The WSU football team is in a dog-fight with attrition, losing two offensive lineman and potentially losing multiple members of the class of 2011. While attrition has been expected, it's not exactly the news anyone wants to hear with fall camp looming. Tyson Pencer will be leaving the team, according to a report, and Niko Aumua, a junior college defensive tackle, did not make grades, cutting down some of the depth on both lines. Tim Hodgdon also retired from football a few weeks back.
Pencer is headed back to Canada to play for the Canadian Junior Football League, according to a report from our neighbors to the north (via Cougfan)
Backup offensive guard Tyson Pencer plans on playing for the Okanagan Sun of the Canadian Junior Football League this season, according to a report in the Daily Courier. "General manager Howie Zaron went hard after Pencer once he learned he was not planning on returning to school this fall and is excited about having the CFL draft eligible player in Sun colours," said the newspaper.
Head coach Paul Wulff had the foresight to plan for a few of the incoming recruits to not making, creating somewhat of a log-jam. While it's unknown which will or will not qualify, Wulff would be in a minor scholarship mess if all the questionable recruits do end up in Pullman. The report, which comes from Vince Grippi, includes a name sure to make Coug fans cringe.
The group includes Rahmel Dockery, the cat-quick receiver from Curtis High in Tacoma, Wendell Talese, an offensive tackle from Oakland, Demetrius Cherry, a defensive tackle from Oak Ridge Military Academy, Alex Mitchell, the big offensive guard from Portland, and Brock Lutes, a linebacker/defensive end from Newberg, Ore. All five could make it, Wulff said, which would be somewhat of a problem
To be clear, there's no reason to panic just yet. The players with grade questions are working on their classes, including summer school courses, in an effort to gain the necessary grades to become eligible. And while this may be news to us, it clearly isn't a surprising revelation to the coach staff, who took a few extra while knowing some of the 2011 recruits may not qualify.
On another note, you may have noticed the posts have slowed down recently. With Jeff out of town and others buried in work -- including myself; thanks free agency -- it's been difficult to get content up. We will pick up the pace and prepare for football in the coming weeks, but for now it's the calm before the storm.
That's where you come in. If you have something to share, use the FanPosts. If you have an interesting link to pass along, use the FanShots. We'll bump the good ones to the front page to supplement our own coverage.
Edit: And I forgot about the two other players dealing with grade issues. Both Brandon Rankin and Toni Pole are dealing with academic issues, though neither seems to be major. According to Mr. Grippi, Rankin's problem is small and Pole needs to pass a summer class. Hopefully that's all it is and both are on the field -- WSU could use their services on the defensive line and both were expected to be major contributors.
Arthur Burns has also left the team after dealing with academic issues. He's bounced around on both sides of the ball, but never stuck anywhere, before leaving the program.