Spring Ball Day 11: Martin, Siderius shine

PULLMAN --- There's a phrase that's becoming a cliché on the Palouse these days: <i><b>Marty Martin</b> had a good day of practice</i>. The junior receiver from Puyallup looked sharp again today, making tough catches over the middle and in traffic. And taking it all in was a young guy who'd like nothing more than to line up next to Martin this fall: Highly touted incoming freshman receiver <b>Michael Bumpus</b>.

Bumpus, one of the most coveted prep wideouts on the West Coast this past recruiting season, will also be at the Cougars' scrimmage Saturday. The 6-0, 190-pounder is on spring break and traveled to Pullman from his home in Culver City, Calif. He said he's looking forward to being part of something special at WSU and helping bring the Pac-10 title back where it belongs.

As for Marty Martin, he's been a sure-handed target for all the Cougar QBs since spring workouts began. Short routes, long ones, in traffic, whatever -- he's delivered in a big way.

Receiver Trandon Harvey, another up-and-comer who figures to see a ton of playing time in 2004, also performed well today, particularly when he went over the top of a defender to snatch a pass out of the air. He's showing no signs of trouble with the hamstring he pulled doing the triple jump.

Quarterbacks and receivers also spent some time working on goal line and short yardage passing routes -- one of the few bugaboos on the Palouse over the last three seasons.

In the five-receiver drills the quarterbacks looked very comfortable, completing their first eight passes. Josh Swogger threw a touchdown pass to Thomas Ostrander in the corner of the end zone and Alex Brink threw a short scoring aerial to Cody Boyd over outstretched defenders.

On special teams, head coach Bill Doba had a smile on his face watching kicker Graham Siderius today. The 6-1 junior from Reno who had trouble last Saturday because of a heel injury, hit three 57-yard field goals --- all going right down the middle. For perspective, consider that Drew Dunning's longest trey ever was 49 yards.

NOTABLE NOTES:

Although practice was comparatively short today, a few players decided they needed some extra work. Swogger, Troy Bienemann, and Allen Thompson all stayed after sprints and stretches to work on short passing routes.

With a scrimmage on Saturday, the Cougars practiced Friday without pads and focused much of their time on fundamentals.

The offensive line practiced recovering fumbles, which generated a couple of laughs from teammates. Seeing guys weighing 300 pounds scrambling to pounce on a ball smaller than their own head could be considered comedy.

In Saturday's scrimmage, both the O and the D will work in high-pressure scenarios. Doba said the scrimmage will begin in an overtime situation, with the offense starting on the 25-yard-line. After that the offense will begin on its own 5.


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