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Let’s get ready for the weekend

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's Friday and the weekend looms. We have a few notes to get you ready. Read on.

WSU lands four-star quarterback

From Pullman — As we noted in our practice report, prep quarterback Tyler Hilinski attended Washington State's football practice on Thursday and evidently he liked what he saw, making a verbal commitment to play for WSU according to a Rivals.com report($). Hilinski is rated the nation's 14th best quarterback by Rivals and is a four-star prospect, the second four star QB landed by Mike Leach at WSU, along with Tyler Bruggman in 2013.

Hilinski is WSU's third recruit in the class of 2015, along with defensive tackle Thomas Toki, who is also currently on campus, and cornerback Austin Joyner. 

The 6-foot-3, 187 pound quarterback plays for Upland High School in Upland, Calif., and also held a scholarship offer from Utah State. He will likely be the only quarterback recruit in the class. The Cougars have taken one scholarship quarterback in each class under Mike Leach, starting with Austin Apodaca in 2012, who has since transferred, and then Bruggman in 2013 and Peyton Bender in last year's class.

NFL seems to dominate all year these days

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Let me check the calendar. It is April, right? Seems like there is a heck of a lot of NFL news for April. Read on.

The changing of the guard continues

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There are some questions that are impossible to answer definitively. Like why the M's are so mediocre year-in and year-out. Or why Pete Carroll is always smiling. Or why kids decide to leave one college for another. Read on.

Hawks hope Midas touch works with Pryor

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Terrelle Pryor, lined up in the slot receiver position, goes in motion. He receives a handoff from Russell Wilson and it looks as if he's going to pass. But instead he takes off running. Ten yards, 20, 30, 40 and he's run out of bounds at the San Francisco 8. A spike, a few words and … darn, there's the alarm. Time to go to work. Read on.

A quiet day after Easter

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Turns out a lot of people had the same idea on Easter. Who would have thought it? Read on.

There are some shining lights out there

A GRIP ON SPORTS

As the good ship Mariner slowly sinks in the west, let's take a moment to be thankful for some of the good things out there. Read on.

At least they are still playing

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It is amazing what gets fans worked up some times. Just amazing. Read on.

One loss that seems like more

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's only one game. OK, maybe it is more than that. Read on.

One change causes more in Pullman

A GRIP ON SPORTS

When Bill Moos decided to make a change at the top of the Washington State basketball program, we all knew the ripples would be felt throughout the program. We are just finding out, however, how far. Read on.

Roster turnover at WSU

From Pullman — Royce Woolridge and James Hunter will transfer from the Washington State University basketball program, the school announced on Tuesday. Additionally, signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent and will not enroll at WSU.

A tradition like none other

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You know what day it is? Yep, it's Tax Day. Time to pay the piper. Read on.

Graham Harrell to join WSU football staff

Sources have confirmed that former Mike Leach quarterback Graham Harrell will be joining his old coach as a member of the football staff at Washington State. The team already has nine assistant coaches, the maximum allowed by the NCAA, so Harrell will likely serve in an operations capacity, possibly as an “offensive quality control” staffer or in some other capacity.

Harrell's addition to the staff likely won't become official for at least a couple days. When that happens we will have a better understanding what his role in the program will be.

Harrell played under Leach at Texas Tech from 2004-08 and won a Super Bowl as a backup quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He spent the 2013 NFL preseason playing for the New York Jets but was released when the team signed Brady Quinn.

 

Every moment holds a lesson

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There is something to be said for learning lessons. Even if those lessons come with a really high price. Read on.

Give trades a little time to mature

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Want to be right about a baseball trade? Avoid the impulse to make a quick judgment. Read on.

Golf supplies its own drama

A GRIP ON SPORTS

No writer's block today. The subject of today's column is obvious. Read on.

Melting the ice with hot coffee

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Every once in a while I sit at my computer in the early morning hours and freeze. No, I'm not cold. I guess a better way to put it is I freeze up. I have no idea what I'm going to write about. No idea what would interest you. No idea how to entertain everyone. Usually, to break up the ice on my hands, I push away from the computer, get up, walk to the kitchen and make coffee. As it percolates in the Cuisinart, I count myself lucky if a thought comes into my head. Let's hope it works today. Read on.

Kent spends the day making WSU fans smile

A GRIP ON SPORTS

New Washington State basketball coach Ernie Kent was in town yesterday and made the media rounds. You couldn't turn on your television set or radio in Spokane and not see his smiling face or hear his booming voice. When the day was done, the Cougar faithful had to be smiling as well. Read on.

Last night’s Mariner win was so typical

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Last night's home opener against the Angels was just so Mariners. A sell-out crowd on hand to celebrate the beginning of the Robinson Cano era. A quick deficit. Two home runs from the “other” free agent, Corey Hart. And a win. Nope, that wasn't what was so like the Mariners. No, that came midway through the game when young lefthander James Paxton, who seemed on top of his game, pulled himself out, pointing to his back as he left. Yep, he's hurt. A strained lat muscle it is said. Oh oh. Read on.

Something just didn’t add up last night

A GRIP ON SPORTS

After watching Connecticut win another national title last night, it hit me. The Huskies' win should give seventh seeds every year the realization even they can win the NCAA tournament. Seventh seeds with NBA first-round draft picks in the backcourt and athletic, defensive-oriented big men up front. Wait, not too many seventh seeds can boast that, can they? Read on.

Ducks trying to poach Gonzaga’s Graves

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There was a time not too long ago when each college basketball offseason was met with speculation about Mark Few and just about every big-time job opening. Would the Gonzaga coach go or would he stay? Now that Few has turned down every overture, staying put year after year, the talk has died down. Sure, when the Cal job opened after Mike Montgomery's retirement, Few was mentioned in the media. But no one took it seriously. We seem to be beyond that. However, there is another successful basketball coach at Gonzaga and his name is starting to pop up every time a job opens. It happened again yesterday. And it isn't just a mention. Kelly Graves is being courted by Oregon and the Ducks don't like to take no for an answer. Read on.

It’s a full-plate Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Some days there is just too much going on to focus on one event or person. Today is one of those days. Read on.

Carroll has vindication – and a new deal

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It wasn't that long ago Pete Carroll was known as a guy who was a great college football coach. A great college football coach. The NFL? He had failed at that. But today Carroll can look in the mirror and know the guy looking back at him is also a successful NFL coach. Read on.

There’s something for everyone this week

A GRIP ON SPORTS

How strange is this time of year? It is raining this morning, a light gentle rain that waters the grass and coaxes the dandelions out of their winter sleep. We will probably get sun later, with a chance of a light burn on the back of your neck if you're not careful. Picking up the paper, there were stories about football, basketball and baseball, all of them relevant and interesting. Yep, it's a strange time of year. Read on.

 

The Masters won’t be the same without Tiger

A GRIP ON SPORTS

One of the rites of Spring, with a capital “S,” is watching the Masters on television. It's coming up in about 10 days, but it won't be the same. Not with Tiger Woods sidelined. Read on.

A reunion in Pullman

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It would be so easy today to make an April Fools' Day reference in regards to a lot of items. But we will restrain ourselves. After all, there was a lot of news yesterday. Read on.

Bill Moos has his coach

From Pullman — Ernie Kent is the new men's basketball coach at Washington State and he comes with the endorsement of a former Cougars coach, George Raveling.

“Ernie Kent comes to WSU with sterling credentials and the necessary skill set to take the basketball program to higher levels of achievement. He has been a part of the growth of the Pac-12 from eight teams to 10 teams and now to 12 teams, he has lived the history and growth of the conference. Ernie clearly understands what it takes to achieve success in one the most difficult conferences in the country. Congratulations to ‘Cougar Nation,’ I’m excited about the selection and wish Ernie nothing but success.”
 

For all the news on the Cougars new coach read our story here

Will the M’s be lions or lambs?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Today is lamb day. As in how March is supposed to go out. Meekly. We'll see. Read on.