2014.

The Pro Football Writers of America included the first-year safety out of Washington State in their All-Rookie team, which was released on Tuesday. Bucannon started nine games, made 81 tackles and forced a fumble for the Arizona Cardinals, the team that made him their first-round draft choice last spring.

His best game came in a week 8 win over Philadelphia in which he made a season-high eight tackles, deflected a pass and recovered a fumble.


Isiah Myers to play in Gridiron Showcase

Washington State senior receiver Isiah Myers will play in the College Gridiron Showcase, the school announced.

The All-Star game will be held at Maverick Stadium on the campus of UT-Arlington on Jan. 31, 2015. This past season Myers made 78 catches – the third most in school history for a single season – for 972 yards. He also caught 12 touchdown passes, which is tied for the second-highest single season total at WSU.

Myers will be the third Cougar senior to play in a postseason All-Star game. First, defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 17 and then receiver Vince Mayle will play in the Reece's Senior Bowl on Jan. 20.

WSU athletics releases 2014 fiscal numbers

On Friday, the Washington State athletic department released its statement of revenues and expenses for the prior fiscal year.

You can read it below.

I spoke to athletic director Bill Moos this afternoon to break down some of these numbers.

— First, Moos asked me to clarify that the Cougars do not receive any extra money because Oregon participated in the college football playoffs, nor will Pac-12 schools receive any largesse from the Ducks playing in the championship game.

"It doesn't matter whether the Pac-12 has a team in the four slots or in the championship game; our money is guaranteed and it's significantly more than it has been in the past," Moos said. "It's not like basketball where you get units for how many teams you get and how far they go in the bracket."

Rather, WSU saw an extra $2.5 million that it would have received whether or not the Pac-12 placed a school in the playoffs.

— As you can see, the athletic department's revenues grew from about $45.5 million in 2013 to about $47.2 million in 2014. However, the Cougars also spent a lot more money in 2014 and finished with a net loss of about $13 million.

Moos said that he expected to spend more money in 2014 and that extra expenses such as bowl payouts, Ken Bone's buyout, salary increases on the football staff, the hiring of Ernie Kent and his staff and creating assistant golf coach positions added to the deficit.

Still, he said those are expenses he was happy to bear.

— Moos said that the department paid the remaining $1.8 million left on Bone's contract immediately, rather than spacing it out over the duration of his seven-year contract.

— While WSU's total contributions dipped from $7.7 million in 2013 to $7.2 million in 2014, Moos says that the number of Cougar Athletics Fund donors set a new record, as did their total donations. The reason the contributions number is lower is because of specific donations to Phase One of the Martin Stadium renovation that expired.

— The Pac-12 schools saw money from the Pac-12 Networks for the first time in 2014, a cool $1.5 million that is expected to go up significantly.

"We're still optimistic as a conference that could get up to 7 or 8 million per school."

— Moos says his projections show the athletic department becoming solvent by 2019, although he hopes WSU athletics will become revenue neutral by 2018. The Cougars are currently servicing debt on bonds taken to pay for recent construction and while Moos says that the Cougars still have projects in mind — an indoor practice facility, for instance – the athletic department will not take on additional debt.

"The plan is that any additional facilities will be the result of major gifts," Moos said. "We needed to get the football facilities as fast as we could to create the revenue stream from the premium seating area, and also to attract and develop our players, so we bonded that."

Beau Glover to leave WSU

Safety Beau Glover indicated on his Twitter account that he is leaving the Washington State football program. 

On Friday morning the redshirt sophomore tweeted, "Can't thank coach Mike Leach, coach Chris Reinert, coach Ken Wilson, coach Eric Mele and all the other coaches for everything they did! I'm going to miss playing for them.

Glover came to WSU as a walk-on in 2012 and had an impressive ability to always be around the ball, despite lacking prototypical Pac-12 safety size. He played very well in 2013 spring practices and played in five games this past season, making five tackles.

Update: 12:01 p.m. — Here is an update from Glover himself.

WSU rolls over Mike Leach’s contract, as expected

We reported awhile ago that Bill Moos planned to allow Mike Leach's contract to roll over, in effect extending it until 2019.

Because we've been getting some email about the subject recently I thought I'd put up this post to remind people that it happened. Leach's contract has a provision that states that it automatically renews the length at five years on Jan. 1 of each year unless either Moos or Leach provide written notice stopping the automatic extension.

The extension also resets the clock on both the buyout Leach would have to pay to pursuit another job ($2.25 million if he leaves in year one of the contract) and the buyout the school would have to pay to terminate his contract without cause (60 percent of the base salary due for the remainder of the agreement).

Cougars land Oklahoma receiver

Oklahoma wide receiver Dahu Green is headed to Washington State, according to multiple recruiting outlets.

Green is 6-foot-4, 188-pounds, and will likely help compose the next generation of big outside receivers in WSU's Air Raid. He was previously committed to Louisville and reportedly held scholarship offers from Boise State, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Virginia and others.

Rivals.com rates Green the No. 45 receiver in the country and a three star prospect. He joins Deontay Burnett and Kyle Sweet in WSU's receiver class, as well as Clemson transfer Kyrin Priester, who is already on campus.

Here is a video of a spectacular play Green made that calls to mind a similar one-handed catch once made by another high school star with the same last name, the NFL's A.J. Green

Just for fun, here is the A.J. Green catch.


Xavier Cooper will enter the NFL draft

Cooper, 23, is a junior but says he will take online classes to graduate in May with a degree in criminal justice. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman played his high school ball at Tacoma's Wilson High.

"It was a tough decision just because I'm leaving the university that gave so much to me and my family: the opportunity for me to even be here and receive an education," Cooper said. "That was a tough decision but ultimately me and my family realized the opportunity doesn't happen very often for anybody and it was there for the taking and I felt that it was in my heart to go get it."

While the NFL draft advisory board recommended that he stay in school, that is the required recommendation for anyone that is not expected to be a first or second round selection.

NFL draft analyst Rob Rang of CBS says that Cooper does not have to fear going undrafted.

"He's probably an early day-three player, which would mean fourth round," Rang said. "I could see third round. He's a big, athletic guy who moves well. He's shown versatility at defensive tackle and defensive end. You'd like him to be a little bit stronger but he's a legitimate talent."

Cooper started for three years at either defensive tackle or defensive end for WSU. He led the Cougars with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss this season. The Cougars will have a decidedly different look on the defensive line next season, as fellow longtime starter Kalafitoni Pole has graduated and is pursuing his own NFL dreams.

He plans to sign with an agent shortly and believes he will be invited to the NFL scouting combine.

"It's a risk but there's risk in anything you want in life and you can't be afraid to fail," Cooper said. "Anything I've wanted I've had to beat the obstacle of being afraid but you can't go anywhere if you're afraid."

While I had Rang on the telephone, I also asked him about some of WSU's other NFL draft prospects.

Here's what he had to say about wide receiver Vince Mayle:

You know, at this point I would say that he's also a third or fourth rounder. It's going to come down to two things. One, he's obviously been very, very productive this year. I'm very curious to see how he performs at the Senior Bowl where he's not the featured target and has to play a more traditional role. And then how he runs the 40-yard dash. He's a very big player and does have some agility and acceleration for a big guy but he's not as physical a blocker as you might think and I just question his pure, straight-line speed.

He's a guy that obviously had a productive season, he's got a chance to really boost his stock if he performs well in the workouts.

Rang added that the drops that plagued Mayle late in the season will be a big concern for NFL teams and that they make it all the more imperative that he performs well in the Senior Bowl and at the combine.

Vince Mayle to attend NFL scouting combine

Vince Mayle appears to have accepted an invitation to the NFL scouting combine, posting the news on his Instagram account.

The combine is an annual showcase in which prospective NFL draftees participate in a series of drills designed to measure their strength and athleticism. They also meet with representatives from NFL teams in a series of interviews to gauge whether or not the player is a good citizen and a good fit for an organization.

In 2014 Mayle led the Pac-12 with 106 receptions and 1,483 receiving yards.

The combine is held every February in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Getting an invitation is considered a very good indicator that a player will be drafted in the spring.


Blessed for the opportunity to chase my dreams….

A photo posted by @vincemayle1 on

WSU’s Pole to play in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

(WSU's Kalafitoni Pole (No. 98) celebrates with teammates after a big play.)

Washington State defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole will play in the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

The game, hosted by the NFL Players Association, provides a showcase for draft-eligible seniors to compete in front of NFL scouts on Saturday, Jan. 17. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and practices leading up to the game will be broadcasted live on ESPNU.

The full press release from the NFLPA is after the jump.

Report: Daquawn Brown dismissed by Mike Leach (UPDATED)

(Update: 4:13 p.m.) University of Washington freshman cornerback Naijiel Hale posted on Twitter that the report regarding Brown's dismissal was incorrect, and that the talented cornerback has actually been suspended.

(Update: 4:50 p.m.) I can confirm that Daquawn Brown has been dismissed and there does not appear to be an avenue for his reinstatement.

Washington State football coach Mike Leach has dismissed cornerback Daquawn Brown, his team's leading tackler and most experienced defensive back, according to an internet report.

The team does not publicly address player dismissals and Leach could not immediately be reached for comment.

 We'll update this post if we learn more.

Follow the jump for more on Brown's reported dismissal.

Morning links: what’s going on at Utah

Both of Utah's coordinators have taken positions elsewhere and it sounds like coach Kyle Whittingham may soon follow.

Defensive coordinator Kilani Sitake took the same position at Oregon State while offensive coordinator Dave Christensen will head to Texas A&M as the running game coordinator.

This article explains that tensions are high in the Utes athletic department and even Whittingham may be looking for a change of scenery after 20 years in Salt Lake City.

Two Pac-12 teams play their bowl games today. Previews of those games and other links are after the jump.

Kevin Griffin leaves Washington State football program

I can confirm that freshman cornerback Kevin Griffin has left the Washington State football program, as indicated on his Twitter account.

Griffin played in three games this past season and made his first and only start in WSU's win at Oregon State. He finishes his career at WSU with two tackles.

Follow the jump for more.

Three more Riverside recruits headed to WSU

WSU's defense could look markedly different next season. In fact, it could look a lot like the one at Riverside CC.


Following yesterday's news that Riverside's Treshon Broughton will play at Washington State rather than Oregon State, today three of his teammates decided to follow suit.


Follow the jump for more.

WSU flips an OSU recruit

Washington State's defensive backfield got a little older today with JC cornerback Treshon Broughton's college switch.

More on WSU's newest recruit after the jump.

Darryl Monroe leaves the Cougars

Darryl Monroe entered last season as the spokesman of the Washington State defense.

Well-spoken and a two-year starter heading into his junior season, Monroe was WSU's defensive representative at Pac-12 Media Days and was asked to further engage with fans by conducting video walkthroughs of the football operations building and interviewing freshmen in short videos produced by the athletic department.

On the first day of fall camp he tried to set the tone for the season, saying, "Last year was just a taste, it was like a little drop of blood to a shark. He's fiending so now we're fiending for success, so right now the sky isn't even the limit. We're trying to go past that, go to outer space."

Now, Monroe has quit the team. Cougfan.com's Chris Shaw first reported Monroe's departure and I have since confirmed it.

More on this after the jump.



Who is standing out in WSU’s defensive coordinator search?

Covering a coaching search can be like playing in a national game of Telephone.

You hear some names of prospective candidates that make no sense and some that make a lot of sense, and just when you think you've zeroed in on the candidate somebody completely new will get the job. Just take this morning's announcement that Oregon State's Mike Riley will take over at Nebraska when everyone thought the job belonged to Scott Frost, for example.

It's entirely possible that the names you hear associated with vacant jobs were never even contacted by the schools doing the searching. Still, it's fun for everyone to try and guess who will be hired and so we'll pass along some names we're hearing more often than others, after the jump.

Vince Mayle named Second Team All-Pac-12

Washington State receiver Vince Mayle was named Second Team All-Pac-12, the conference announced Tuesday.

Mayle tied for the national lead with 106 receptions and set the WSU single-season record with 1,483 receiving yards.The redshirt senior led the Pac-12 with six 100-yard receiving games and was the only college football player this season with two games of more than 250 receiving yards. He was also a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation's top receiver.

More after the jump.

Key numbers from the WSU season

WSU finished the regular season with the nation's No. 1 passing offense margin, throwing for 477.7 yards per game.

How good was Washington State at moving the ball through the air? Well, Western Kentucky was No. 2 in that category with 365 passing yards, or 112.7 yards per game than the Cougars.

All those yards didn't always produce points, however, and the Cougars were merely 45th in scoring offense. In sports the numbers never tell the whole story, but they can serve as a pretty compelling guide.

We take a look at some of the numbers that define WSU's 2014 season after the jump.