WSU FALL CAMP DAY 6: Dotson no longer in blue

LEWISTON — The Cougar defense stepped up the intensity on Wednesday after a lackluster effort the day before. One crimson newcomer makes the switch from the offensive side of the ball over to the defense – and he might get in on some special teams work this season. Also, a veteran linebacker hopes to make his return to the practice field soon and much more.

Senior Deone Bucannon spent the majority of practice on the sideline and did not participate in scrimmage for the second day in a row. He was suited up, though.

Senior safety Bennett Bontemps worked with the No. 1 defense during scrimmage in Bucannon's place. Tuesday saw sophomore safety Taylor Taliulu take the reps with the first team.

Freshman corner Daquawn Brown continues to impress onlookers at practice. He still worked with the two's for the most part, but saw a few reps during 7-on-7 with the ones.

During his stint with the ones, he made a diving play to deflect a pass. Two plays later, a pass looked destined for sophomore wide receiver Gabe Marks but Brown made a beeline for the ball and broke the play up.

After a tough day Tuesday, junior wide receiver Bobby Ratliff made a one-handed grab which received praise from players and coaches.

"The first half of practice, Ratliff probably had three catches that were better than anybody," head man Mike Leach said.

DURING 7-on-7, freshman linebacker Peyton Pelluer had an excellent interception off redshirt freshman QB Austin Apodaca. Coaches think highly of the young linebacker and have expectations of him possibly playing this year.

"We are pushing Peyton pretty hard right now," linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. "He came in with a chance to play, so we will see what happens here."

Wilson also mentioned the possibility of true freshman Isaac Dotson seeing some time this season – but not at QB.

Earlier today, a mutual decision was made that Dotson would no longer wear the blue jersey and instead test his skills on the defensive side of the ball, at linebacker.

"It was not because I was underperforming or anything," Dotson said. "It was just kind of a mutual decision that we made to put me over there."

Dotson was wearing a white No. 24 jersey today and was seen taking reps as a gunner during special teams kickoffs, and also worked out with the linebackers.

According to Leach, he might receive some work at safety as well.

"He is going to figure in on special teams," Leach said. "…safeties you know, he is going to be a two or three really quick."

Wilson expects to throw both Dotson and Pelluer in early to see what they can bring to the table.

"Isaac was obviously a quarterback and Peyton is a football kid, he came from a football family." Wilson said. "Their football IQs are very high…..we hope to get them up to speed fast on the defense and get them in the depth."

Sophomore linebackers Darryl Monroe and Tana Pritchard were impressed with the defense today compared to yesterday. After minuscule mistakes were noted by coaches, the Cougs worked on those mistakes today.

"There was a lot of drop stuff and a lot of coverage," Pritchard said.

"Coach talked to us a lot about our pass rushing moves," Monroe said. "Today was a better day as far as making the mental corrections and the communication that goes on before the snap." The Cougars will have an extended scrimmage on Sunday in Lewiston where the linebackers and others will have an opportunity to hit and partake in game speed situations.

NOTABLE NOTES:
• True freshman WR River Cracraft continued to receive reps with the No. 1 offense today during scrimmage

• Senior nose tackle Ioane Gauta had a "sack" during 11-on-11 on QB Austin Apodaca

• Apodaca and sophomore WR Dominique Williams connected on back to back touchdowns during 7-on-7. One was a ten yard slant, the other was a 15-yard curl in the end zone.

• According to Wilson, he speaks with junior linebacker Chester Sua every day on the phone and says he expects him to be back soon. "It is not academics, he is eligible," Wilson said. Independent sources have told CF.C that Sua is battling through an injury. Leach does not comment on injuries or return timetables

• Correction: Walk on DL Moritz Christ was in attendance at practice yesterday.

• Still no official word from WSU on freshman OL Matt Meyer. Multiple independent sources have told CF.C Meyer is dealing with a medical issue and his status and when it may be resolved remains unknown.

Running with the 1s
Offense:
QB– Connor Halliday
RB – Teondray Caldwell and Marcus Mason
X, H, Y, and Z receivers – Many players receiving reps
LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- Joe Dahl
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- John Fullington
RT- Rico Forbes

Defense:
DE- Toni Pole
NT- Ioane Gauta
DE- Xavier Cooper
BUCK- Destiny Vaeao
SAM- Cyrus Coen and Tana Pritchard
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote and Tana Pritchard
CB- Nolan Washington
CB - Damante Horton
S – Bennett Bontemps
S - Casey Locker

Bikes:
RB Theron West was on the bike for half of practice, but participated later
S Paris Taylor
WR Tyler Baker
LB Austin Rapp
LB Feddie Davey

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