FALL CAMP: Cougs go 56 straight

PULLMAN -- The first day of classes start today at WSU, just another reminder the Cougar football season draws 'nigh. Prior to hitting the classrooms, the Cougs took the field Sunday in a helmets only session where the majority of the time was focused on position drills. Back on the field, participating fully, was receiver Daniel Blackledge, who looked good working with both the 1's and 2's.

Head man Paul Wulff said the health status of his receiver corps is looking bright and Blackledge might not be the only WR back on the field next week.

"It's important that we not only get Daniel back but hopefully two more guys on too," said Wulff. "We'd like to get three of the four back through this next week and if we can get that done, it will be a good bonus for us."

Other receivers who have been include Jeshua Anderson and Johnny Forzani. Five days ago in a practice, the Cougs saw four of the receiving corps sitting out drills and dinged up.

During an 11-on-11 session on Sunday, Blackledge caught two chain-movers from Lobbestael, each for about 10 yards.

"I'm very excited for guys to start coming back, Johnny, Dan, Jesh, and Jeff (Jeffrey Solomon) are really talented guys," said Lobbestael. "The guys who are healthy now are doing a great job, they're taking extra reps and everything, but it's going to be nice to have those guys back to complete our offense," said Lobbestael.

THE HIGHLIGHT of the practice came during drills when the wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends caught an impressive 56 straight passes from quarterbacks Lobbestael, Kevin Lopina, Jeff Tuel, Dan Wegner, and David Gilbertson.

At times during the streak, it looked like a receiver was sure to not catch up to a ball or get high enough in the air for it, but all players showcased their talent in the drill and kept adding to the count.

"We've come a long ways, to get six in a row last year would have been a big goal," quipped Wulff.

DURING THE 7-on-7 drills, freshman Jeff Tuel received some work with the 1's and looked efficient in delivery and movement out of the pocket.

Tuel did have one mistake though when he tried to thread the needle to hit Kevin Norrell and was intercepted by Aire Justin.

LATER, LOPINA HOOKED up with Norrell on a beautifully executed 20-yard touchdown completion.

Norrell was in the corner of the end zone and Lopina lobbed the ball precisely over linebacker Louis Bland for the score.

THE COUGS HAVE Monday off and will be back on the practice field Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. With the countdown to Sept. 5 nearing, coach Wulff explains he is still focusing on getting his players ready before getting the team ready for Stanford.

"We still got a week of camp and I know schools starting but we still have four practices before we start prepping for our first game so we still got some high level intensity practices in front of us," said Wulff. "We have to still prep conditioning number one, and two adversity we have to really get after and push ourselves."

UNLIKE THIS writer, Lobbestael said he was looking forward to classes beginning.

"I still have to check my schedule, I don't even know where I'm going," laughed Lobbestael. "School starting means football's starting, so they go hand in hand and I'm pretty excited about that."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Braulio Perez, brand new to CF.C, is a junior at Washington State. He is studying broadcast news at the Murrow College of Communication. He is a graduate of Inglemoor High in Kenmore, Wash.

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