5 quick takeaways from Cougar Camp Day 1

LEWISTON — Washington State has just one day of practice in the books but already there are a some observations to make about the 2014 Cougars.

1) The defensive line is explosive.
Connor Halliday and Gunnar Eklund alluded to it yesterday and offensive line coach Clay McGuire made no bones about it, telling CF.C the DL’s aggressiveness pretty much put the OL on its heels all day. The Cougars’ starting front three on D are Xavier Cooper, Toni Pole (pictured above vs. Sean Krepsz) and Destiny Vaeao. They’re big, they’re experienced and they look like they’re in great shape. The young Cougar secondary figures to benefit mightily from them.

2) Connor Halliday is noticeably bigger.
The senior QB weighed in yesterday at 204. That’s up 25 pounds from the 179 he weighed at the conclusion of last season. He’s still lanky, and his speed doesn't appear to have slowed, but the extra beef is noticeable. He may lose a bunch of it in Lewiston’s 100-degree temps, but purely from an eyeball-test standpoint right now he looks much sturdier.

3) The receiving depth is truly immense.
The Cougars return their top seven (yes, 7) wide receivers from last season, but based on yesterday’s workouts there’s no doubt two youngsters will be getting into the mix in a significant way this season: true freshman Calvin Green and second-year freshman Robert Lewis looked sharp.

4) Nick Begg's position turns heads.
The 6-5, 253-pound freshman was a standout defensive end and tight end in high school but appeared to be ticketed for the offensive line at WSU. When he was listed on the official WSU roster the other day as a tight end, you had to scratch your head a bit since the Air Raid doesn’t use a tight end. But there he was yesterday working with the inside receivers. Is it just an experiment? Could he become what many thought Andre Lintz was going to be in Leach’s first year at WSU? Only time will tell.

5) The cone of silence remains in place.
As in the past, Mike Leach has placed a moratorium on tweeting from practice and reporting on injuries is verboten and carries the threat of excommunication.

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