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August 10, 2006

August practice - by the numbers

Washington State has released the official roster to start off August and there are a few changes of note among the players. First off, there has been some switching around of numbers. DeWayne Patterson who lettered and looked good at free safety last season, has changed from wearing #30 to wearing Alex Teems' old #21. Ian Bell, a cornerback last season after coming out of high school as a running back, is back at the running back position wearing #13 instead of #32. Punter Darryl Blunt redshirted with #39 last season, but this year takes over Kyle Basler's vacant #8. Receiver Brandon Gibson has traded in #86 to go with a single-digit go-fast #4. Courtney Williams has shucked his last year's #34 for a sleek and streamlined #6. Jacob McKinney has reversed his #45 for a more lineman-like #54, and Jason Stripling has moved up from #50 to #51, perhaps hoping that some of the Will Derting talent will come with it…without the problematic injuries. Rush D-end Lance Broadus has dropped the last digit of his old #97 to play this season with #9.

Some position changes have also been made, although most will be known to Cougar fans who followed spring football. Jed Collins is in his third position in as many years, playing tight end this season after spending last year at fullback and his freshman season as a linebacker. As noted, Jacob McKinney has moved to offensive guard, and Ian Bell has crossed back from cornerback to running back. With depth an issue, Courtney Williams has made the move from safety to cornerback.

Finally, some of the Cougars have made notable additions - or subtractions - in their weight. Offensively, to help his transition to interior O-line, McKinney has bulked up from 262 to a heftier 278. Fellow O-lineman Derek Hunter - expected to be a key backup - is up ten pounds to 280 from 270, and guard Sean O'Connor has also added about ten to be listed at 290. Backup left tackle Scott Friberg is considerably bigger at 290 from 2005's 275. Michael Bumpus should be considerably more physical, coming in at 195 - eleven pounds more than last year's 184, and fellow receiver Scott Selby has lost no speed after coming in at 231 up from last season's 222. Backup quarterback Cole Morgan has been seeing some welcome growth - very slender last season at 182, Morgan is a far more durable 198. Perhaps ready to make a claim for the start next year, tight end Ben Woodard is now 249 up twelve pounds from 2005's 237. Running back Dwight Tardy has spent his time in the weight room, listed at 212 up from last season's 200, and fellow running back Ian Bell has also added weight to tip the scales at 189 up from lasts year's 180 to better accommodate the transition from cornerback.

On defense, free safety Husain Abdullah is considerably slimmed down, listed at 178 after playing last season at 192. Abdullah's backup DeWayne Patterson may have subtracted from his jersey number to add physical weight - listed last season at 197, Patterson is now 208. Up front, D-tackle Aaron Johnson was already a load last season at 309, but hits the field this year at 317. Cougar fans can look for a speedier Mkristo Bruce who is listed at 249 down from spring football's 260. Linebacker Steve Dildine has added eleven pounds - up to 240 from 229 in 2005 - while fellow linebacker Cory Evans has grown from his freshman 211 up to an impressive 227. Evans may have stolen the weight from Greg Trent - listed in 2005 at 230, Trent checks in now at 219.


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