DAY 5: Leach says Galvin could be WR

PULLMAN -- The theme of the day for the Cougs: Tenacity. A couple good "fights" in the trenches got the team riled up for most of Monday afternoon. There's some clarity from Mike Leach on Rickey Galvin's position, and Marquess Wilson shined. How about the kicking and punting game, and who is emerging in the return game and at the gunner spots? That and much more in today's practice report..

During 11-on-11 drills, two noteworthy skirmishes really set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Senior left guard Wade Jacobson and freshman nose tackle Xavier Cooper got into it early as some hands were thrown, leaving Jacobson on his back. Fellow players separated the two as play resumed.

The fisticuffs were just the beginning, as sweat drenched jerseys were only a shade of the color they began after the temperatures on Rogers Field exceeded well over 90 degrees.

Three plays later, senior right tackle Dan Spitz and freshman defensive tackle David Davis got into a shoving match, but this time the offense won.

Spitz gave Davis one good forearm shiver, sending Davis tumbling backwards. Spitz walked away nonchalantly as Davis and probably some of his pride were sent to the turf.

On the very next play, sophomore playmaker (for lack of a definitive position, more on that in a moment) Rickey Galvin received a screen pass in the backfield. Sophomore cornerback Tracy Clark fought off his block and absolutely demolished Galvin who barely had time to turn his head.

GALVIN ONCE AGAIN ran with the receivers all day. And as much as it seemed yesterday that it was probably just a matter of having the running back work on his receiving skills, that is not the case.

Head man Mike Leach confirmed that the Cougs are now looking at Galvin in the slot.

"He's got really good ball skills, always has," Leach said. "We've got some other running backs who don't have the versatility he has. The thought is to try to get as much talent on the field at one time as we can, and this is another way of doing that."

It's an eye-opening move, to say the least. Galvin entered fall camp as the No. 1 running back on the depth chart.

ON THE offensive side of the ball, quarterbacks Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday were once again dialed in, hitting any and every receiver they targeted in stride.

Freshman wideout Brett Bartolone made several big plays today.

Junior WR Marquess Wilson, an All-America candidate, also had a big day.

He's been receiving extensive praise from the entire coaching staff for his work ethic of late, (something different from this spring.) Wilson on Monday put a safety on his back while blocking on a screen play, and Leach applauded.

Another player going through a position change is freshman receiver-turned-cornerback Rahmel Dockery.

Dockery spent the day working with the defensive backs and showed good burst, as well as an above average hip swivel that should translate quite nicely. Dockery was unavailable for comment on the switch following practice.

Correction: Junior tackle Rico Forbes remains on crutches, and has been since Saturday.

ON THE defensive side of the ball, the DBs had a very good showing.

Clark once again had a great day, breaking up several passes and playing the run aggressively during scrimmages. Senior Daniel Simmons and junior Damante Horton both had strong outings, consistently playing the ball at it's highest point, breaking up several pass plays.

Incoming freshman Raymond Ford spent the entire day observing for the fourth day in a row. Several coaches said they expect to have Ford practicing in the next couple days, although he will have to practice four days without pads before he can fully participate in scrimmaging.

Joining the defensive backs today was thought-to-be wideout Alex Jackson. He's wearing the No. 29 jersey, though he was in helmet and shoulder pads only today, until he gets in the required four practices.

Correction: Corner Spencer Waseem was again absent from the field. He is a "school start", according to the SID, meaning he is not one of the 105 players eligible to participate until rosters expand with the first day of classes. Leach and WSU almost never comment on player absences, whether they're due to injury or a disciplinary issue, etc. When CF.C asked, the same held true in Waseem's case. The bottom line is that Waseem will not practice until at least Aug. 20, when the fall term begins at Washington State.

Jackson rotated in with the second team, and showed explosive burst in pursuing short routes.

THE SPECIAL TEAMS unit got extensive time in Martin Stadium today.

Sophomore specialist Mike Bowlin consistently booted punts in excess of 45 yards.

Junior kicker Andrew Furney worked from both hashes, hitting almost everything he attempted inside of 50 yards.

Furney even connected on a 57-yard attempt toward the end of drills.

Assistant Eric Russell said he was somewhat satisfied with the progress, but noted the squad has a long way to go.

"As far as the return game goes, a couple guys are starting to stick out," Russell said. "Theron West is a guy who can really catch the ball and make things happen. Galvin has looked good, as has (Leon) Brooks."

The gunner is another hotly contested position with all sorts of players vying for significant playing time.

"As of now, Anthony Carpenter and Isaiah Meyers are starting to separate a little bit," Russell said. "A lot of guys are competing though. Bartolone and Bontemps go out there and look good on a regular basis, so we'll see."

-Junior offensive guard Niu Sale left today's practice with the training staff favoring his left leg. He left under his own power and the extent of the injury is yet to be determined. Leach does not comment on injuries.

-Freshman linebacker Tana Pritchard was again out of pads and did not participate.

-Junior corner Nolan Washington was not padded up and again spent most of the day on the stationary bike.

-Senior linebacker Corey Laufasa remains in a walking boot and did not participate.

-Freshman defensive lineman Austin Brown did not participate and was on the stationary bike for the first time today.

QB: Jeff Tuel
RB: Leon Brooks or Teondray Caldwell
X and Z Receiver: Marquess Wilson and Isaiah Meyers (Dominique Williams and Bobby Ratliff rotated in)
H Receiver: Rickey Galvin, Brett Bartolone, Bennett Bontemps and Gino Simone all rotated throughout the day with the 1's.
Y Receiver: Andrei Lintz
LT: John Fullington
LG: Matt Goetz
C: Elliot Bosch
RG: Jake Rodgers (Wade Jacobson rotated with the 1's and 2's)
RT: Dan Spitz

LT: Matthew Bock
NT: Xavier Cooper
RT: Kalafitoni Pole
BUCK: Travis Long
SAM: Eric Oertel
MIKE: Daryl Monroe
WIL: Chester Sua
LCB: Daniel Simmons
FS: Tyree Toomer
SS: Deone Bucannon
RCB: Damante Horton

P: Mike Bowlin
PK: Andrew Furney
KO's: Mike Bowlin

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