FALL CAMP DAY 16: Ahmu rising; Harrison nursing

PULLMAN -- With the quarterback competition seemingly settled, some overdue attention can be given to the other positions on the field. For example, who is going to catch the ball once it leaves Alex Brink's hand? And who is going to defend the other team's pass-catchers?

Obviously, Jason Hill is Washington State's top receiving threat. The junior set a school record with 12 touchdown receptions a year ago, and averaged 22.4 yards per catch. Starting next to him in WSU's usual three-receiver set will be sophomore Michael Bumpus and junior Chris Jordan, with freshmen Benny Ward and Brandon Gibson not far behind.

When asked which of his fellow wideouts made the biggest improvement in the offseason, Hill said, "All of ‘em. This is a lot smarter group than we had from even in my freshman year. It's the little subtle things that we notice that you might not even notice as a fan; like just knowing where to go and how to get there.

"Bumpus, Chris [Jordan], Trandon…even Greg [Prator; broken hand] is out there making plays. They're looking good and definitely coming around."

The receivers' on-field rivals—the defensive backs—are also showing an overall improvement. Elder statesman Alex Teems has high praise for Wally Dada, who has clearly won the competition to start opposite Teems at one corner spot.

"[Wally] has great work ethic, and he's trying to get better every day," Teems said.

Asked who else has improved, Teems was quick to mention safety Eric Frampton.

"Framp has made the biggest step up from last year. He's the hardest worker in the whole secondary, and he's been making plays all throughout summer camp," Teems said.

Hill chimed in on the secondary, although he offered a joking disclaimer that it's not hard for him to get by any of them.

"They're good; they're real good," Hill said. "The (Pac-10) may not know, but they will. I know."

For his part, Teems had praise for the Cougars receivers, most notably Hill, Jordan, Bumpus and freshman Brandon Gibson.

"All of them have their own style, but they're all good," Teems said.


Jerome Harrison didn't practice. The team doesn't release injury info until later Thursday, but Harrison had what looked like an ice pack strapped to his ribcage.

Marty Martin is still wearing a yellow "don't hit him" jersey. Martin suffered a concussion on August 11.

• The offense ran some two tight-end sets, with Jesse Taylor starting opposite Troy Bienemann. Taylor dropped a couple passes, but blocked well. Cody Boyd is injured.

• With Harrison out and Kevin McCallsidelined up to four weeks, true freshman DeMaundray Woolridge got most of the work at tailback, although the offense didn't run the ball that much. Woolridge did break loose for one long gainer on an off-right-tackle play.

• Freshman Fevaea'i Ahmu was playing in front of Odell Howard on the second-string defensive line.

Greg Prator made some impressive catches over the middle and had one catch where he just overpowered Don Turner. He also dropped some passes.

• If you've ever wondered who the first players to arrive at practice are, punter Kyle Basler and kicker Graham Siderius were on the field about 45 minutes before Wednesday's session. Five minutes later backup punter Fritz Brayton joined them.

During the 11-on-11 scrimmage, Chris Jordan shook off Alex Teems on an out route, them made a diving catch in his chest near the sideline.

In receiver-versus-defensive back drills, corner Shelton Danzy jumped a quick slant route by Brandon Gibson and picked off a bullet pass thrown by Arkelon Hall.

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