'Dan Post' making the most of WSU spring

DANIEL LILIENTHAL runs a good post route. His last name is also “a mouthful,” says Mike Leach. So his nickname naturally became Dan Post, Leach says. Whatever you call him, the fifth-year senior wide receiver is making a name for himself this spring at Washington State.

Daniel Lilienthal had six grabs for a team-leading 100 yards and two touchdowns Saturday in the Cougs’ first official scrimmage.

"His name's Dan Post, that's why -- that's what we called him," Leach said after the scrimmage Saturday. "When we first got here, Lilienthal, that's a long name, that's a mouthful. And so, we said well we're going to shorten this and he'd just got a post so we called him Dan Post. (We) one-syllabled the thing -- and he catches posts pretty good."

Lilienthal has been a mainstay this spring in part because of his offseason work in the weight room.

“He had a huge offseason and has emerged, quite a lot… he doesn’t go down very much and part of it is because he’s real strong,” Leach said.

Lilienthal checked in at 6-2, 204-pounds at the start of the spring session, five pounds more than what he was listed last year. Five pounds might not sound like a lot when you’re talking about another position on the football field but it can be significant for a wideout.

Confidence and experience probably play an even bigger role when it comes to utilizing that strength on the field, and Lilienthal began to truly emerge last season when he was on the scout team. Then came the noteworthy offseason, so much so that Leach singled him out on the first day of spring football.

Lilienthal, a former JUCO player who walked on at Washington State in 2013 out of Mt. San Jacinto, was also firmly on the radar of outside receivers coach Graham Harrell back in February. “His body seems to have changed and he’s doing some good things and working hard,” Harrell told CF.C back then.

But Lilienthal also had a 100-plus year receiving day in a spring scrimmage last year – and he didn’t play in a game last year according to his WSU bio page.

If he is to make an impact this coming fall, and take some reps away from other receivers on the depth chart, he’ll likely need to continue to improve in areas apart from the deep ball.

“He’s pretty good at playing the ball in the air, especially if it’s a vertical thing. The horizontal stuff he struggles with a little more,” Leach said of Lilienthal after a late season practice this past November.

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