Coug RBs to lead Pac-12 in all-purpose yards?

PULLMAN – With the start of fall camp just a day away, Washington State head coach Mike Leach held forth on Thursday, offering insight on a range of topics including the potential of his running attack, practicing in Lewiston, and the size of touted rookie Vince Mayle.

Mayle, an All-American junior college transfer, is listed on WSU's official roster as carrying 240 pounds on his 6-3 frame, but has said he plans to lose a good 10 before the season begins.

"He doesn't need to lose any weight," Leach said. "He's a real solid, solid guy. He's fine as long as he's fast."

Asked about the quarterback position, which appears to be Connor Halliday's to lose, Leach said the fourth-year junior "continues to polish his skills" and that "he's getting better and grasping the entire offense."

He'll be challenged by athletic second-year freshman Austin Apodaca, who showed in the spring that he's ready to challenge.

Leach said Apodaca has good feet and passing accuracy. "He's still working on becoming quick and automatic." He said he's "off to a good start."

Bottom line, with QB and every other position, Leach said, "Every one of these guys need to go out and earn their job, every day."

Leach reiterated his comments from last week's Pac-12 Media Day, saying that he believes the "we're significantly better (than last season), particularly our attitude and out work ethic. They're learning how hard they can work."

The Cougars will open fall camp at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston, which sits about 35 miles southeast of Pullman and typically runs a temperature several degrees warmer.

"Comfort zone isn't a priority around here," Leach quipped when asked if the 10-day stay east of the border will be a disruption to players . "It's just a place where we'll get good work."

With construction of the new football operations building encroaching on field space in Pullman, Leach opted for Lewiston to kick off the fall workouts.

Leach appeared upbeat, but said expectations and predictions aren't his style. For now, he's looking for significant progress.

"I'm just worried about being the best team we can be," he said.


  • For the 14th straight year, CF.C will have wall-to-wall coverage of every Cougar practice leading up to the opener at Auburn on Aug. 31.

  • On playing Auburn and USC on the road to open the season:" I don't think it changes the sense of urgency. There's always a sense of urgency at start of season …"

  • On the Cougar running attack: "If we're playing really well, the running back position will lead the conference in all-purpose yards."

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