WSU Practice: Simmons breaks down receivers

PULLMAN — Locked away inside the indoor practice facility known as “The Bubble,” Washington State’s wide receivers continue to look sharp. Although media members are not allowed to watch the entire practice session, the portions available to spectators have featured more of the same: pass-and-catch, turn upfield and run.

The Cougars’ offense usually looks successful during drills and Wednesday was no exception, with receivers running toward passes and grabbing balls out of the air. Outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons offered his thoughts to CF.C after practice about the young receivers on the roster.

Simmons said it is tough to tell if any of the freshman wideouts have potential to start because they haven’t even played a snap of spring ball yet. But he did say that one or two of them will have their names called next fall for the big stage.

Drew Loftus and Daniel Lilienthal currently have the edge because of their experience.

“Drew’s probably ahead of all those guys because he’s got two offseasons under his belt and he’s got two spring games under his belt and he’s had a season and several games that he’s played in,” Simmons said.

Simmons said Lilienthal also is in the same boat because he has a spring ball under his belt, too. Some of the other young guys on the roster, such as Barry Ware (pictured above), Zaire Andre, and Dewan Lee Thompson, are making strides, but they aren’t going to turn any heads too often until they improve more, Simmons said.

“All of those kids are working hard, so you can’t argue or you can’t be upset with that aspect of it,” said Simmons, adding that the younger players will benefit from more time in the weight room. “It’s just they’ve got to get some experience under them and get a spring ball and the offseason up under them.”

One aspect that involves on-field practice is route running. Simmons said this area of the receivers’ game is fine, but then expanded on that answer.

“They all have room for improvement but they’ve all done some things in their releases and sticking their toe in the ground and changing direction that you’re like, ‘Wow that was impressive,’ but that was the reason why we recruited all of them. We knew that going into it,” Simmons said.

Asked what the best quality of some of the young receivers is, Simmons responded this way.

Barry Ware: “Big, physical and he can run.”

Zaire Andre: “He’s shifty, can stick his toe in the ground and create separation.”

Marcus Wyke: “He’s kind of athletic.”

Wyke looks like a specimen on the field, standing at 6-3 and 218 pounds as a true freshman. He showed up during the season and has been working with the scouts. Simmons said it is hard to tell if he is going to be an outside receiver.

Drew Loftus: “He works hard. Size-wise he has everything that you need. He just needs to do it on a more consistent basis.”

The receivers caught almost every single ball during Tuesday and Wednesday’s sessions while the media was present and these drills included both young and old players.

  • Dylan Hanser, Nick Begg, Brett Bartolone and Sulaiman Hameed were limited in practice Wednesday.

  • Rickey Galvin wore a yellow jersey on Wednesday but participated for the duration of the time media was allowed inside the facility.

  • For the second consecutive day, Sebastian LaRue practiced as a wide receiver, despite being listed as a cornerback on the roster. He still wears a white defensive jersey.

    Primarily taking reps with the 1s
    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Jamal Morrow
    X: Vince Mayle
    Y: River Cracraft
    H: Rickey Galvin
    Z: Isiah Myers
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Jacob Seydel

    E: Destiny Vaeao
    NT: Kalafitoni Pole
    T: Xavier Cooper
    BUCK: Kache Palacio
    WILL: Jeremiah Allison
    SAM: Cyrus Coen
    MIKE: Peyton Pelluer
    CB: Kevin Griffin
    CB: Charleston White
    FS: Darius Lemora
    SS: Taylor Taliulu

    Primarily taking reps with the 2s
    QB: Peyton Bender
    RB: Marcus Mason
    X: Dom Williams
    Y: Tyler Baker
    H: Robert Lewis
    Z: Drew Loftus
    LT: Devonte McClain
    LG: Cody O’Connell
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: Moritz Christ
    RT: B.J. Salmonson

    E: Darryl Paulo
    NT: Robert Barber
    T: Daniel Ekuale
    BUCK: Frankie Luvu, Ivan McLennan
    WILL: Tana Pritchard
    SAM: Mitchell Peterson
    MIKE: Darryl Monroe
    CB: Daquawn Brown
    CB: Marcellus Pippins
    FS: Beau Glover
    SS: David Bucannon

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