Spring Ball Day 12: Crimson riches at TE

PULLMAN — Wild weather ended Washington State's Monday session early but not before the defense managed to turn in some big plays. Meanwhile, a Cougar wide receiver continued his torrid spring, and coach Greg Peterson talked up his squad, noting the marked improvement by several players. True, the Cougs lose Cody Boyd to graduation but the '07 tight ends unit is looking sharp -- and deep.

The Cougar wide receivers make for the deepest position on the team, but the tight ends are not far behind.

"I like our progress," Peterson said. "Part of it has been fundamentals and technique, and part of it is attitude, and we've really tried to make a commitment (to improvement). And the proof will be this fall when we open at Wisconsin, but we're making some progress."

A difference this year from last can be found in the position's overall strength.

"As a group I think we have some good depth," said Peterson. "Jed Collins has had a solid spring. Ben Woodard has vastly improved and I like where he's at. Tony Thompson gives us some solid depth and I think Devin Frischknecht is going to be a good player for us."

Frischknecht, limited in action of late due to a tweaked knee, suited up Monday but donned a yellow no-contact jersey and looked to still be limited in some capacity.

The injury, however, Peterson said, is nothing too serious. Indeed, if Frischknecht had his way, it appears the junior transfer from Snow College wouldn't have missed any time -- Frischknecht, after being told he might be out 2-3 weeks instead told coach Bill Doba he planned on being out 2-3 days, tops.

"I think it's more precautionary than anything," Peterson said. "I mean, if we were playing Saturday he would play. He's such a competitor, he doesn't want not to be out here and take every rep, and that's why he's staying after (practice), even today."

Frischknecht and the rest of the tight ends were the last to leave the field Monday, running some basic pass-plays with quarterback Cole Morgan.

THE SESSION ON MONDAY only ran a little more than half the scheduled time, with Doba calling the session early in 11-on-11 drills under heavy winds, rain, hail and snow. By the time all the players were off the field, thunder and lightning had also made an appearance.

The hail was so intense at one point that the green turf of Rogers Field turned almost a solid sheet of white in about 30 seconds flat.

Before the adverse weather conditions got too bad, several players managed to turn in solid performances on the day, with linebacker Cory Evans and cornerback Brian Williams both grabbing interceptions for the defense.

Running back Kevin McCall picking up right where he left off in Friday's scrimmage, putting together several nice runs in the session.

It was wide receiver Brandon Gibson, however, who once again shined the brightest. The wide receiver grabbed several nice ropes on the day, continuing a spring performance that has been one of the finest on the team.

Wide receiver Charles Dillon returned to practice Monday, after missing several sessions due to a mild concussion. Dillon, like Frischknecht, wore a yellow no-contact jersey in the session.

The team will take to the field again tomorrow, with practice slated to begin at 4 p.m. under what is forecast to be more favorable weather conditions.

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