NOTEBOOK: Ahmu, much more, from candid Wulff

LOTS OF NEWS coming out of Pullman on Thursday afternoon with a candid Paul Wulff touching on this, that and the other -- including the latest on Daniel Blackledge, Vaughn Lesuma, Chris Ivory, Markus Dawes, Jeshua Anderson and a host of other Cougars. He also clarified to an extent the situation concerning starting defensive tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu.

Paul Wulff said Fevaea'i Ahmu's status remained up in the air as of Thursday afternoon.

"I have yet to talk to him's something I just found out about late last night. He does have a shoulder injury that has held him out but I think he's physically cleared to play today. Really, what happened to my recollection is he had to take a class in the summer to finalize his minor-in-possession charge he had in January. He didn't have the money or didn't complete the class by a certain date.. I think they declared it as he didn't appear in court but he didn't finalize his class that he needed to take," said Wulff.

Wulff said he had not determined if Ahmu would play since he had not yet sat down with the senior but was planning to do so later this afternoon.

SINCE ARRIVING AT WSU, Wulff has made it crystal clear he does not like seeing talent go begging. Indeed, he's been very candid talking about a player here and there who have the ability to be special talents, but who are not doing what they need to in order to realize that potential.

The head man of the Cougars mentioned Romeo Pellum earlier in fall camp as one who has talent, "but he's got a lot of issues he's working on to be a guy we all can trust," and and Wulff said on Thursday that running back Chris Ivory is another Cougar who could have a very high ceiling indeed.

"He's had a good week," said Wulff. "...If we could ever get that kid healthy and he could put games back-to-back, then we'd have a special player on our hands. But I don't know if he's mentally-he's not let himself do that yet. And he's had some unfortunate things (happen) but he's one of those kids who still needs to learn to take care of his body off the field so he can have more consistency on it, physically," said Wulff.

Ivory missed a spring semester to be with his ailing mother (who did eventually return to good health) and had to hit the books hard to make up credits and maintain his eligibility this summer.

WULFF SAID EXTRA time had been spent on special teams this week.

"(We're) continuing to try and find players that are going to perform on them. We've probably had to shuffle a few kids but not a lot. We're going to have to keep teaching them and educating them and get them better. If a kid is not taking coaching and trying to improve, then eventually we'll have to try and make a move. But (OSU) was really our first good test and to see where the heck we were at. We'll continue to clean those things up on video," said Wulff.

Reid Forrest looks good to go and return to the starting lineup. Dan Wagner filled in at punter last week.

WR Daniel Blackledge will play but might not start, said Wulff. Jared Karstetter would get the start if Blackledge does not.

CB Markus Dawes remains questionable. The senior corner has been able to practice some this week coming off his offseason shoulder surgery.

CB Tyrone Justin is likely to get his first start in place of injured Alfonso Jackson, making two redshirt freshmen, Romeo Pellum and Justin, the probable men on the islands for Cal.

LT Vaughn Lesuma (back) looks good to go this week. Wulff said the staff continues to move around pieces on the offensive line, looking for the right combinations and most importantly, consistency.

"We're moving guys around...the mix and match and lack of being able to work together is where we're at right now. That part is real challenging right now...Like I said, it may take us a while to get this thing going. Once we get our personnel settled down and get that stuff consistent day in and day out..."

WULFF SAID FOR their first career starts, o-linemen Brian Danaher and Steven Ayers fared reasonably well in film review.

"Brian Danaher played a pretty solid game. He needs to play a lot better to be honest but for the first career start and being thrown in the fire I thought he did a nice job. Steven, did some good things but he really made some mistakes too. He's got a ways to go, but for their first career games..they did okay for themselves under the circumstances," said Wulff.

As to the youth on the Cougs, Wulff said he expects to see "some" improvement between the first and second game but said he would not go so far as to say he would expect to see "significant' improvement from the younger players.

Lesuma and Ayers are the likely candidates to start on the left side of the line for Cal.

WULFF SAID CAL's talent and speed is something the coaches have been trying to simulate in practice this week, such as working on tackling angles, but simulations can only go so far.

"Cal's speed is very good...they've got to be right up there with USC with pure talent across the board on the football team. (RB and KR) Jahvid Best is probably the fastest player in the Pac-10. And (Shane Vereen) is extremely fast. It's not like you can (remotely) take off a play in the running game.

Jeshua Anderson (hernia surgery) will "probably" be ready to see his first game action of the season next week, said Wulff.

Wulff said he hadn't been able to talk to any of them but had heard 40-plus, at least, were expected to be in town for the reunion of the 1988 Aloha Bowl team. Wulff said he had set aside time to greet his returning teammates and to also meet with them before game time.

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