Practice notes: Freshmen making waves

PULLMAN -- Full pads meant full contact Thursday as the WSU football team added the final piece of its practice uniform: leg pads. The tempo and intensity of drills has increased each day since Sunday when summer training camp opened and despite the growing list of short term injuries, the Cougs are continuing to round into "hitting shape".

There's some hitting going on over in the Palouse.

"We need a lot of this -- we need a lot of work," said Doba, in reference to the physical practice.

Count defensive tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu among the list of physical freshmen Doba thinks can play this season. The relentless defender out of San Diego's Serra High has drawn plenty or praise from the coaching staff thus far in camp.

Alex Brink hooked up with junior receiver Jason Hill for the play of the day. After taking the snap in a light scrimmage drill, Brink slipped in his setup, falling forward slightly. He steadied himself and let loose a long pass over the middle. Hill had beaten the coverage, catching the ball cleanly out of his post route and scoring with space between him and his defender.

Michael Willis gave a preview on Thursday of what's to come for WSU opponents who choose to venture across the middle, putting a great lick on Trandon Harvey. Harvey was running the crossing route when Willis came in and took him out. The star out of Tacoma displaying great closing speed in making the play.

DeMaundray Woolridge (5-8, 228) showed some serious moves today and continues to impress. The running back who has "some junk in his trunk" according to his former prep coach took the ball 20 yards up the middle while faking a number of would-be tacklers nearly out of their shoes.

To look at him, Woolridge looks like he'd just move the pile but he's much more than a power back built low to the ground. After Thursday's run, add "shifty hips" to the considerable list of attributes of the freshman out of Keller, Texas.

HARVEY SHOULD BE in good shape if he ever has to enter a push up competition. The senior wide out had a tough go of it last season and was known more for his drops than for his receiver skills. Harvey has had a number of mishandled catches so far this August, and has paid the price: ten push ups for each dropped pass.

Before last season, Harvey made a number of clutch catches in 2003, with the bulk of them coming in critical third down situations.

LORENZO BURSEY APPEARS to be the favorite to return kickoffs this fall. The JC transfer from West LA, who is also getting a look on defense to shore up the cornerback position, has been working with the first unit on kick off drills and showing off some slippery moves.

Several very physical players were made without injury on Thuirsday, including an interesting matchup of the 5-foot-8 Bursey and 6-foot-2 Christian Bass during tackling drills.

Bass got the better of the junior college transfer one play, Bursey came out on top the next. Both players were laughing after the drills about the difference in height between the two.

Coach Ken Greene has taken to calling Bursey, "Seabiscuit."

For more on the injury report that includes Marty Martin (concussion), Will Derting (hamstring), Michael Bumpus (hip flexor) and others, use this link:

FALL CAMP DAY 5: Trainers take on prominent role

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