Cougar outside & inside WRs in a competition

PULLMAN — Friday's session served as the normal Sunday practice for Washington State, which is to say it was full of special teams work and a short team session. But outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons shed some interesting light on a number of fronts, including a little competition that's going on between the Cougs' outside and inside receivers…

Dennis Simmons INTERVIEW: How did they look today?
Simmons: I thought we had a good, crisp practice. The guys came out and played hard yesterday, but we were a little bit sloppy. I thought we regained our focus a little bit better today.

How do you feel about the production at H receiver the past few weeks?
Simmons: I think Rickey (Galvin) has stepped his game up and has done some good things, which is good. River (Cracraft) is continually over at the other side at Y to come along and progress and that's always a positive. Bobby (Ratliff) has been a guy that will do some great things, and then he'll go dormant for a minute. The outside guys can't slip either. In the Oregon game, they had a competition to see who was going to score more between the inside and the outside guys -- and I'm not sure exactly, I think it came out even.

That's some good balance.
Simmons: Good balance. River had a touchdown, Bobby had one, Gabe (Marks) had one, and Dom (Williams) had one. So, I guess this week we have got to try and break the tie.

When you're out on the recruiting trail, what do you and the WSU coaches look for at inside receiver?
Simmons: We want guys that can run and as I tell our players we are going to recruit somebody that can come in and replace you. We are looking to upgrade at every spot. From the outside position guy, we want a guy who can stretch the field. We feel like we have great possession guys, but we want somebody that can catch it at five and get you thirty.

Who has been the most consistent at H?
Simmons: I think it's vacillated… I think a combination between (Galvin) and Bobby.

How has Leon Brooks done at H?
Simmons: Leon's a great team guy. From a speed standpoint, he can do some things that can scare you. Obviously coming out there and being a converter at running back, when he gets the ball in space he's dangerous… we see that when he is able to return a punt. It has been a nice addition having him in there. Obviously there is some fine-tuning that we need to work with as far as his route running and technique on that end, but he has been a good addition in there.

Why do you think Brett Bartolone has been struggling?
Simmons: Sometimes when you play this game, you go through that. He had some nicks earlier. He is a tough kid and I think he has tried to play through it, but I think some of it has caught up with him as well.

How has the progression of Robert Lewis and John Thompson been to this point?
Simmons: John Thompson... overachiever and has been a pleasant surprise. Robert Lewis is a guy that came in with a tremendous amount of speed. He's been scout team player of the week two weeks in a row and has had great success in Thursday Night ‘Ball. Obviously his future and our expectations for him is very high.

Lewis started out great at fall camp, but the decision was made to redshirt him. How come?
Simmons: Last year we ran into some situations where we were playing guys that were playing because we had to play them, but physically they weren't quite at that point. I think we are further along in our program right now where we don't have to do that to kids. His value to us three years from now when he is 170 or 180 as opposed to right now when he is 150, 160 will be a lot higher and he will be a lot more durable and be a lot stronger. I think we have benefited ourselves from not having to rush guys into situations like that…both as a team and for them in their careers personally.

Switching gears here, if one guy in the receiving corps were a stand-up comedian, who would it be and why?
Simmons: Probably Gabe because he never shuts up (laughs). Somebody that is pretty funny is Dom, but if I had to say one guy that would the stand-up comedian it's probably Gabe because he never shuts up and he has an outgoing personality. He is not afraid to get up and say anything in front of anyone.

If you weren't coaching football what would be your profession of choice?
Simmons: Maybe social work or something like that…something where I was making a difference and helping people.

The music gets cranked up for the players before Thursday Night Football. If you could pick three artists to play during Thursday practices, who would you pick?
Simmons: Jay-Z, Drake and Lil Wayne.

FRIDAY'S PRACTICE WAS crisp, though a short practice in helmets and shorts that lasted about an hour – just like a normal Sunday. The starting offense went up against the scout team defense, the No. 1 D got in some work against the scout team offense.

The biggest portion of the practice was focused on special teams and individual drills with the remaining practice time revolved around a team session for the offense.

Junior QB Connor Halliday improved on his performance from yesterday, hitting his targets with ease and precision. Halliday connected with 18 of his targets on 20 throws.

Junior WR Kristoff Williams had his second productive outing in as many days – he did not practice all last week and did not play at Oregon but he seems to be making up for lost time.

Apodaca finished 8-of-10 on Friday's session.

Neither quarterback turned the ball over.

On defense, the 1s looked solid though again, it was a helmets-and-shorts affair.

Sophomore safety Taylor Taliulu picked off freshman QB Tyler Bruggman and got his hands on another to force an incompletion.

Defensive ends Xavier Cooper and Toni Pole did some good work and didn't allow the scout team much space.

The Cougs have the day off Saturday, returning to Martin Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Running with the 1s:

QB- Connor Halliday
RB- Marcus Mason
X Receiver- Dom Williams
H Receiver- Rickey Galvin
Y Receiver- River Cracraft
Z Receiver- Gabe Marks
LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- Joe Dahl
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Matt Goetz
RT- John Fullington

DE- Toni Pole
NT- Ioane Gauta
DE- Xavier Cooper
BUCK- Destiny Vaeao
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Daquawn Brown
CB – Damante Horton
S – Deone Bucannon
S – Taylor Taliulu

Limited Players:
OL Jacob Seydel
LB Peyton Pelluer
DL Moritz Christ
S Darius Lemora
LS Ryan Saparto

Not in attendance:
S Bennett Bontemps
LS Ryan Saparto
CB Alex Jackson
LB Chester Sua

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