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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Cougars give lots of looks during Tuesday’s practice

The Washington State Cougars held their first full-pads practice on Tuesday, although the offense elected to stay in shorts.

Another sign that we're getting deeper in to the practices was that the coaches seemed to give more first and second team reps to less experienced players on Tuesday, getting different looks at how various guys fit in.

Here are some examples I saw at practice:

-- Cedric Bigge-Duren, a fully-grown freshman at 6-foot-6, 320-pounds saw time during drills running with the first team offensive line at both left tackle and left guard, sometimes sliding between one position and the other immediately following a play.  While I still think Andre Dillard and Cody O'Connell are the presumptive starters at left tackle and left guard, respectively, it appears they're grooming Bigge-Duren to be able to back up either position.

For what it's worth, the second team offensive line, from left to right: Bigge-Duren, Drew Griffin, Noah Osur-Myers, B.J. Salmonson and Cole Madison. Given that Madison is backing up himself, finding another right tackle appears to be a priority.

-- Hunter Dale saw some time with the first team defense at strong safety during a run game drill, and Jalen Thompson continues to get looks with the starters and primary backups. Linebackers Greg Hoyd and Aaron Porter each saw more time than usual, as well, and each of them made a couple plays to close on short throws to the flat. Porter in particular had a tackle for loss during team period that the defensive coaches were pretty excited about.

And here are some plays that stood out while watching practice:

-- Treshon Broughton is going to have one of the quickest careers in memory, having enrolled late last season as a junior college transfer. He's only played half a season and he's already a senior. But he might still make an impact. He's been getting a lot of run in practice, and today he made a great play during a one-on-one drill, recovering after Kaleb Fossum gave him a shove to make a diving interception.

--KyrinPriester had kind of an odd day. He was quiet initially and had a drop. Then he had two touchdown passes during seven-on-seven and started hollering at the defense. Then he had another drop. Then he caught another touchdown pass during team period.

-- Cody O'Connell had an awesome play, springing Gerard Wicks and running downfield about 20 yards with him, clearing a path. He was clearing a pretty wide path, too, given that he's 6-foot-8, 351-pounds. I felt like this was as good a practice as I've seen O'Connell have, the caveat being that I'm watching him more now that he's a starter.

-- Jamal Morrow and Parker Henry had really good days in my opinion. Not necessarily any huge plays to speak of – OK, Morrow had one really nice run where he got through the front seven before all the defensive linemen were out of their stances – but more of a cumulative thing for both of them, just moving well and being in the right spots. I'll throw Darrien Molton in as someone who had a good overall day, too.

-- James Williams had a couple nice seven-yard touchdown runs during team period, slipping by Shalom Luani on one with just a subtle juke to his left.

-- Peyton Bender led his receivers nicely on Tuesday, setting up Kyle Sweet and Robert Lewis for big gains by throwing them into open space and hitting them in stride. He also had a good pass to River Cracraft, who stiff-armed Thompson and picked up another 5-10 yards. Lewis also caught a touchdown pass from Luke Falk during team.

-- Overall, it was a good day for the offense. I am certain of this because the defense ran gassers after practice.

-- No practice tomorrow. But we will have our first live chat of spring, right here on SportsLink, at 10 a.m.  Drop by and ask any questions you have, and I'll try to answer them.

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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