Spring Ball: Day Nine

It's been rumored that with the arrival of at least three junior college running backs for the 2002 season, <b>Allen Thompson</b> and/or <b>Jimmy Wilson</b> might be redshirted to save a year of eligibility. However, if Wilson is redshirted in 2002, it won't be because of too much depth at running back. Word out of Pullman has it that Wilson is being switched to receiver, where his lean, 6-2 frame might be better suited to the rigors of Pac-10 play.

The switch seems logical; with John Tippins, Lavell Anderson and Thompson all returning, as well as the addition of Jermaine Green, Jonathon Smith and Lionel Arnold, there wasn't much elbowroom in Mike Price's one-back offense. Also, Wilson has very good hands out of the backfield, and with proper tutelage from receivers coach Mike Levenseller, he could make an impact at receiver.

The team braved the weather Tuesday for practice, enduring pouring rain mixed with snow at times. The result was a rather sloppy practice that featured lots of dropped balls and wounded ducks from the hands of quarterbacks.

Freshman cornerback Alex Teems had the hit of the day, laying a blow to running back Rafael Bolton during the team's perimeter offense drill. Teems is making a name for himself thanks to his hard hits, but he is also developing into a solid young defensive back. Although it remains to be seen what kind of playing time he'll get in 2002, he'll definitely be making contributions in the years to come.

Wes Patterson-Aumua is another young defensive player who's performing well. He's already at his third position since coming to Pullman -- he started as a running back, then switched to defensive back early in the season, and is now a backup linebacker. Patterson-Aumua's one of several former DB's playing linebacker now -- Ira Davis is starting, and Derrick Dillon is currently injured -- perhaps showing a shift in defensive coordinator Bill Doba's philosophy. With no big bodies at outside linebacker a la Raonall Smith, he's looking for quicker guys who can fly around the ball.


  • Receiver Jerome Riley missed practice again Tuesday. He's still hampered by the hamstring injury he suffered Saturday before the scrimmage.
  • Back-up kicker Graham Siderius is also working out as the back-up punter.
  • Although Tomasi "King" Kongaika has shown improvement as the experimental long snapper, incoming freshman Billy Petrick remains the most anticipated long snapping center in the history of NCAA Division 1-A football.



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