Evening practice: Low on DBs

PULLMAN -- The Cougars held their first evening session of fall of camp on Friday and things were definitely dark in the secondary. Injuries kept several of the unit's top athletes on the sidelines, including emerging JC transfer Markus Dawes. Meanwhile, spectacular catches by the wideouts highlighted the action on the field.

Cornerbacks Markus Dawes and Tyron Brackenridge, and safeties Christian Bass and Michael Willis were all out of action under the Friday night lights.

Brackenridge, a senior, is expected to be a starter this fall, but has missed the last several days due to an ongoing hamstring injury. Secondary coach Ken Greene was unsure of when Brackenridge will return. "We don't know, it will just depend on how quickly he responds, but we want to make sure it's close too 100 percent before we let him back out again." Earlier, Greene said there's a chance Brackenridge will miss the Sept. 2 opener at Auburn.

Dawes, a JC transfer listed on Thursday's official injury report with muscle strains and expected to compete heavily with senior Don Turner for playing time across from Brackenridge, is apparently now suffering from a "rare blood disorder," and is being watched closely, according to Greene. Although no return time for Dawes was given either, Greene did say, "He will be okay in the long run."

Bass and Willis are suffering from a high ankle sprain and groin tenderness, respectively. Greene is unsure how long the ankle injury will keep Bass out, but stated that Willis should return for Saturday's scrimmage.

On the positive news front, cornerback B.T. Walker, a JC transfer, arrived in Pullman on Wednesday after clearing up transcript issues and has been getting in his NCAA mandated helmet-only action before going full pads.

Notable Notes:

Friday night's practice was yet another intense session, as players from both units played with aggression and purpose.

Leading the charge for the offense was once again quarterback Alex Brink, who made wide receiver Chris Jordan his favorite target, hooking up with the swift senior three times during drills.

Candidates for catch of the night were plentiful, as Jordan, senior Jason Hill, and second-year freshman Andy Largent all made impressive grabs. Jordan's, which came near the end of the session, was a low-flying bullet from Brink which the senior scooped up before rolling out of bounds. Hill's catch was also from Brink, but went for a significantly longer gain, as the All-America candidate out-jumped 5-7 corner Ryan Kensok for a 35-yarder. Largent's catch, coming early in the evening practice, was a diving grab from the arm of Gary Rogers, and drew shouts of praise from an enthusiastic offense.

The night in no way belonged to the offense though, as corner Brian Williams and safety Husain Abdullah both grabbed diving interceptions off of Brink and Arkelon Hall.

The defense also managed to lay some hands on the yellow-shirted QB's a couple of times, drawing wild cheers from the defense for the "sacks".

Those cheers were often led by charismatic senior captain Mkristo Bruce, who at one point had the defensive huddle chanting in unison, "Are we ready? Are we ready? We're ready, na na na na."

A number of former Cougar players were on hand for Friday night's session, in town for a reunion put together by the Gray W Club. Many current players visited with the alumni before practice, where Bruce was overheard saying "It's nice to meet the guys that paved the way."

Burien's Kevin Freitag, a class of 2007 verbal commit for the Cougars, was at practice this week, the Seattle Times reported.

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