Archive for the ‘Devin Giles’ Category

Sunday Roster News

July 12, 2009

Some news broke yesterday on the WSU roster, updated prior to next month’s fall practice. The news? Some names you might have expected to be on the roster are missing. Grippi has a good read on the situation, including some quotes from Coach Wulff, so check it out.

While all the names are disappointing, I think the loss of Devin Giles might hurt the most on the field. Projected by some to start at corner this year, even though he missed spring ball due to academics and was a reserve for most of ’08, he did start 12 games in ’07. The senior-to-be was one guy with at least some starting experience in the PAC-10. And for those of you scoring at home, the corner position has been hit hard this off-season. Romeo Pellum, who started 12 games last year, is no longer in the program. Others in some hot water include Tyrone Justin (now known as Aire, per Grippi?), Tyree Toomer, and LeAndre Daniels.

Glancing at the spring depth chart, you wonder how the corner position is going to look once things get going next month. Devin Giles was actually listed as the starter at left corner, but that’s out the window now. Brandon Jones, the Cal transfer who sat out ’08, might elevate to the starting spot. Jones was singled out by coach Wulff during spring as a player who was performing quite well. Jones was technically listed at #2 behind Giles this spring, so it’s easy to see him as the starter now.

We’ll look at the secondary in the coming days, but overall? Things seem awfully thin back there.

Michael Willis is officially gone as well. Not disappointed there, just a little sad that it never worked out for him.

Willis had a long journey to Pullman (just check out all the stories on him from Scout.com, dating all the way back to 2003!). Willis also saw multiple position changes, from safety to corner to WR and back again. Excellent size, outstanding athleticism, and always regarded as a seriously hard hitter, it’s all over for him now. However, per the Grippi article, it appears that Willis is still in school and on track to graduate. So at least he’ll get a degree when it’s all said and done.

Meanwhile, Cougfan.com broke the news that there are four incoming recruits who will delay enrollment until January 2010, with the famous “gray shirt” path to Pullman. Offensive guard Quayshawne Buckley, safety Osi Hosea, defensive end Chris Mastin, and linebacker Terrell Thompson will all miss the ’09 season. Here’s hoping they get their academics in order and we see them early next year.

Finally, it doesn’t have anything to do with football, but Cougcenter has been blowing up with summer basketball updates. Looks like Klay Thompson’s Team USA won the gold today. Cool. If you are interested, check it out.

That’s it for today. GO COUGS!

Eyewitness Report: Longball Observes a Sudden Outbreak of Violence on the Palouse!

August 9, 2008
Autumn is my favorite season on the Palouse and no matter what the calendar says I can tell you it has officially arrived. I know this because today, over the chirping of the birds and the gentle rustling of the breeze blowing through the leaves I heard that telltale sound that heralds the arrival of Fall…
“PASS, PASS, PASS! BALL, BALL, BALL!”

That’s right Crimson Nation, Cougar football is BACK. This morning the boys put on full pads for the first time this season and got after it. Having learned from my mistakes I made sure I had plenty of juice for my camera and came away with some good images of the morning’s action on Rogers Field. There was a lot to see, so today I promise less jibber-jabber from yours truly, and more pictures of your 2008 Washington State Cougars in action.

I witnessed two spirited scrimmages today with skelly and other drills in between. You may have heard that there were some scuffles in the last few practices and today was no different. Below you see a couple of the guys continuing to tangle well after the whistle had blown…

Now some of you may find this worrisome, but I assure you this is a good thing. Football is a violent sport and between the snap and the whistle these guys are mortal enemies. That kind of intense aggression can’t always be switched off with the sound of a whistle so it inevitably spills over into shoving matches like this. Of course we don’t want this kind of stuff costing us yards and downs in a real game, but the coaches have plenty of time to instill that game day discipline in these guys. In the meantime it just shows that the passion and competitiveness we need are there, and those things are much harder to coach.

I was pleased that the scrimmage seemed pretty balanced, with both the Defense and Offense making their fair share of plays. to illustrate this, here are a few images from the intense battle between our receivers and defensive backs…

Above you see Brandon Gibson, 4, running after the catch and just look at that separation from the defender. Not too long after that he hauls in a score…

That’s just Brandon being Brandon. But he’s not QB Gary Roger’s only weapon by any stretch. Here is the resurgent and potentially electrifying Michael Willis, 3, also getting great seperation…


…and moments later, hauling in a score of his own.

But don’t worry, while it may look our defensive backfield is getting beat like a drum, they weren’t hanging their heads at all. Rather, they just tightened their chin straps and made a few plays of their own. Here is Devin Giles, 32, about to step in front of a diving Anthony Houston, 88, to make a difficult pick on this ball…


The offense responded, showing off another one of its many promising weapons as tight end Devin Frischknecht, 80, breaks into the open…


But it wasn’t all wide open spaces for the big tight end. Here you see him sloooooooowly picking himself off the turf after getting leveled by Myron Beck, 13.


Hits like that are exactly what I like to see from our DBs and Myron Beck looks to me like a bona fide assassin in our secondary. To Frischknecht’s credit, he did hang onto the ball and after regaining his breath let out a Braveheart yell, got back on his feet and ran off the field. Just great stuff all around.

We also run the ball sometimes, and as you can see below running back Dwight Tardy, 31, is wearing no protection on his surgically repaired knee.

Tardy ran hard today and continues to look good. That’s newcomer Chantz Staden, 22, behind him who with his helmet off looks like a mini-Steven Jackson. Promising young running back Marcus Richmond, 20, showed off his speed, finding his way round the end of the 2nd string Defense for a TD.

Not to be outdone, below, backup QB Kevin Lopina, 19, finds running room up the middle on a designed QB sneak.

But the defense came to play too. Below they celebrate after recovering a Greg Trent forced fumble…

Gotta love the defensive coaches getting into the celebration. Is that coach Akey circa 2003?

Now as Coug fans we are all programmed to worry about our offense’s effectiveness in short yardage situations, especially on the goal line. Here we see the 1st team Offense punching the ball into the end zone from just a yard out.


Of course it remains to be seen if we can pull this off in a real game.

Another area of concern for most Coug fans is what is usually called the “kicking game”, but for us recently has been more of a “shanking game”. Aww the life of a kicker…

This is where they hang out for most of the practice, shootin the breeze, stayin loose until suddenly, after HOURS of not really pedaling at all on those bikes, they are called to action! This year, the brave souls that will face off against those pesky uprights are incumbent Wade Penner, 35, and new comer Nico Grasu, 29.

And here is Penner…

…shanking one to the right. And for good measure, here is Grasu…

…shanking one to the left.

Hey, I can’t bring you only good news. Heck, if there was only good news we wouldn’t be the Cougs, would we? On a brighter note, on the very last play of the practice Penner booted a beautiful kick through the uprights from pretty far out (I have no depth perception, but I think it was 40+ yards at least).

Now for the impact rookie watch… you may have heard some buzz about freshman wideout, Jared Karstetter, 84. Here he is running down a ball that is just out of his reach…

He had a case of the dropsies in drills today, but overall it is apparent what the buzz is about. He has great size and athleticism, and looks like he has a bright future ahead of him.

Now I would be remiss (and a disgrace to my Alma mater) if I didn’t highlight another exciting rookie, freshman QB and Pullman High’s own JT Levenseller, 5 (yes, coach Levenseller’s son). Here JT stands and delivers…

JT may not have the size to be a full time QB, but he is a great athlete and tenacious competitor. I would not be surprised at all to see him on the field some day, perhaps as a slot receiver, or even a defensive back. Meanwhile, in spite of any doubts I might have, he is working hard to be our QB of the future and Pullman Greyhounds everywhere are cheering him on. Go Get ‘Em JT!!

Now some of you may be asking, “Where’s the beef, Longball?” I hear you loud and clear. Stay tuned for more pictures of the BIG boys on the line going head to head in a clash of titans this morning. So check in later for that and, as always…

Go Cougs!