FALL CAMP: DAY 3 REPORT

PULLMAN -- Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel and his talented group of receivers had little difficulty against a defense that was not allowed to sack the quarterback. Also, a couple of true freshmen demonstrated their abilities, others returned from injuries and much more.

Not that a couple good hits weren't laid on offensive players during the first practice with shoulder pads Tuesday.

Safety Tyree Toomer "de-cleated" wide receiver Isiah Barton on a pass over the middle -- the hit did not appear malicious in nature, just a matter of a defender closing hard on a receiver to break up a pass -- and freshman linebacker Tana Pritchard nailed a receiver along the sidelines.

Pritchard also picked off a pass in the end zone, but much of the day belonged to the offense. Tuel and the two leading candidates for the No. 2 quarterback job, Marshall Lobbestael and Connor Halliday, all made impressive throws for touchdowns in 11-on-11 and 6-on-6 drills. The zip on Halliday's throws is considerable.

Mind you, hitting is minimal right now (full pads go on Thursday), and there was no pass rush during 6-on-6 drills. Still, cornerback Tracy Clark drew the ire of coaches after repeatedly getting beat, often somewhat easily.

The Cougars appear intent on taking advantage of the height advantage their receivers will often have on defensive backs. Marquess Wilson and Jeff Karstetter are 6 feet 4, Kristoff Williams (showing no ill effects from the turf toe that sidelined him last year as a true freshman) is 6-2 and Barton is 6-1.

One of the more dymnamic WSU receivers, 5-8 freshman Henry Eaddy, is demonstrating the type of speed and quickness that could make him valuable catching, running or returning the ball.

Running backs Logwone Mitz, Rickey Galvin, Marcus Mason and walk-on Kruger Story all had their moments.

ON DEFENSE, cornerback Daniel Simmons jawed a bit with Wilson after expertly breaking up a pass near the goal line. Nolan Washington, the other starting cornerback in Tuesday's practice, made a fine play to break up a pass to Karstetter.

Brandon Rankin, playing with the 2's after starting eight games last season as a heralded junior-college pass rusher, quickly got to Lobbestael for a "sack."

Defensive end Travis Long and offensive tackle Wade Jacobson briefly locked up in the first fight of camp. Long lost his helmet, and the feisty Jacobson landed at least one solid left to Long's face. Everything and everyone quickly calmed down.

Andrew Furney nailed four consecutive field goals, ranging from 35 to 47 yards, after his first attempt of the day (from 42 yards) was blocked by freshman defensive end Darryl Paulo. Tyler McNannay, a freshman from Colfax, missed from 42 on his only field goal attempt.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Linebacker Eric Oertel injured a hamstring. Offensive lineman Rico Forbes sat out with an abdominal strain, and defensive end Jordan Pu'u Robinson rested his knee as a precautionary tactic while he rebounds from knee surgery.

    All three players are day-to-day at this point.

  • Safety Jay Matthews, who missed last season due to shoulder surgery, wore a yellow "no-hit" jersey.

  • The starting lineups were back in order when offensive guard B.J. Guerra returned after missing most of Monday's practice due to illness. Eaddy saw some quality time with the No. 1 offense; fullback Corey Laufasa took some snaps with the 1's; Story had a big run with the 1's; and Clark split time between the 1's and 2's on defense.


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