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Washington State wide receiver, special teams contributor Kainoa Wilson leaves program

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Kainoa Wilson (86) celebrates after WSU forced a fumble on a kickoff rduring the second half of a college football game on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 59-24. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – A Washington State walk-on wide receiver and key special teams contributor has left the Cougars football team.

A school official confirmed to The Spokesman-Review Monday that Kainoa Wilson, a 5-foot-11, 169-pound inside receiver is no longer with the WSU program. was the first to notice Wilson’s absence from the team roster.

The reason for Wilson’s departure is unclear but the WR had been a non-scholarship player for the Cougars his first four seasons in Pullman and it was unlikely he would crack Mike Leach’s inside receiver rotation in 2019.

Wilson made just three catches in three seasons with the Cougars, but he was in the middle of a few critical special teams plays in 2018. The Nanakuli, Hawaii, native blocked a punt that teammate Tristan Brock recovered for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Cougars’ 56-37 win over Oregon State at Reser Stadium.

In WSU’s 69-28 blowout win over Arizona, Wilson, a gunner on the Cougars’ kickoff team, recovered a fumble for a touchdown on a kickoff in the second quarter. Wilson made 10 tackles in 2018 – all of them on special teams – and recovered two fumbles.