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Sports >  WSU football

Sources: Linebacker Kendrick Catis, safety Dylan Axelson leave Washington State football team

UPDATED: Sun., Aug. 12, 2018

PULLMAN – Two defensive players have left the Washington State football team, sources told The Spokesman-Review Sunday evening.

Inside linebacker Kendrick Catis, a junior-college transfer who signed with WSU in December, and walk-on safety Dylan Axelson are no longer with the Cougars, according to the source. It’s unclear what prompted either to leave the program, but both had been practicing with the Cougars during preseason camp.

Catis was the first player to fax in a letter of intent to the Cougars when the NCAA’s new early signing period began Dec. 20. The Highlands Community College (Kansas) transfer was tabbed a three-star prospect by 247 Sports and had been committed to Arizona State before flipping in early December. Catis, who’d also been offered by Louisville and Colorado State, was playing at the “Mike” linebacker position during preseason camp and his departure shouldn’t be too damaging to the Cougars’ depth.

The Popano Beach, Florida, native likely would’ve had to beat out two players, redshirt sophomore Dillon Sherman and redshirt freshman Fa’vae Fa’vae, just to see playing time as Peyton Pelluer’s backup, although the 6-foot-1, 228-pound linebacker impressed with his physicality in the spring and was credited with five tackles during the Cougars’ Crimson & Gray Game.

“He’s a hitter,” Pelluer said of Catis in March. “I love to see that. He’s not afraid to put his head down and run into you.”

Axelson played sparingly on special teams in 2017 during his redshirt freshman season, appearing in games against Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona and Michigan State during the Holiday Bowl. The Woodinville, Washington, native may have had a special-teams role with the Cougars this fall, though it’s unlikely he would’ve cracked the two-deep at safety.

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