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Senior Bowl and commitment(s?) highlight a busy Cougar Saturday

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Dillard and Minshew played their last game in WSU helmets.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. For a late January weekend, there sure seemed to be a fair amount of news around the Washington State Cougars football program. Two highly-decorated Cougs played their last (kind of) college game, while WSU received one commitment, and possibly received a second as well. We’ll start with the departing seniors.

Gardner Minshew II and Andre Dillard took part in the Senior Bowl on Saturday as part of the South team. While the final score didn’t go their way - Team North won 34-24 - and while Minshew’s numbers weren’t anywhere near what anyone hoped to see, there were plenty of positives to take away from the week as a whole.

Anyone who has read about the Senior Bowl is aware that the week of practices are far more important in the eyes of NFL scouts than the game is. For one thing, each QB only gets a quarter of playing time, since there were four per side, so there are far more opportunities to show one’s wares during practice. As far as that is concerned, Minshew acquitted himself quite well down in Mobile. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler thought Minshew had one of the better weeks.

Minshew also displayed the leadership we came to know over the course of the season, as his teammates elected him captain. According to the Spokesman Review, Minshew garnered the respect of his new teammates just as quickly as he did when he arrived in Pullman.

The WSU QB often ran over to congratulate his receivers on big catches and, according to an Associated Press story earlier in the week, gathered the phone numbers of his fellow South QBs and centers so he could spend more time working on snaps.

“I learned right before the game,” Minshew said of being named captain. “Guys thought I’d be the best to represent the team, so it’s definitely an honor.”

Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson, Minshew’s South teammate, gave him high praise.

“He’s awesome. Gardner’s a funny guy and he’s really cool,” Jackson said. “He’s someone that – I think the great thing about this quarterback room this week is everyone meshed together. It wasn’t just guys doing their own thing. Everyone was happy for each other, and you’d see guys coming off the sideline and after a good pass they’re high-fiving. I’m excited for those guys’ careers.”

Andre Dillard came into the week with much higher draft prospects than Minshew, and seemed to acquit himself pretty well during practice and in the games. NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks thought Dillard had the best week of any offensive lineman.

During the game, Dillard had his way with Jalen Jelks for the fourth time in four games. Despite a false start, he didn’t seem to do anything to hurt his stock in Mobile, and when you’re being touted as a first round NFL Draft prospect, that’s definitely a positive.

Aside from WSU’s pro day, Minshew, Dillard and hopefully James Williams will have their biggest chance to impress NFL coaches, scouts and management teams at the NFL Combine, which takes place from February 26 to March 4 in Indianapolis.

On the recruiting front, the Cougs secured a verbal commitment from junior college offensive lineman Jimmy Price on Saturday.

WSU reportedly beat out Arizona State, Florida International and Southern Miss for Price’s services. Price will likely join the team in the summer after he graduates from Tyler J.C. in May.

There are also rumors afoot that Eastern Washington’s quarterback transfer, Gage Gubrud, committed to WSU. While it’s possibly true, there seems to be at least one hurdle for Gubrud to clear before he can commit for sure. Gubrud still apparently needs to receive an NCAA medical redshirt before he can sign with any team. Since the NCAA is involved, we could find out about Gubrud’s status in an hour or in five months.

Football

Washington State teammates Gardner Minshew, Andre Dillard find silver linings of Senior Bowl despite 34-24 loss | The Spokesman-Review
Gardner Minshew and Andre Dillard won 11 games together this season, but capturing a 12th wasn’t in store for the Washington State teammates Saturday afternoon in the Senior Bowl.

Senior Bowl notebook: Washington State’s Gardner Minshew voted captain by South teammates | The Spokesman-Review
When Gardner Minshew wasn’t winning over coaches and scouts with his right arm or his football savvy this week at the Senior Bowl, the Washington State quarterback was wowing them with his windpipes and leadership skills.

Gardner Minshew’s legacy still alive at Brandon High through up-and-coming QB Will Rogers | The Spokesman-Review
“Then every Sunday at 2,” said Rogers, Brandon’s current varsity quarterback. “… It happens year-round.” And it’s Gardner Minshew’s legacy at Brandon High School.

49ers' Nick Mullens helped prepare Gardner Minshew for Senior Bowl week | NBCS Bay Area Minshew, a Mississippi native, appears to have a lot in common with Mullens, including a meticulous attention to detail and work ethic.

2018 Final Ranking Of All 130 Head Coaches: How Good Did They Do?
With the nightmare of the Tyler Hillinski tragedy always top-of-mind, Leach’s team came up with an inspired season.

2019 NFL Mock Draft: Josh Allen goes No. 1 overall to Cardinals, Kyler Murray to Dolphins - CBSSports.com
Josh Allen going No. 1 overall isn't crazy; neither is Kyler Murray landing in the top 15

College football rankings: SN's pre-preseason top 25 for 2019 | NCAA Football | Sporting News
The Cougars have been close to a Pac-12 championship, but that next step won’t happen until they unseat rival Washington in the Apple Cup.

This Week in Parenting

The youngest and I were eating breakfast during a visit to the Black Forest - home of the world’s largest cuckoo clock in case you didn’t know - the other day, and it began to snow. When the oldest emerged from the shower and said “hey, it’s snowing outside!” the youngest, without missing a beat, said “Gee thanks, we hadn’t noticed” and continued to eat his eggs. My official stance as a parent is to frown upon something like that, but I’ll admit to smiling inside at the heavy dose of sarcasm.

Both kiddos take part in Cub Scouts, and Saturday was the big Pinewood Derby race. This was the debut for the youngest, and year three for the oldest. The first two years didn’t result in any wins on the track, but he did win awards for having one of the better-looking cars. This year, speed took precedence over style. The youngest took first place in his den (the Tigers), while the oldest took third in his (Arrow of Light). What does this mean? Well, it means that I get to waste half of another Saturday cheer them on at the regional finals in March, where both kids will take part.

Life in Germany

Couple items this week. First, you may be aware that the Germans have a reputation for being highly regimented, organized, efficient and timely. Part of the regimentation is the trash policy. We have to organize all waste into four groups: plastic/metal etc. (known as high fraction), bio waste (food waste, yard clippings etc), cardboard/paper, and residual waste (everything else). As far as glass, we’re on our own, and every town has glass collection bins.

The bio waste, residual waste and plastic/metal are collected every two weeks, and the paper/cardboard is collected once per month, which is not nearly enough. Anyway, Thursday was cardboard collection day. Well, Thursday was supposed to be cardboard collection day. It’s now Sunday, and it’s still sitting at the end of the driveway. But please, Germany, tell me more about your timeliness and efficiency.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past how the Mrs. prefers shopping at the German stores more than the grocery store on base. Her favorite place to shop is called Globus. It is kind of like a Target on steroids. It has the kind of food you’d find in many American grocery stores, along with (obviously) preferred German cuisine.

I’ve only been there a couple times, but maybe I have to go back and do some searching. Why? Well, I only follow 16 people on Twitter, and one of them is a guy named Jonah Goldberg. Saturday morning, he tweeted this:

Down the hole I went, and hilarity ensued. I have a feeling you will laugh, too (barbecue marshmallows ftw).

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Had a few good ones, but we’ll declare a draw at the top. The Mrs. picked me up a Matrosenschluck (which apparently translates to councilman sailor?) White IPA, and it was one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had. On the other end of the spectrum, but still incredibly good, was the Barista Chocolate Quad. Both were great in their own way.

As for the article, this may be my favorite beer article ever. Seeing craft beer take off in the Middle East makes me extremely happy. Can’t wait to attend my first craft beer fest in Saudi Arabia!

How Do You Say "Hoppy" in Arabic? The Brewer Creating Craft Beer Culture in Jordan | VinePair
Jordan's Yazan Karadsheh overcame bureaucratic hurdles and cultural barriers to launch the country's first craft brewery, Carakale. Now he aims to change consumer perceptions by distributing Carakale across the U.S.

Non-Sports

How a Career Criminal Broke the Convict Code and Saved Himself | Westword
After a bank robbery in Tucson, Wayne Byerly was sentenced to a federal prison in Florence, Colorado, where snitches were often targeted for death. But the master criminal survived by becoming King Rat — and turned his life around.

Africa by Toto to play on eternal loop 'down in Africa' - BBC News
A sound installation is set up in the continent's oldest desert in tribute to the 80s classic.

Basketball

Sources indicate that the men’s basketball game has a game Sunday evening. Whatever.