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Five football walk-ons earn scholarships

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Boise State v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Congratulations to Kyle Celli, Brandon Arconado, Dillon Sherman, Trey Tinsley and Taylor Comfort. Those five Cougar football players no longer have to pay tuition (which is going up a little next year).

Assistant Coach Eric Mele announced on Twitter yesterday that each member of the quintet has earned a scholarship:

Here’s a quick rundown on each player:

Kyle Celli

Celli played in all 13 games last season, his first season seeing the field. He’ll be a redshirt senior this fall and plays an important position. You probably haven’t really noticed him, and that’s a good thing. If you did, that likely means the snap went over the punter’s head or dribbled along the ground to the holder.

Brandon Arconado

Arconado, a redshirt junior, started his college career at Chaffey College before coming to WSU. He started at Cal last year and scored his first career touchdown at home against Colorado in the rain. Arconado seemed to be mentioned in spring and fall practice recaps as a guy who could find his way onto the field. He did, and now he’s earned a scholarship.

Dillon Sherman

Sherman will be a redshirt sophomore and found himself on the field quite a bit last season, thanks to injuries in the linebacker corps. Sherman was the one who recovered the ball late against Boise State after an Erik Powell punt hit a Bronco defender.

Trey Tinsley

Tinsley will be a redshirt junior and appeared in every game last season as the holder on field goals and PATs. He seemed to have the slight edge at starting quarterback after spring football, and he’ll compete with Gardner Minshew and Anthony Gordon for the starting spot this fall. He transferred to WSU for the 2016 season after a year at Fullerton College.

Taylor Comfort

Comfort made his debut in the 2016 shellacking of Arizona and appeared in all 13 games last year on special teams. He’ll be a redshirt senior and was atop The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson’s post-spring depth chart at nose tackle. Whether he earns the starting nod in the fall remains to be seen, but I’m sure the scholarship is nice nonetheless.

For those that keep track of these things, two of the five listed above—Celli and Comfort—are seniors so those scholarships will be freed up after the 2018 season.

The one guy that sticks out to me is Comfort. Here’s a guy from Sultan, Wash., a small town on Highway 2 between Monroe and Gold Bar. He walked on his first year on campus and spent two years watching from the sidelines while playing for the scout team in practice. He finally got into a game in 2016 and then worked his way onto special teams last season.

Go through the rosters from the past five years and you’ll find plenty of guys who were young walk-ons but for one reason or another left the team before their senior season. Comfort stuck it out and look where he’s at now.

Congrats to all of them, and perhaps congrats mostly to their parents.

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Go Cougs

For me, it wasn’t exactly a “Go Cougs!” but I was in Lahaina, Maui two winters ago and a guy flagged me down to tell me he was good friends with Hercules Mata’afa. Mata’afa is from Lahaina, so it wasn’t exactly a weird spot to be acknowledge while wearing Coug gear, but that’s all I got. I need to travel more.