Chima's position about only question left

PULLMAN -- Receiver Kevin Norrell returned to practice Thursday after missing Tuesday and Wednesday with the flu, but the California native will not start on Saturday. In his place will be speed demon Jeshua Anderson. The other two starting receivers will sophomore Jared Karstetter and true freshman Gino Simone.

On the other side of the ball, Paul Wulff has named usual weakside linebacker Louis Bland as the starting MLB, where he'll be flanked by Jason Striping on the weakside and Andy Mattingly on the strongside.

With Josh Luapo supplanting Toby Turpin as the defensive tackle starting opposite Bernard Wolfgramm, the only notable personnel question that remains before Saturday's season opener is Chima Nwachukwu. More specifically, whether he'll line up at safety, corner, or perhaps alternate between noth?

In Thursday's practice -- a helmets-only affair -- Nwachukwu remained at corner, where depth has been an issue, and LeAndre Daniels spent the day working with the 1's next to senior Xavier Hicks in Nwachukwu's usual safety spot. If Nwachukwu were to return to safety against Stanford, his corner spot opposite Brandon Jones would go to either Daniel Simmons or Aire Justin.

Thursday's practice focused to a notable extent on special teams. Meanwhile, both the offense and defense worked through different donw-and-distance and other game-play situations. The first-team defense was squared up with the scout team offense, where they simulated Stanford style of play.

During the session, Jones intercepted QB Dan Wagner on a Hail Mary toss. Rather than receive accolades, Jones got an earful from co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears for not batting the ball down.

The first-team offense and scout-team defense moved from Rogers practice field, down to the turf on Martin Stadium and worked on game simulations for about 25 minutes until the whole team met to work on special teams at Martin.

Punter Reid Forrest continued to shine with some hanging, long distance kicks of more than 50 yards. Simone, Norrell, and Jones were sharing time returning Forrest's consistent punts.

Placekicker Nico Grasu showed some improvement with his field goals by going 3-of-4 from 27 yards out, and 2-of-4 from 47 yards, including a gorgeous boot right down the middle to end practice.

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