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Spring brings postional shuffling for Washington State

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One freshman made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback Thursday

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State football player Grant Porter started this spring at wide receiver, but he'll line up on the other side of the field for the spring game. Porter played on defense for the first time Thursday and made an early impact as a cornerback.

According to Jacob Thorpe, of the Spokesman-Review, Porter recovered a fumble and broke up a pass in his first practice as a defensive back. Porter hadn't been seeing the field much on offense, and Mike Leach didn't seem to be happy with the redshirt freshman's effort.

"He’s a guy that needs to play hard all the time and right now, he doesn’t consistently, but hopefully a fresh start over there on defense will help him do that," Leach told Thorpe.

That comment clearly isn't a vote of confidence and a positional change doesn't usually precede a breakout, but maybe this is the move that Porter needed.

After a momentary switch to wide receiver last season Keith Harrington is back to practicing with the running backs this spring. Harrington had over 500 yards from scrimmage and 5 touchdowns in 2015, but rarely saw the field last season.

While all three running backs above him on the depth chart are still with the program, Gerard Wicks hasn't practiced all spring. Thorpe reported that Wicks has been out with an undisclosed injury. Hopefully he'll be back by fall camp, but if he's not it could open the door for Harrington to get more touches in 2017.

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Football:

Spring Practice Recap: April 13th - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Hear from Mike Leach, Dave Nichol and Isaiah Johnson-Mack.

To dead snap or not? WSU taking look at 'crudely simple' method for boosting reliability in center-QB exchange - Washington State - Scout
Jeff Saturday, Peyton Manning’s old center with the Colts, was a fan and coaching legend Pop Warner was an advocate back in the 1920s. Today, the "dead snap" method of getting the ball to quarterbacks in shotgun formation is catching on across college football.

Keith Harrington is back in the WSU running back rotation and fighting to stay | The Spokesman-Review
On social media and Washington State football message boards, Cougars fans spent last fall wondering about Keith Harrington’s whereabouts.

Grant Porter will now play defense for the Cougars | The Spokesman-Review
The party began in earnest once Washington State’s defensive coaches implored their players to "celebrate with him," starting a jubilant mosh pit around the cornerback who had recovered his first fumble.

Baseball:

WSU Battles Back But Drops Opener at Arizona State - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Washington State rallied from an early-inning deficit but left the tying run stranded at second in the eighth and dropped the series-opener 6-5 at Arizona State Thursday evening.

Preview: Cougs head to desert for Easter weekend series against Sun Devils
The Washington State baseball team heads to Phoenix for a 3-game series against Arizona State starting Thursday.

Volleyball:

Woodford to compete for USA Volleyball | Sports | dailyevergreen.com
For the second time, USA Volleyball has selected WSU junior outside hitter McKenna Woodford to compete on one of its summer teams.

Women's soccer:

Spartans go 1-1 against American foes - Langley News
Trinity Western's women's team fell 3-1 to Washington State at Yorkson Creek Middle School.