FALL CAMP DAY 8: Williams steals the show

LEWISTON — Through eight days, the wide receivers for WSU have been a steady unit. It was more of the same Friday, but the day belonged to Dominique Williams, who made several great grabs and ran crisp routes. Meanwhile on defense, a senior lineman impressed onlookers with his effort running with the second team.

"We are not looking for a mega guy, we are looking for a mega unit," outside wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons said Friday when referring to the receiving corps.

Depth may be what the coaches are looking for at wide receiver on Aug. 31 at Auburn, but the play of redshirt sophomore WR Dominique Williams made him look like the "mega guy" on Friday.

Williams tallied one touchdown during 11-on-11 drills and hauled in a 20-yard reception down the sideline from junior quarterback Connor Halliday during the Cougars eighth session of the fall. Following practice, Williams said Friday was the most difficult day of camp, but he embraces the grind and challenges that have been sent his way in Lewiston.

"Today was a little bit harder than the rest," Williams said. "It's coming to the end of camp (in Lewiston) and people's legs are getting a little tired. If you want to be great, you have to push through that."

From this chair, the Pomona, Calif. product did not look worn out, though. His routes were consistently sharp and the 6-2, 192-pounder made a conscious effort when blocking on runs and going after balls that were out of his reach.

During 1-on-1 action, Williams battled senior cornerbacks Damante Horton and Nolan Washington and won the majority of the battles by using his leaping ability and great hands.

Elsewhere on the receiver front, junior WR Isiah Myers is also improving each day - but he said there's one area in particular he's trying to improve on.

"Over the past few seasons I have not been the fastest receiver," Myers said. "I am trying to get my speed releases and everything else up to par."

The wide receivers have seen so much rotation and good play thus far in camp, that it's been virtually impossible to list who has been running with the 1s. When asked about the rotation for Auburn, Simmons didn't provide any details, but did have a strong message for his unit.

"It really does not matter who starts," Simmons said. "The best eight are going to play. In that first game, you're going to have to be two-deep and you're going to have to be two-deep strong."

AS FOR HALLIDAY , he continued his strong play through the air and even showcased some wheels, busting off for a 10-yard scamper midway through practice.

During the team session, the redshirt junior rifled back-to-back touchdown passes to Williams and JC transfer Vince Mayle.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca used his cannon as well, completing passes all over the field, highlighted by a 20-yard touchdown strike in the back of the end zone to sophomore WR Gabe Marks.

The offensive line improved today from yesterday's effort, but the defense still had the better hand at the end of 11-on-11.

In 7-on-7 drills, freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown lived up to his nickname of "Cheetah." Brown deflected three passes while running with the second unit, two of which came on consecutive plays.

OVER ON DEFENSE , senior defensive lineman Matthew Bock showcased his speed and toughness throughout the day while working with the 2s.

The 6-2, 270-pounder made it problematic for the offensive line to contain him. Bock had a notable tackle-for-loss during the team session and won multiple battles in the trenches.

Mike Leach was not impressed with the last play of scrimmage, so the final play of the team session came down to a tiebreaker.

The defense came out on top by stuffing a run by junior running back Marcus Mason.

On special teams, senior kicker Andrew Furney was 4-4 on his field goal attempts. Freshman kicker Erik Powell was perfect on his kicks going 3-3.

Freshman LB Peyton Pelluer blocked a punt during punt drills.

Also during special team drills, there were five different players catching punts. Those players were: running backs Rickey Galvin, Leon Brooks and Jamal Morrow, sophomore wideout Brett Bartolone and freshman WR Robert Lewis.

NOTABLE NOTES
• Junior LB Chester Sua was not in attendance today after being in street clothes yesterday.

Bennett Bontemps was seen riding the bikes on Friday with a walking boot on his right foot.

• Before practice, senior OL John Fullington beat RB Teondray Caldwell in the jump rope race that lineman do every day before practice.

• While the rest of the team went through the bull-in-the-ring drill, Apodaca and junior long snapper Alex Den Bleyker practiced snaps and holds on the side.

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