Latest from The Spokesman-Review
From Pullman — Deone Bucannon was at today's Washington State basketball game against USC to accept the CFPA Elite Defensive Back trophy at halftime. Before the game he spoke with the media to talk about his preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, his performance at the recent NFL Combine and the award.
From Pullman — On Thursday the National Football Foundation released a list of 81 candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame. Former Washington State running back Clarence “Clancy” Williams was among those nominated.
More after the jump.
Former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon has been in Indianapolis since Saturday, but his work begins in earnest today. After bench pressing 225 pounds 19 times yesterday — good enough for third among defensive backs — he'll participate in a series of drills. Bucannon is projected as a second or third round pick by most analysts, and his performance today could tip the scales in either direction.
Bucannon was unofficially timed at 4.50 seconds in both of his 40-yard dash attempts this morning. That time would have made him the fourth fastest safety in 2013, but you should expect his official time to be a couple ticks slower.
We'll update this post as more results become available.
UPDATE: (10:44) Bucannon's 40-yard dash time was actually revised downward, officially clocking in at 4.49, third fastest among safeties. His vertical jump was measured at 36.5 inches and his broad jump came in at 125 inches, placing him in the top three among safeties in each event.
Video courtesy of Ben Love.
Deone Bucannon is in Indianapolis preparing to participate in the NFL Combine. Because Bucannon is a defensive back, he won't workout until Tuesday. So while you will see 40-times and bench press numbers start to come in today, you won't find Bucannon's name anywhere on the lists.
But Bucannon can still talk to general managers, scouts and, of course, the media. Bucannon measured in at 6'1, 211-pounds, four pounds lighter than his listed weight this past season. That may indicate that Bucannon is trying to get faster. Bucannon's strengths lie in defending the run and in using his size to punish smaller offensive players, but he may need to reassure scouts of coverage abilities.
In the above video he talks about his love for the game, how former WSU football players Jason David, and the Abdullah brothers are helping him prepare for the NFL, and how players like him and Kam Chancellor still have a place in the NFL.
From Pullman — With all due respect to Mrrs. Bielema, Calhoun and Saban, there does not seem to be groundswell up support arising for their proposal to guarantee college football defenses time to substitute.Yesterday morning we put up a blog post that quotes WSU head coach Mike Leach who uses no uncertain terms to profess his disdain for the idea, and the Seattle Times' always excellent Jerry Brewer calls the idea “inane” and “laughable.”
Not so long ago Mr. Brewer said the same thing about my skills as a bus boy, so you can be sure he knows what he's talking about.
The WSU women beat Utah, giving June Daughtery her first 7th Pac-12 win as the WSU coach. The Cougars are within shouting distance of March Madness, but still have a ways to go. Charlie Creme projects just three Pac-12 teams will make it to the women's NCAA tournament in his latest Bracketology, and Stanford and Arizona State seem like sure bets. The Cougars also have to overcome their 13-12 overall record, despite some impressive out of conference performances.
The WSU men will take on Stanford today … Arizona State beat rival No. 2 Arizona in double overtime in one of the best games of the year thus far .. The baseball team lost its season opener against top-ranked Cal State Fullerton.
*We regret not being able to bring you Ted Miller's Pac-12 Mailbag. It's Vince's thing, and he jealously guards it like a mama bear whose only cub is the rightful heir to the entire Grizzly Kingdom.
- WSU football
From Pullman —
Earlier this week WSU coach Mike Leach spoke to ESPN’s Ted Miller about a proposed NCAA rule change that would prevent offense from snapping the ball during the play clock’s first 11 seconds to allow defenses an opportunity to substitute player.
On Thursday he joined Matt and Scott on WJOX 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. to further explain why he would be, “prepared to debate anybody on the subject because it’s so ridiculous on its face.”
More after the jump.
From Pullman — For a day with no game, Thursday was surprising eventful in Cougar country. The Washington State football team is in the middle of Midnight Maneuvers and the athletic department released a video with some highlights from the late night workouts … Former WSU safety Deone Bucannon's agents also put out a video about their client's road to the NFL draft … There are some new pictures of the Football Operations Building, which athletic director Bill Moos says is nearing completion … The day capped off with the news that running back Jeremiah Laufasa will transfer … The Crimson Flag is Flying at the Winter Olympics.
The above video comes courtesy of Foster and Easley Sports Management, a sports agency representing former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon as he prepares for the upcoming NFL draft. In the video Bucannon talks about his time at WSU and how it influenced him and helped him grow into an AP All-American.
The agency is no stranger to WSU, and has represented former players such as Jeff Tuel, Marquess Wilson and Kenny Alfred as well as Eastern Washington's Matt Johnson.
From Pullman — The Washington State football players are spending their evenings pushing planks, pounding on dummies and running sprints as part of their late-night winter conditioning workouts known as Midnight Maneuvers. By practicing late at night the Cougars are able to accustom their bodies to the night games that have become seemingly the norm for WSU.
WSU Athletics put together a video featuring highlights from the workouts, which are closed to the media, as well as an interview with head strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo.
The NCAA football rules committee is proposing changes to the targeting rule and considering whether or not to ease regulations on defensive substitutions in response to no-huddle offenses.
Yesterday we reported that WSU wide receiver Gabe Marks had been arrested and cited with four misdemeanors: 4th degree assault, 2nd degree criminal trespass, being a minor intoxicated in public and frequenting a tavern as a minor. Today Sgt. Dan Dornes of the Pullman Police Department provided more details on the arrest.
From Salt Lake City — Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks was arrested outside of 600 NE Colorado St. in Pullman at 2 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Pullman Police Department's daily activity log. He was arrested for 4th degree assault, 2nd degree criminal trespass, being a minor intoxicated in public and frequenting a tavern as a minor.
Last year Marks was cited for being a minor in possession.
Marks had 74 catches for 807 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He led the Cougars in all three categories.
From Salt Lake City — Last night we reported that backup quarterback Austin Apodaca has decided to transfer from Washington State and has left the football program … Today the basketball team will take on Utah and should be prepared for a hostile environment … The WSU women came very close to earning their first-ever win over Stanford … Here's a nice profile on WSU football (and basketball?) signee Jalen Canty … Cal suffered a tragedy yesterday when a player collapsed during conditioning … Ted Miller answers questions in his Pac-12 Mailbag … The Ducks need a win tomorrow at Arizona State to keep even the faintest postseason hope flickering … USC and UCLA are set to rumble for the second time this season.
UPDATE (8:11 p.m.) — Apodaca confirmed that he has left the program, more from the quarterback after the jump.
Independent sources have told the Spokesman-Review that quarterback Austin Apodaca is no longer a member of the Washington State football program. No reason for Apodaca's departure was given.
A spokesperson for WSU said that the team does not comment on internal matters.
Apodaca, a redshirt freshman this past season, completed 21 of 42 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns as Connor Halliday's primary backup. He originally was recruited by former WSU head coach Paul Wulff and but became the first quarterback recruited by current coach Mike Leach at WSU. A product of Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colo., Apodaca was named All-Colorado by the Denver Post as a senior after throwing for a state-high 3,849 yards with 44 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
From Pullman — The 2014 WSU football class is almost if not entirely signed and it's drawn good reviews from its architect … We've got a list of the signees, along with coach Mike Leach's evaluations of each, right here … The men's basketball team fell just short on the road despite a career night from DaVonte Lacy … Stanford avenged its earlier loss to Cal … Washington finished with a respectable class on a tight deadline … But a pair of Huskies might be in trouble … USC finished with a bang on signing day, showing that the new staff will be able to at least recruit well … And recruits are still impressed by all that is Oregon … Stanford also brought in a good class.
From Pullman — Tomorrow high school football stars all across the country will fax in letters of intent to play college football and with that in mind we've got a story on a kid who plans to travel all the way from Florida to run Mike Leach's Air Raid offense. Make sure to check in on SportsLink for our Signing Day coverage. We'll have a blog post that I'll update as signees are confirmed, and I'll keep a live chat running to answer all your questions.
As for today we've also got a blog post up on a trainer who DaVonte Lacy credits with his (relatively) quick recovery.
Recruiting season is reaching a fever pitch. One of the state's top players decided to play for Washington, although he doesn't seem all that thrilled about it … At least he won't have to deal with any sanctions from the Tosh Lupoi investigation … The Pac-12 was well represented in the Super Bowl … It's official: the Wildcats are no longer No. 1.
With signing day fast approaching, college football coaches are scrambling to fill out their 2014 recruiting classes. While these last couple weeks can be a whirlwind of activity, Washington State has received verbal pledges from a number of recruits, and only have a few spots remaining. With that in mind, I invited a couple WSU recruiting experts to come fill us in on how the class is shaping up. Braulio Perez, a Senior Correspondent at Cougfan.com and Britton Ransford, the publisher of WazzuWatch.com, were kind enough to answer some questions about WSU recruiting and the upcoming class. Part 1 of that interview is after the jump.
Thought Deone Bucannon displayed best press technique & jam in one on ones, which surprised considering he's a safety.— Alex Brown (@OS_AlexBrown) January 21, 2014
Deone Bucannon's career as a Washington State football player may be over, but his professional journey is just beginning. He's currently in Mobile, Ala., practicing for the Senior Bowl, an annual showcase of NFL draft hopefuls. The game takes secondary importance, however, to the week preceding it, in which NFL scouts can evaluate the players while they practice and meet with them afterwards.
More after the jump.
Washington State wide receiver posted on his Instagram account that he is done playing football today. Ratliff, who would have been a redshirt senior this upcoming fall, posted:
Football has been everything and the only thing to me for the last 14 years. But with God and my family I've decided it was time to move on and start the rest of my life. There's nothing I'll miss more than being around my brothers in the locker room and I appreciate the love and understanding I've received from them. On that note it's still and forever will be Go Cougs ! #gocougs
Ratliff caught 27 passes last season for 243 yards. His best game as a Cougar came against No. 17 UCLA in 2012 when he had five catches for 123 yards, including a 49-yard reception.
On Monday we reported that the Washington State football team was set to welcome six new student-athletes who enrolled for Spring semester. Today, the school formally announced the new roster additions.
“This is a very good start to our 2014 signing class,” said coach Mike Leach. “We have added some size along with skill positions on both sides of the ball. Having them begin classes and adjust to college life, while also participating in winter conditioning and spring practices, will benefit them going forward.”
Click here to read the school's press release.
From Pullman — Yesterday was the start of called for Spring semester at Washington State and the students were back on campus. That includes six new Cougars who enrolled for Spring quarter (although apparently Calvin Green is arriving today). In the morning, Bud Nameck hosted Cougar Calls, which you can listen to here or read our recap. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times takes a look at the teams to beat in 2014, and the paper also has a piece on former WSU basketball player Patrick Simon. CougCenter's Kyle Sherwood takes a closer look at the shot charts from the Cougars game against Utah.
Follow the jump for links from around the Pac-12.
From Pullman — Cougar Calls — Bud Nameck's weekly radio show on KXLY with WSU athletic director Bill Moos — can be heard every Monday at 10 a.m. Moos wasn't available today so associate athletic director Mike Marlow appeared in his stead. A podcast will be made available later just in case you weren't able to devote an hour of your Monday morning to listening. We've also summarized a few of the highlights, after the jump.
From Pullman — Six new players are expected to join the Washington State football program today, with Markell Sanders, Marcellus Pippins, Dylan Hanser, Nick Begg, Calvin Green and Sean Krepsz all set to become Cougars. Sanders, Hanser, Begg and Krepsz are already listed in the WSU student directory, and all six are on campus according to Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com.
We'll have updates with quotes from the WSU coaches once they become available. For now, we've got more on the newcomers, after the jump.
If home is where the heart is than the Cougars should show plenty of it in the 2014 football season. After opening the season against Rutgers in Seattle's CenturyLink Field on August 28th, the Cougars will have five home games in Martin Stadium. The game will be the first for Rutgers as a member of the Big Ten athletic conference.The Apple Cup returns to the Saturday after Thanksgiving after being played the day after the holiday the past two seasons. For the second straight year the Cougars will skip Colorado and UCLA.
“This is truly an outstanding schedule for our team and for our fans,” WSU athletic director Bill Moos said. “Having six games in Martin Stadium has not happened in a while and the conference slate of home games is outstanding. In addition, playing new Big Ten member Rutgers in Seattle on the Thursday night of Labor Day weekend should prove to be attractive in regards to attracting a great crowd as well as a large national television audience.
WSU 2014 Football Schedule (home games in bold):
Aug. 28 – Rutgers (The Seattle Game)
Sept. 6 – at Nevada
Sept. 13 – Portland State
Sept. 20 – Oregon
Sept. 27 – at Utah
Oct. 4 – California (Homecoming)
Oct. 10 – at Stanford
Oct. 18 – Bye
Oct. 25 – Arizona (Dad’s Weekend)
Nov. 1 – USC
Nov. 8 – at Oregon State
Nov. 15 – Bye
Nov. 22 – at Arizona State
Nov. 29 – Washington (Apple Cup)
From Pullman — It was announced before the football season that defensive end/BUCK linebacker Logan Mayes would be transferring out of the Washington State football program in search of more playing time. Today it was announced what school will be his new home.
Find out where, after the jump.
From Pullman — Yesterday Bill Moos appeared on Cougar Calls and WSU coach Mike Leach made a guest appearance. We've transcribed some of the highlights. While the call was centered on football, Moos also touched on the men's and women's basketball teams. We've got a blog post recapping the men's weekend in the desert, while the women will take on Washington tomorrow … Moos also reiterated that the Apple Cup won't be on Friday next year … It appears that former WSU football coach Paul Wulff has found gainful employment … The Pac-12 is losing a lot of talent in football this offseason. Both underclassmen and seniors are preparing for the NFL draft … In the true Boulder spirit, Colorado has been climbing the men's basketball polls … Last night was the end of the BCS era, and it went out with a bang.
From Pullman — Like myself, Bud Nameck returned from Arizona today and wasn't around to participate in Cougar Calls with WSU athletic director Bill Moos. But Derek Deis filled in ably, and the duo had a guest visitor in football coach Mike Leach. Moos confirmed that the Cougars won't be playing the Apple Cup the day after Thanksgiving anymore, and Leach called in from Florida to give his thoughts on recruiting. The interview can be listened to in its entirety here.
We've also transcribed some of the highlights, which you can read after the jump.
Washington State football coach Mike Leach will make a guest appearance on Gridiron Outdoors with Mike Pawlawski on the Outdoor Channel. In the show Pawlawski, a former professional quarterback, and his guests venture into the wild to pursuit wild species. Former guests include Urban Meyer, Gerald Sensabaugh and Joe Staley.
Leach has appeared on the show previously and went hunting in New Zealand. A photo gallery from that excursion can be found here.
The new episode will air on Saturday, January 4th at 5:00 p.m.
From Pullman — The Pac-12 men's basketball coaches will have their first teleconference of the season tomorrow, and then will host them ever Tuesday thereafter, so look for some news out of that. There was a little news yesterday, as WSU Athletics provided some updated pictures of the Football Operations Building and we put up a blog post on the status of WSU guard DaVonte Lacy, who is out for awhile.
A number of Pac-12 teams had games on Sunday, and all earned victories over small-conference opponents. Oregon continued its hot start with a win over Morgan State … J.T. Terrell showed Trojans fans he's back in USC's win over the Buffalo Bil, er, Howard Bison … Cal Poly was no match for Stanford … In the conference's closest game, Washington pulled out a win over Hartford … Oregon State capped off a good day for the conference with a win of its own.