Thursday night football in Martin Stadium gives the younger guys a great opportunity to show everyone what they can actually do in a game at this level. Washington State has much more talent on the field right now than in previous years and you can only expect to see some of these guys break out to be future stars for the Cougs.
Tonight’s scrimmage gave some new WSU players the most action they’ve seen yet. The defense played extremely well, except when they forgot to cover fifth-year senior receiver C.J. Dimry.
A sack on the first offensive play was delivered by freshman rush linebacker Derek Moore. Then a dropped pass on the second set the tone early.
The offense was just getting started.
On the very next play, Dimry caught a short pass from freshman Anthony Gordon with lots of traffic surrounding him. After the catch, Dimry did a little dance then took off for 55-yards to the end-zone. He didn’t just make one guy miss – he ran through and around more than half of the defense before pulling away. Once Dimry broke through the secondary, he slowed down to a jog and looked back at all 11 guys in his rear view mirror.
I’ve witnessed plenty of TNF highlights in my days as a Cougar football player, but Dimry’s performance tonight might have been the best yet.
It's not often you see a 6-6 receiver bust out moves like that and take it to the house.
“He’s real fast. He’s one of the fastest guys on the team," said Mike Leach about Dimry’s Sports Center highlight performance. "He’s got as good a change of direction for tall guys I’ve run across. I think he’s a late developer so I think he’s still kind of growing into his body.”
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Thursday Night Football is going to give a really good indication of actually how good this recruiting class is. As it looks right now, they are impressive on both sides of the ball.
The two quarterbacks dishing it out for the third role behind backup QB Tyler Hilinski both had solid performances in their first TNF scrimmage. Anthony Gordon and sophomore Trey Tinsley made really great, accurate throws, while showing good pocket awareness. They each picked up a few hashes on the ground after scrambling through the pocket and breaking free.
Tinsley had one run in particular that easily went for more than 20-yards. On the play, true freshman wide receiver Renard Bell came across the field and put up a monster block allowing Tinsley more room to run.
Defensively, I was most impressed with the play by a couple linebackers. True freshman Jahad Woods (pictured above) and second-year freshman Kameron Powell caught my eye on a several nice stops. Both guys looked good filling their gaps and used terrific form tackle techniques. They also show great athleticism in covering the pass. It might take these two another year or so to really see some significant playing time, but they look to be a dangerous duo in the future.
And what would a live scrimmage be like without any big hits?
D'Jimon Jones answered that question with an exclamation point after laying out junior walk-on receiver Curtis Russell. Jones made the move from corner to safety mid-way through fall camp. He got the start in today ‘s TNF. Jones very well could be a player that is next in line to take reps at safety with the starting bunch.
Some guys that I’ve seen step up recently (and tonight as well) were sophomore walk-on receiver Brandon Arconado and Russell. These are two hard working players that do all the right things in order to give themselves a shot at moving up. As walk-ons, that’s about the only thing you can do to prove yourself to the coaches. Early in fall camp when the Cougs were down in Lewiston, something must have caught Leach’s eye about these two. There were a few days when one or the other was moved up to rep with the 2’s. When they got their shot I saw great focus and effort and most importantly, they caught every ball thrown their way. They continue to be reliable targets and are always making routine plays as Leach demands from all of his players. If they continue to perform at this level without making many mistakes, they too are likely to move up on the depth board at some point or another.
- There was a pair of great pass break-ups by second-year freshman Deion Singleton and Jahad Woods
- CJ Dimry caught a 24 yard touchdown throw from true freshman Bryce Missey