Sometimes it's tough to notice individual players during practice sessions, but TNF is different. During scrimmage, players usually limited to few if any reps get their chance to prove to their coaches they have what it takes to take the field on game day.
This week senior C.J. Dimry (6-5, 201) made a number of outstanding plays to make his case for reps on Saturdays.
Here’s a list of Dimry’s highlights from Thursday scrimmage:
- 18-yard gain on slant - Caught a pass, reversed field, outran several defenders and was forced out of bounds after picking up a first down and more.
- 7-yard rushing touchdown - Took a handoff, avoided a tackle behind the line, made two more defenders miss then walked into the end zone for the score.
- 36-yard touchdown catch - Ran right past a cornerback and was hit with a perfect throw in stride from Anthony Gordon for the touchdown.
- 48-yard catch and run - Caught a short pass and again reversed field to hit the next level. If it were a game, I’m sure he would have laid out for the score. Instead, he stepped out at the 2-yard line to avoid a hit from the safety.
After practice outside receiver coach Dave Nichol noted that Dimry (pictured above) is close to playing on Saturdays but that he is “looking for some toughness and some consistency.”
Dimry has been playing lights out, but the two things mentioned by his position coach are limiting his chances to get into game action. In between sparks of greatness, he dropped two passes in a row and looked to shy away from a couple deep throws. I’m sure that if he would have come up with those plays his case might have been made. Hard to tell what the coaches will do with him at this point, but to me Dimry is clearly ready to compete and play this season.
Tyler Hilinski saw some reps in TNF for the first time this year. Hilinski was a guy that really stood out during the offseason and became a big surprise to many. He is still a lock at the back-up spot behind Luke Falk, but his play has seemed to diminish just a little bit during this past week. Coaches might have just wanted to get him some more live reps so he gets back into his comfort zone with the offense.
Early on Hilinski was sacked on back-to-back plays then was picked off by junior transfer Robert Taylor. He eventually got the offense in a position to score on the next drive.
Freshman transfer QB Anthony Gordon definitely looks like he’s starting to find his rhythm in this offense (thanks to some help from Dimry). Gordon looks much more comfortable making reads and throws as it shows in the touch that he puts on the ball. He had several tight throws that went for big gains.
On defense, fifth-year senior Colton Teglovic is a solid fit at the nickel position. He showed a great ability to tackle in the open field as he made a late goal line stuff in the backfield and stopped a screen play on the very next drive. Teglovic’s freakish speed and open field athleticism is what gets him on the field. He’s an outstanding special teams player for the Cougs and he plays with tremendous effort.
As a former walk-on at WSU I can tell you this, guys like Teglovic and fifth-year senior Parker Henry are perfect examples of what coaches want to see out of walk-ons. The work they put in and the effort they give day in and day out are reasons why they both earned and deserve their scholarships. Quality men putting in quality work – can't ask for anything else.
The Cougs will have one more warm-up/walk through practice on Friday before suiting up Saturday night. This game could be a turning point for the Cougs. Win or lose – either outcome will have a big impact on the team's motivation and drive moving forward.