At long last: Cougar football is back

THE 2006 COUGAR FOOTBALL season officially gets underway today with the opening of spring drills. The Cougs return 15 starters and 49 letter-winners from the 2005 squad. The team is headlined by three players who figure to contend for All-America honors in 2006: defensive end Mkristo Bruce, receiver Jason Hill and receiver/return man Michael Bumpus. CF.C is on the ground in Pullman, ready to bring you all the action from the first snap to the final gun.

Workouts begin this afternoon and conclude with the annual spring game on April 15. Cougfan.com plans to bring you wall-to-wall coverage throughout. There has never been a better time to subscribe to CF.C. Click here for membership options – though the annual Total Access Pass is the best deal, both in terms of price and perks.

The Cougars will hold 12 practices and three scrimmages over the next 26 days, with the annual Crimson and Gray Game capping things off on April 15.

With seven starters returning offense and seven on defense, plus kicker Loren Langley, battles for the starting lineup aren't widespread but they figure to be intense. Besides running back, two of the most-watched contests figure to be on the offense line to replace center Nick Mihlhauser and fill Norvell Holmes' old spot at guard. Kenny Alfred, Dan Rowlands, Andy Roof and Josh Duin will vie for two open slots, with Colin Donovan, Derek Hunter, Joey Eppele, and Scott Friberg providing the depth.

While the Cougars' top four receivers are established in Hill, Bumpus, Chris Jordan and Brandon Gibson, the one-back offense requires a bevy of talent on the flanks and with Gibson sidelined for the spring with an elbow injury, the spring figures to offer big-time opportunities for sophomores Benny Ward and Scott Selby, the only other scholarship players returning from last year's depth chart, and two towering newcomers, 6-6 Finas Rabb and 6-4 Greg Walker, each of whom enrolled at WSU last month.

NOTABLE NOTES:

  • Besides Josh Swogger and Spencer Hollison, two would-be seniors searching for more playing time, another familiar face has opted to transfer to a Division I-AA school: freshman defensive back Shelton Danzy. Among the schools he's considering are Hampton, Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Northern Iowa and Youngstown State. Two other players have left the program: deep reserves Reyshawn Bobo (DE) and Steffan Blume (LB).

  • The Cougars went 4-7 in 2005, but lost six of those games by four points or less.

  • Quarterback Alex Brink is only entering his junior season but already has accomplished something that separates him from every starting WSU QB of the modern era: Two consecutive victories over Washington.

    The Spring 2006 Practice Schedule
    Tuesday, March 21: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, March 22: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Friday, March 24: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, March 25: Practice 9 a.m.

    Tuesday, March 28: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, March 29: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Friday, March 31: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 1: Scrimmage 1 9:30 a.m.

    Tuesday, April 4: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, April 5: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Friday, April 7: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 8: Scrimmage 2 9:30 a.m.

    Tuesday: April 11: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Thursday, April 13: Practice 3:30-5:30 p.m.
    Saturday, April 15: Crimson & Gray Game 11 a.m.

  • The preliminary spring depth chart, first released Friday, has been updated by WSU Sports Information:

    2006 WASHINGTON STATE DEPTH CHART - Spring
     
    COUGAR OFFENSE
    SE 83 ***[10] JASON HILL (6-2, 208, Sr.)
    15 * [0] Benny Ward (6-4, 184, So.)
    81 [dnp] Greg Walker (6-4, 185, Fr.)

    LT 70 ** [11] BOBBY BYRD (6-7, 314, #Jr.)
    75 [dnp] Scott Friberg (6-4, 275, #Fr.)

    LG 73 ***[11] SEAN O?CONNOR (6-5, 287, #Sr.)
    72 [dnp] Derek Hunter (6-4, 270, So.)

    C 60 * [0] DAN ROWLANDS (6-5, 283, #So.)
    69 [dnp] Kenny Alfred (6-2, 294, #Fr.)

    RG 72 * [0] ANDY ROOF (6-3, 316, #So.)
    61 *** [0] Josh Duin (6-3, 311, #Sr.)

    RT 55 ***[11] CHARLES HARRIS (6-6, 308, #Sr.)
    68 [0] Colin Donovan (6-7, 284, #So.)

    TE 41 * [0] JED COLLINS (6-2, 250, Jr.)
    48 * [0] Ben Woodard (6-5, 237, #So.)
    87 [dnp] Jason Price (6-4, 245, Jr.)
    46 [dnp] Tony Thompson (6-2, 235, #Fr.)
    85 [0] Bryan Baird (6-3, 235, #So.)

    SB 5 ** [7] MICHAEL BUMPUS(5-11, 186, Jr.)
    3 * [0] Lorenzo Bursey (5-8, 175, Jr.)

    QB 10 ** [11] ALEX BRINK (6-2, 202, #Jr.)
    17 [0] Gary Rogers (6-5, 241, #So.)
    18 [dnp] Cole Morgan (6-2, 182, #Fr.)
    8 [dnp] Arkelon Hall (6-1, 224, #Fr.)

    RB 35 * [0] DEMAUNDRAY WOOLRIDGE(5-8, 223, So.)
    20 * [0] Kevin McCall (5-11, 215, #Jr.)
    31 [dnp] Dwight Tardy (5-11, 200, #Fr.)

    2 *** [7] CHRIS JORDAN (6-1, 210, #Sr.)
    84 [0] Scott Selby (6-6, 222, #So.)
    88 [dnp] Finas Rabb III (6-6, 205, Jr.)

    PAT 27 ** [11] LOREN LANGLEY (5-8, 150, Jr.)

    NOT PARTICIPATING IN SPRING CONTACT DRILLS
    TE 80 *** [1] Cody Boyd (6-8, 257, #Sr.)
    TE 47 *** [0] Jesse Taylor (6-3, 240, #Sr.)
    DT 75 ** [0] Ropati Pitoitua (6-8, 299, Jr.)
    FL 86 * [5] Brandon Gibson (6-0, 195, So.)

    2006 CAPTAINS:
    Offense TBD
    Defense TBD
    Special Teams - TBD
    [ ] = Number of 2005 starts
    * = Varsity letters earned
    # = Has redshirted

    COUGAR DEFENSE
    WE 94 ***[11] MKRISTO BRUCE (6-6, 250, #Sr.)
    96 * [0] Mike Graise (6-3, 216, #So.)
    33 ** [0] Paul Stevens (6-3, 250, #Jr.)

    LT 40 ** [11] AARON JOHNSON (6-6, 310, #Jr.)
    19 ** [0] Odell Howard (6-3, 292, #Sr.)

    RT 92 * [11] A?I AHMU (6-1, 284, So.)

    SE 58 ** [0] MATT MULLENNIX (6-5, 256, #Jr.)
    97 * [0] Lance Broadus (6-2, 211, Jr.)

    SLB 42 ***[11] SCOTT DAVIS (5-10, 228, #Sr.)
    38 * [0] Cory Evans (6-2, 215, So.)
    43 *** [0] Brian Hall (6-2, 242, #Sr.)

    MLB 52 * [5] GREG TRENT (5-10, 230, So.)
    56 *** [0] Chris Baltzer (6-2, 228, Sr.)

    WLB 49 ***[11] STEVE DILDINE (6-1, 229, #Sr.)
    50 * [0] Jason Stripling (5-11, 218, So.)
    44 [0] Alex Hamill (6-0, 218, #So.)

    RCB 12 *[dnp] Tyron BRACKENRIDGE (6-0, 180, #Sr.)
    32 * [0] Ian Bell (5-9, 180, #So.)

    SS 37 ***[11] ERIC FRAMPTON (5-11, 208, #Sr.)
    24 * [0] Christian Bass (6-2, 212, #Jr.)
    22 * [0] Michael Willis (6-3, 205, So.)

    FS 23 ** [9] HUSAIN ABDULLAH (6-0, 189, #Jr.)
    30 * [2] DeWayne Patterson (6-2, 195, Sr.)
    26 [dnp] Xavier Hicks (6-0, 194, #Fr.)

    LCB 25 *** [0] DON TURNER (6-0, 183, #Sr.)
    27 * [0] Ryan Kensok (5-9, 164, #So.) OR
    34 * [0] Courtney Williams (6-1, 193, So.)

    P 39 [dnp] DARRYL BLUNT (6-0, 178, #So.)
    10 [0] Fritz Brayton (6-3, 184, #So.)

    COUGAR SPECIAL TEAMS
    KO: 27 Loren Langley (5-8, 150, Jr.)
    FIELD GOALS: 27 Loren Langley (5-8, 150, Jr.)
    LONG SNAPS: 46 Tony Thompson (6-2, 235, #Fr.)
    HOLDER: 10 Alex Brink (6-2, 202, #So.)
    P-RETURNS:
    5 Michael Bumpus (5-11, 186, Jr.)
    3 Lorenzo Bursey (5-8, 175, Jr.)

    KO-RETURN:
    3 Lorenzo Bursey (5-8, 175, Jr.)
    15 Benny Ward (6-4, 184, So.)

    Revised: 03/20/06

    RELATED SPRING PREVIEW STORIES:
    Starting battles bloom with start of spring

    Outlook on Defense

    Outlook on Offense

    Akey, Levy preview spring

    Battle of the Bs as Cougs eye new punter

    A new day at tight end


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