1) The offensive line is doing well, but they can do better
Clay McGuire in interviews with CF.C has seemed relatively pleased and noted the high level of d-linemen the Cougs are going against. But that doesn't mean he doesn't want more. McGuire has been among the most vocal coaches in camp, along with Joe Salave'a, alternately expressing displeasure and appreciation.
WSU, as you well know by now, doesn't release injury information. Starting left tackle Joe Dahl was on the sidelines yesterday so we'll have to see if that's a brief stay or if Gunnar Eklund has a longer stay at left tackle with Devonte McClain at left guard. McGuire complimented McClain's work ethic this offseason and said he "had a pretty good day" on Monday.
Meanwhile, Cole Madison has put on strength and weight faster than McGuire thought he would. "The sky's the limit for Clay," said McGuire.
The future looks good for Andre Dillard too. Dillard will redshirt this season and needs to get bigger but the makings are there, says McGuire. Not bad for a state of Washington kid ranked two stars and who had WSU as his only Pac-12 offer.
2) The linebackers are covering a lot of ground
Until the Cougs tackle, you can't make any sweeping observations on the group. But what has been gleaned through the first three days: they're bouncing around, covering a lot of territory and showing chemistry, which has in turn helped the secondary.
And it's been almost hard to tell the difference -- as far as ground covered -- between the 1's and the 2's, which bodes well. Mitch Peterson has stood out among the second group here in the early days. Thus far, Tana Pritchard is getting the vast majority of the reps with the 1's at WIL, while Chester Sua has been with the 2's.
3) The cornerbacks may surprise a little before fall camp is all said and done
Let's not overstate things here. WSU has a load of question marks at the corner still and we've only had one day with shoulder pads, and three practices total. But this can now be said about the corner spot: there's hope.
Tracy Clark (pictured above) has continued to look good and hasn't shown the hit or miss tendencies he did before his breakthrough session this spring. Daquawn Brown is loud and in charge. Now, they're not calling pass interference, and some of Brown's physical breakups would probably draw a flag. But he's also had several clean, cheer-inducing breakups.
Patrick Porter, from our chair, has stood out most among the newcomers. He's gotten the most playing time within the two-deeps of the trio that includes Sulaimin Hameed and Kevin Griffin. Porter got burned a lot on Day 2, but he came back strong on Day 3 - exactly what you want to see from a position that requires a short memory. Hameed and Griffin have shown flashes too, but they haven't been going against the two-deeps like Porter has.
One other note: Sebastian LaRue is getting reps against the two-deeps (Charleston White too) and LaRue is more physical than most. Still waiting on word from the NCAA on if he will be eligible or have to sit out a transfer year.
4) There's been positive progress on special teams
WSU may have found a punter in walk on Jordan Dascalo.
"Jordan Dascalo, pretty excited about him. Strong leg, powerful kicks, pretty good athlete," special teams coach Eric Russell told Cougfan.com.... back in July.
Dascalo has been booming punts with good hang time through three days. It can be a whole other world when things go live in front of thousands, but the early fall camp results are promising.
As for placekicker, Quentin Breshears looked good on Day 2, drilling 40- and 45-yarders with ease.
5) Offense vs. Defense
As a fan, you almost want the defense to show a little better than the offense in the first days of fall camp. All things being equal, the offense needs to get down their rhythm and that takes a little time.
After the offense begins to find that rhythm, you expect things to being to shift a little, and sometimes a lot. But if an offense comes out and kills it early, chances are it's going to be a long year on D. Instead, WSU is looking good so far on the defensive side of the ball, especially up front.
The defense won the battle on Day 1, the offense on Day 2 and it was pretty well even on Day 3. What's going to be really interesting there will be Wednesday and Thursday, the first two days the Cougs go full pads.
Five quick WSU takeaways through Day 3
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