WSU Fall Camp: Day 2 comes with trash talk

LEWISTON— Three true freshmen Cougar cornerbacks, Patrick Porter, Sulaiman Hameed, and Kevin Griffin, were all trying to learn the ropes as fast as they could on Sunday, Day 2 of the Cougs’ fall camp. One of them, not altogether unexpectedly, had a rough day and to add insult to injury, Connor Halliday added a little trash talk to the mix.

D-coordinator and defensive backs coach Mike Breske said after practice is to too early to tell whether Patrick Porter, Sulaiman Hameed, and/or Kevin Griffin will earn any early playing time -- he wants to see how they look after all the initial practices are concluded.

However, when asked about the defense as a whole, Breske was very impressed about how they have played here in the first couple of days.

“I think our intensity has been really good, our effort has been really good,” Breske said. “I like our attitude and what we’re playing with. We’re going to each play, playing the next play, taking advantage of opportunities, and getting better each day.”

Porter had a particularly rough day on Sunday, seemingly in the wrong place on the field consistently and getting beat by receivers continually. Connor Halliday took no mercy on the true freshman, even unleashing some trash talk his way, saying that “No. 17 can’t even play with us.”

Halliday's jab came after a long touchdown from Falk to Marks.

Breske said there is a lot of trash talk that goes on in camp, and that he isn’t worried about Porter taking any of it personally.

“I like his attitude, his toughness,” Breske said. “He’s on a learning curve and he’s going to have his ups and downs, but the thing about Pat is he leaves behind whether it’s a good play or a bad play, and just goes to the next play. That’s what you’ve got to have as a corner.”

One of the receivers challenging Porter on Sunday was Marks, who is almost never speechless, just like cornerback Daquawn Brown.

“It’s just fall camp,” Marks said. “You’ve got to get through the days and stuff. It makes me play harder when I know the other person has something more invested because I know they’re going to give me their best shot. It just makes me focus on the little things and just get through camp, because camp’s rough so you have to find something to make you appreciate it.”

And if there was any doubt, Marks added that he is never scared to back up what comes out of his mouth.

Halliday threw an interception to Tracy Clark during a scrimmage drill, and he looked shaky overall against the first-team defense. He looked better against the second team.

Backup quarterback Luke Falk looked much sharper. Toward the end of the 11-on-11 scrimmage drill, Falk threw two touchdown passes, one to Calvin Green and another to Kristoff Williams. Both were against the second-team defense.

The quarterback competition, however, is not close at all. Halliday has the No. 1 spot, and Falk has the second string under his control, Mike Leach said. The other quarterbacks, Peyton Bender, Connor Ennis, and Erik Anderson are helping out when the defense is taking reps.

Also with the second-team offense, running back Gerard Wicks broke off two touchdown runs, one of which was over 50 yards against the first-team defense. The team was practicing without pads, however.

The offense won the scrimmage drill 31-25 after the defense took home the honors on Day 1.

Running back Squally Canada, tight end Nick Begg, and safety David Bucannon all participated in special teams drills.

Sebastian LaRue practiced with the defensive players today. He was moved to corner in the spring from his wide receiver position. LaRue is still waiting for word on his appeal to the NCAA not to have to sit out a year after transferring from Texas A&M.

MEANWHILE, CRIES RANG out across the fields at Sacajawea Middle School on Sunday afternoon. They were the battle cries of football, exchanged between two sides that are equally as competitive, even though they are not equally equipped.

The competition was certainly at a high level for the second day of fall training camp as the veteran Cougar offense clashed with the less experienced defense. The most vocal players, easily, were Marks on the offense and Brown on the defense, both who could be heard chattering after almost every play.

“I’m just trying to rub off on the rest of our defense because that’s when we are playing our best and are at our highest level,” Brown said. He said he and linebacker Darryl Monroe motivate each other to be more vocal on the field and to get each other fired up.

The defense has a veteran defensive line in T Xavier Cooper, NT Kalafitoni Pole and E Destiny Vaeao, and an experienced group of linebackers to boot. However, the secondary has more than a few more question marks and a lot more youth. Brown said that it is impossible to replace departed veterans Deone Bucannon and Damante Horton, but he made a point to say that before they arrived in the program, nobody knew them either.

“We’ve got some young guys that are clicking as a unit right now, and that started in spring ball, so we’re gelling now, and we’re more fluid,” Brown said. “We’ve got some of our receivers back too so it’s key that we go against some really good competition to really get better.”

Brown said that Bucannon and Horton taught him to “swag out” on the field, and to never get too high or too low. Also, they told him to be vocal as much as possible, so maybe that is where he gets it.

Going against Halliday and the experienced receivers, Brown said after practice he feels extremely well-prepared for anything he will see in the Pac-12 this season. The Cougs’ Air Raid offense runs as many routes as they can to try and confuse Brown, but he isn’t bothered by that at all, he said. Instead, he takes it all in stride and values those routes as conditioning for the opposing receivers who don’t know him as well as the WSU ones do.

  • Wes Concepcion, Jordan Dascalo, Erik Powell, and Quentin Breshears all participated in kicking drills on Sunday. Powell and Breshears were practicing field goals and it looked to me like Breshears had a much more powerful leg. He was drilling 40- and 45-yard field goals with ease.

  • Daquawn Brown is now wearing No. 4 and was previously No. 25

  • Nick Begg is now No. 89 and was previously No. 66

  • Dakota Sinchak is now wearing No. 39 and was No. 24

  • Isaac Dotson was at practice wearing a yellow jersey, and he participated with the first-team defense. Dotson, Glover and Bucannon are all listed as co-starters on the fall camp depth chart at strong safety.

  • Cody O’Connell and Parker Henry were limited participants but went through conditioning drills for the second straight day.

  • Brett Bartolone was in yellow also and participating with the receivers.

  • Barry Ware and Deion Singleton are not yet cleared, a prep source told CF.C on Sunday. Singleton was in attendance for the second straight day, I have not yet seen Ware.

    Primarily taking reps with the first team:
    QB: Connor Halliday
    RB: Theron West, Jamal Morrow
    WR: Kristoff Williams, River Cracraft, Vince Mayle, Gabe Marks, Isiah Myers, Rickey Galvin
    LT: Joe Dahl, Gunnar Eklund
    LG: Gunnar Eklund, Devonte McClain
    C: Sam Flor, Riley Sorenson
    RG: Jacob Seydel
    RT: Cole Madison

    T: Xavier Cooper
    NT: Kalafitoni Pole
    E: Destiny Vaeao
    WIL: Tana Pritchard
    MIK: Darryl Monroe
    SAM: Cyrus Coen
    BUCK: Kache Palacio
    CB: Tracy Clark
    CB: Daquawn Brown
    Safeties: Beau Glover, Taylor Taliulu, Isaac Dotson

    Notable special teams blocking and gunners: Taylor Taliulu, Cyrus Coen, Chester Sua, Tana Pritchard, Darryl Monroe, Kache Palacio, Isaac Dotson, Alex Den Bleyker.

    Primarily taking reps with the second team:
    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Gerard Wicks, Teondray Caldwell
    WR: Robert Lewis, Dom Williams, Gabe Marks, Calvin Green, Vince Mayle
    LT: Devonte McClain
    LG: Eduardo Middleton
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: B.J. Salmonson
    RT: Sean Krepsz

    D-line: Robert Barber, Daniel Ekuale, Lyman Faoliu
    Linebackers: Chester Sua, Jeremiah Allison, Ivan McLennan, Paris Taylor, Mitchell Peterson
    Cornerbacks: Charleston White, Patrick Porter
    Safeties: Beau Glover, Darius Lemora

    Notable special teams blocking and gunners: Peyton Pelluer, Lyman Faoliu, Teondray Caldwell, Ivan McLennan, Jeremiah Allison, Darius Lemora, Vince Mayle, Joe Lang

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