LEWISTON, Idaho Legacy. The fact that this word is even being tossed around at Washington State’s fall camp perhaps perfectly encapsulates how much higher expectations are for the Cougars this season, as they come off a 9 4 campaign and their first bowl win in more than a decade.
The Cougars started fall camp at Sacajawea Junior High School on Saturday afternoon, and while they’re all determined not to get ahead of themselves, there’s a sense that this group wants to do big things this season.
“The nine win season was awesome, but we’ve gotta put that in the past, build upon it and move forward,” said junior quarterback Luke Falk. “Now’s the time to start a legacy at Washington State. A bunch of guys came here and we’ve always talked about how ‘we want to build a legacy.’ Well,Cheap Jerseys from china here’s our opportunity right now.”
That “bunch of guys” includes Falk, linebackers Peyton Pelluer and Isaac Dotson, running backs Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow, linemen Cole Madison and Carlos Freeman, and the confident, brash Gabe Marks, who is now as he put it the “old dog” in the receivers room.
“We were like (coach Mike) Leach’s first real recruiting class,” said Dotson, a junior. “So it feels good, now that we’re the older guys, we’ve seen the culture flip around and seen what it takes to be successful.”
The Cougars spun their bowl win into offseason momentum, and they now take a sense of urgency and heightened competitiveness into camp.
On the defensive side of the ball, Alex Grinch enters his second year as coordinator and is already building on the high standards he set the year before, when the Cougars tripled the number of turnovers they forced. They finished the season allowing 27.6 points per game 11 fewer than they averaged in the 2014 season.
“The secondary is just miles ahead of where they were last year and years before,” said Marks, a senior. “Grinch has come in and just changed the whole philosophy and mindset of that defense and helped them take it to another level.”
IMPRESSIVE FRESHMEN: The Cougars practiced in only helmets and jerseys on Day 1, which makes it difficult to accurately judge talent. But some of the new freshmen are already showing promise. Dezmon Patmon, a 6 foot 4, 207 pound outside receiver from Patrick Henry (San Diego) High earned stellar reviews from the older players and the coaches.
“Dezmon Patmon, his first day out here, he’s catching deep balls and stuff,” Marks said.
Grant Porter (6 0, 178 pounds) from Upland High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., also stood out at outside receiver along with Isaiah Johnson, who enrolled in January.
Defensively, early enrollee Jalen Thompson is still the main contender for the open safety spot next to Shalom Luani.
“We’re excited about Jalen. Obviously, he’s a freshman, and we don’t want to put too much on him, but he showed up in the spring and attacked spring football like a vet and I think he has a chance to establish himself as a starter in the program,” Grinch said.
D’Jimon Jones, a defensive back from Federal Way, also stood out in one on one drills against the receivers.
Dimry, specifically, stood out because at 6 foot 5, 201 pounds, he’s the biggest target the Cougars have for Falk to throw to. He just has to stay healthy.
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