DAY 10: Cougs practice thud, then slide

PULLMAN – The defense controlled the action during much of the "thud" workouts Wednesday at Washington State. The secondary blanketed receivers, aided by good pressure on the quarterbacks. The offense, however, finished on a scoring note.

Defensive backs took turns making great plays on the ball, and freshman linebacker C.J. Mizell picked off Marshall Lobbestael late in practice and ran it back for a score.

The offense gained revenge on the last play from scrimmage when starting quarterback Jeff Tuel fired a bullet that senior receiver Jeffrey Solomon caught in stride over the middle and turned into a 39-yard score.

Senior Nico Grasu and freshman Andrew Furney, competing for the No. 1 kicking job, took alternating kicks early in practice and again at the end. Furney got the best of Grasu on this day.

Defensive backs with nice pass breakups included Anthony Carpenter, Chima Nwachukwu, Anthony Carpenter, Nolan Washington and Deone Bucannon.

Tackle Justin Clayton stuffed freshman running back Rickey Galvin on back-to-back plays -- first on a pass play, then on a run.

Lobbestael took a quick drop and lobbed a perfect ball to Bobby Ratliff to beat Carpenter down the sideline. Carpenter later broke up the same play when Daniel Blackledge was the target.

The Cougars continue to mix and match players on the offensive line. True freshman John Fullington, a heralded tackle out of North Mason High School, again saw some time with the No. 1 offense.

"He's a young, athletic guy," said Paul Wulff. "He's very physically gifted."

LONG SNAPPER Zach Enyeart, who may be the top NFL prospect among Cougar seniors, spent some time this summer at the snappers camp (who knew such things existed?) run by snapping guru Chris Rubio. Enyeart said he's been contacted by several prospective agents.

Senior punter Reid Forrest said he benefited from personal instruction this summer from two widely recognized punting experts: former NFL punter Louie Aguiar, and former NFL assistant coach Gary Zauner. Forrest might be WSU's best bet for All-America honors of some sort.

Grasu, a senior, made his annual trek to Chris Sailer's kicking camp in the Los Angeles area.

THE COUGARS BROKE up the drudgery and hard work of fall camp by runnin', slippin' and slidin' on a water-soaked plastic sheet in a semi-hilarious "slip-and-slide" session at the end of practice Wednesday.

Most players and a few coaches, including Wulff, hit the plastic to cool off after another challenging practice in the afternoon heat. The sight of linemen bumpin' and boppin' one another while laughing hysterically as they slid down the plastic coaxed laughter and smiles out of everyone.

Blackledge, Solomon and fellow receiver Jared Karstetter caught balls fired out of a machine while teammates were hitting the slip-and-slide.

"All business over here!" a joking (and soaking) Tuel shouted at the receivers. "No fun!"

The Cougars practice twice Thursday, at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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