Where are Cougs' casualties now?

SO WHERE ARE THEY NOW? At least four of the eight former Cougar footballers whose academic woes contributed most severely to the scholarship penalty the NCAA recently handed down on Washington State are still pursuing their athletic careers.

WSU scored a 916 on the NCAA's four-year Academic Progress Rate calculation, putting the school nine points below the 925 minimum. For more on how the APR works, see the sidebar in this story. The killer, though, was the 2006-07 academic year, when eight players left the school, leading to a score of 874 for the year.

One of them was defensive tackle Bryan Tarkington, who is now at Emporia State University, a Division II school in Kansas. Tarkington said he arrived there last year and sat out the 2007 season in order to concentrate on academics. He just concluded spring practices at Emporia.

"My eyes were opened when I (left) Washington State for grades. I've been focusing mostly on grades since I've been here. I had a good spring ball, and I had a good spring game so everything is going good so far," said Tarkington.

Running back/return man Derrell Hutsona played last season at Southern Oregon and led the team in 817 all-purpose yards. He averaged more than 30 yards per kickoff return.

He returned to Pullman for a few days earlier this year to partake in the NFL Pro Day in Pullman. Despite coming off knee surgery, both Cincinnati and New Orleans (where one of his best friends, Reggie Bush, plays) have contacted him about a possible free agent contract. The Canadian Football League might be more of a possibility. He a had tryout with the B.C. Lions this past weekend and is hearing from Winnipeg and others.

Offensive lineman Derek Hunter played one season at Foothill JC before coming to Washington State in 2005. After leaving WSU a year ago, he enrolled at Rio Hondo JC, but didn't play football. He plans to transfer to a four-year school and earn an education degree, but says football is probably behind him.

Hunter keeps in touch with a number of Wazzu players, including Jed Collins and Gary Rogers. He said he called Collins recently to congratulate him on signing a free agent contract with Philadelphia.

"I have no regrets," said Hunter. "I had a great time up there and met a lot of good people, a lot of good friends for life. It was a good learning experience."

Running back DeMaundray Woolridge is now at Langston University, a traditionally all-black NAIA school north of Oklahoma City.

Quarterback Arkelon Hall headed to College of the Sequoias after leaving WSU and last season completed 190 out of 358 passes for 2,398 yards, 13 TDs and 14 INTs. He has since transferred to Memphis, where he reportedly had a good spring and will battle this fall to be the Tigers' starter.

No information was readily available on the current-day happenings of Courtney Williams, DB DeWayne Patterson or DL Paul Stevens, the latter having been suspended for violation of team policy and who did not return to WSU. A search of junior college, D-II, D-III, NAIA, Arena Football, CFL, etc., rosters did not produce their names but that doesn't necessarily mean they're not in someone's program or on a team -- Tarkington and Woolridge don't appear on their respective rosters yet either.

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