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Kyrin Priester faces ‘tall order’ to play for WSU in 2017

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After missing 2016, the tantalizing talent still isn’t a sure thing for the upcoming season.

Washington State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A couple of months ago, Mike Leach gave WSU fans a lot of hope when he confirmed that wide receiver Kyrin Priester was back with the team.

Not so fast.

In a teleconference with reporters in advance of the beginning of spring practices, Leach revealed that Priester will only be an intermittent participant while continuing to focus on his academics, which appear to be the main potential barrier to him getting on the field this fall.

“He has to get his academics squared away,” Leach said, adding it’s going to be a “tall order” for that to happen in time for September.

Priester, of course, arrived in Pullman to much fanfare before the 2015 season. A former four-star recruit who transferred from Clemson, he possesses physical tools that are rare for WSU players, and he made an immediate impact.

Then, he was off the team before fall camp in 2016. But rumors circulated during the season that he was still in school and around the program, even if not formally a member of the team. Then, Leach confirmed on signing day that Priester was back with the team.

Here’s to hoping he gets things together, because it would be a major boost to the receiving corps, which is in a more questionable state than it has been in years. But Leach’s comments, combined with the fact that he’s still not back on the WSU roster, probably gives you a pretty good indication how far he’ll have to come to make it happen.

(EDIT, 3/23: He’s on the roster today.)

I, for one, will be rooting for him ... but not exactly counting on it.

There wasn’t a lot of other news to come out of Leach’s phone call; he had some pointed words for sophomore receiver Dezmon Patmon (“He kinda works when he wants to”), he hinted that Fred Mauigoa had a leg up to replace Riley Sorenson at center (“The spring is very important to Fred but we’re a lot further down that path than perhaps it appears on the outside”), and Midnight Maneuvers were great (“It was the best Midnight Maneuvers we’ve had”).

Practices start on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at Rogers Field.