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WSU practice notes: Pat Porter leaves the Cougars

Mike Leach confirmed after Tuesday's practice that cornerback Pat Porter has left the program. He is no longer listed on the roster.

Porter's departure isn't entirely unexpected. The cornerback, who grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was firmly a Mike Breske recruit. Porter once told me that he decided to play for Washington State in large part because he was so impressed that Breske braved a freak snow storm to visit him in his home, and his relationship with the former defensive coordinator obviously played a big role in getting Porter to choose WSU over offers from Cincinnati, Minnesota, Miami and other schools.

When Porter first arrived in Pullman, he appeared to be the most talented member of a deep freshman secondary class. He played very well during summer workouts and appeared to have the most respect from the older players during preseason camp. Of the three freshmen who started games at cornerback last season, Porter was the first to get a shot, getting starts in WSU's games against Arizona and USC.

But Porter seemed to struggle considerably under the new coaching staff and was frequently scolded during practice for being in the wrong place or making the wrong read. He had a rough spring and didn’t play much better in preseason camp. That's never easy for a player, and one can't imagine it's any easier for someone going to school as far away from home as possible and who watched the coach who recruited him get fired after his freshman season.

The result was that he was buried on the depth chart and has not played this season, meaning he still has a redshirt available. One can only guess why this week the coaches listed him in the two-deeps for the first time this season.

It's impossible to know whether or not Porter figured much into WSU's future plans at the cornerback position. The Cougars are currently starting a true freshman and a redshirt sophomore, and the guys backing them up ain't seniors, so he had a long path ahead of him to see the field.

But Porter was a solid athlete who had enough raw talent to earn a couple starts as a freshmen, and it will be interesting to see what caliber of program gives him a spot.

Anyway, you all are here for the practice report. So here are the highlights from Tuesday's practice:

-- Tavares Martin and River Cracraft each appeared hobbled at various points in Saturday's game, and fans have been asking about them on Twitter. Cracraft was fine during Tuesday's practice, but Martin was in a yellow "no-contact" jersey. However, Martin was able to participate in drills just fine.

Nose tackle Robert Barber was limited and could not participate in drills, however. Also, starting cornerback Darrien Molton was limited in practice, so Charleston White started at corner alongside Marcellus Pippins, with Willie Roach and Kirkland Parker backing them up.

-- Still no sign of Isaac Dotson at practice.

-- Tempo was a big emphasis for the defense today, although not quite as big as when the Cougars were preparing for Oregon. In order to increase the scout team's tempo, the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs would run to the sideline after plays while replacements set up, so that the offense could get ready to go even faster. The starting defense was challenged to be ready to play an offense that was getting set up faster than it would be able to in a game.

-- Treshon Broughton got a lot of run at Nickel today, mostly with the second string but occasionally with the starting unit. He looked pretty comfortable, breaking up a couple passes.

-- Frankie Luvu and Chandler Leniu each played pretty well against the run in Tuesday's practice. Leniu tackles hard and Luvu has a knack for knowing which hole the running back is going to and meeting him there.

-- Aaron Porter and Paris Taylor also saw time with the twos at the linebacker spots.

-- There haven't been many fights this year, but I saw three skirmishes on Tuesday. Broughton and offensive lineman B.J. Salmonson got into it pretty good, but the fight ended without too much interference. Later, Cedric Bigge-Duren and Hunter Mattox went to the ground during a one-on-one drill between the offensive and defensive lines with Mattox, the defender, getting on top of Bigge-Duren and ripping the offensive player's helmet off. Thankfully, it didn't get much further than that. A third fight happened when Devonte McClain popped Moritz Christ on the helmet and the two started swinging. This scuffle drew in more teammates.

-- Dylan Hanser saw time with the ones in some packages and he had a pretty good practice. His most impressive play came during one-on-ones when the Rush linebacker pancaked offensive lineman Brandon Evers. It appeared that Hanser's speed rush got Evers off balance and the defender then pushed the tackle back on his heels to knock him over.

-- Backup quarterback Peyton Bender was twice intercepted during Tuesday's practice. Marcellus Pippins picked off one pass and Deion Singleton snagged another.

-- The tempo threw off the scout offense occasionally as the offensive players sometimes struggled to secure the ball while continually getting set up so fast. Reggie Coates, Jeremiah Allsion and Peyton Pelluer each ripped the ball away from offensive players during the scout period.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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