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Former, current NFL standouts left profound impressions on Dan Doornink

Former Washington State quarterback John Hopkins hands the ball off to a young Dan Doornink ahead of a 1976 game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.  (The Spokesman-Review)
By David Oriard For The Spokesman-Review

Following are Doornink’s impressions of some former teammates and experiences as an athlete:

Steve Largent, Seahawks receiver and member of Pro Football Hall of Fame: “Fierce competitor and hilarious … He would have so many things he would do in practice to make things fun, make things light.”

Cooper Kupp, EWU standout receiver now with the Los Angeles Rams: Although Doornink has never met Kupp, he was watched the receiver from Yakima play quite a bit as one of Kupp’s EWU teammates was Doornink’s nephew, Kurt Calhoun. “He is an absolute nightmare to find someone who can cover him… He pays attention to detail. That’s what he does. The quarterback knows where he is going to be – and he catches it. If the ball is anywhere near him he is going to catch it.”

Jack Thompson, WSU teammate who was the third overall pick in the 1979 NFL draft: “Jack was first of all a good guy and second of all I think of Jack as being a great passer. And I also think of him as being eighth string.”

John Yarno, Seahawks teammate out of Ferris High and University of Idaho: “I have very good memories of John because he was our center (the leader of the offensive line).” Doornink went on to relate the personal compliment Yarno greets him with every time they see each other: “Always hustle as much as you can because you never know what play is going to be your last,” Yarno says, quoting what Doornink would say in the huddle at the beginning of every drive.

Dave Krieg, Seahawks quarterback: “Dave had a way of getting things done…. When he finally got into the game (Krieg became the starter in his fourth season) he did a little of his magic and he did good… He knew what was going on in my brain – he just knew what I was going to do.’’

On high school sports in Wapato: “High school sports… is so good. It’s so fun. It’s kind of where I learned to be meticulous in my preparation and be meticulous about how I was in shape. I had to be in the best shape of anyone on the team.”