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Oscar Draguicevich gets his shot at the NFL

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The Coug punter is headed southeast to Carolina

NCAA Football: Northern Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. The 2021 NFL Draft came and went over the weekend, with nary a Washington State Cougars player selected. This was the first time since 2012, and just the third time since 1994 that WSU was not represented at the NFL’s annual choose ‘em up. While that may seem disappointing on the surface, it’s actually decent news for WSU fans. It means that a couple guys, particularly Max Borghi and Abraham Lucas, will be donning the crimson and gray in 2021 and not an NFL uniform. It’s a near certainty that both would have been selected this weekend had they chosen not to return.

That doesn’t mean Cougar alums were completely shut out of the pro ranks, however. Long time fixture at punter, Oscar Draguicevich III found a spot in the NFC South, signing with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent (UDFA). According to the Spokesman Review, Oscar received a signing bonus of $7,000. Each team’s UDFA bonus pool is $160,000, and Carolina has only signed five so far, which seems somewhat low. If Draguicevich is able to unseat incumbent Joseph Charlton (himself a UDFA last season), he will earn somewhere north of $610,000, which was the base salary for all rookies in 2020.

Despite playing in a shortened 2020 season, Draguicevich managed to stand out, uncorking a 78-yard punt against the Oregon Ducks, which was the longest punt in the Pac-12 season. Of his 95 career punts, 35 were downed inside the opponent’s 20 yard line, and only 10 went into the end zone. He also never had a punt blocked. Best of luck to Oscar in the next phase of his football career.

One other familiar name to Cougar fans is Tay Martin, who transferred to play his senior season for the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2020 when the prospects of a Pac-12 season looked very iffy. The sentiment at the time was that he was trying to set himself up for entry into the NFL. However, after a disappointing year in which he caught only 15 passes, Martin decided take advantage of the NCAA’s super senior rule, remaining in Stillwater for one more season. Hopefully Tay gets more chances to impress in 2021.

Football

Washington State punter Oscar Draguicevich III agrees to free agent deal with Carolina Panthers | The Spokesman-Review
Oscar Draguicevich III wasn’t selected in the 2021 NFL draft, but Washington State’s standout punter may have had a hunch he’d get an opportunity to play professional football anyway.

Baseball

Cougs win! One day after taking a 13-0 shellacking at the hands of the 8th-ranked Oregon Ducks, the Cougars got a massive dose of revenge on Saturday in the form of an 11-1 win. The Cougs jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings and kept pouring it on, not allowing a Ducks run until the eighth inning. In a game that resembled an old episode of Home Run Derby, WSU went deep five times, including one by Kyle Manzardo which would have led to the late, great Dave Niehaus demanding rye bread and mustard from grandma. (Yes, that happened 26 years ago. And yes, I still get goose bumps when I watch it)

Pitcher Zane Mills had a second consecutive strong outing, allowing just one earned run in seven and two-thirds innings. The Cougs will look to clinch a series win on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Five Homers Back Mills As Cougars Even Series With No. 8 Oregon - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State hit five home runs to back junior starting pitcher Zane Mills who worked into the eighth inning of a 11-1 victory over No. 8 Oregon at Bailey-Brayton Field Saturday afternoon.

This Week in Parenting

YOUTH BASEBALL DRAMA. On Monday, the 12 year-old’s coach sent out a series of text messages, telling the parents that he’d been fired. He said he wasn’t fired for on-field results - I would hope not since they haven’t played any actual games - but instead was let go due to “admin stuff and judging me off text.” Yes, he claims he was fired because of text messages, and that he has always tried to help but the administrators don’t want to hear it. My suspicion was that a parent or five voiced an opinion to league leadership about his previous text rants but that’s pure speculation.

We decided not to tell the kiddo, leaving it up to the remaining coaches to inform the team. Good thing we didn’t spill the beans, as some parents received a message the next day saying the coach had been reinstated. Well alrighty then! I told Mrs. Kendall that we should pitch a TV show called Real Travel Baseball Coaches of Germany. Such nonsense.

Meanwhile, in nine year-old land, somebody had a serious case of the Mondays. When Mrs. Kendall tried to rouse them from bed, he wasn’t having it, complaining about how tired he was and producing enough tears so make Dick Vermeil blush. So Mrs. Kendall cut him a deal, agreeing that he could sleep in a bit and go to school about 1030. With that, she escorted the older boy to the bus stop. So naturally, the nine year-old tucked back in and caught a couple more hours of shuteye LOLOLOLOL nope. He went straight for the tablet. Of course, he didn’t think that mom would check the status of his tablet via Google Family. Bad move, kiddo. There’s a reason I’ve always referred to him as the terrorist.

Un-solicited Podcast Recommendation

If you’re a fan of war movies, I cannot recommend Friendly Fire enough. John, Adam and Ben are absolutely masterful in the way they deconstruct these movies and juxtapose them with other societal issues. Among my favorites were Bridge on the River Kwai, Full Metal Jacket, Lawrence of Arabia and The Final Countdown. If you’ve never heard of that last one, the premise is quite compelling, and that episode was easily the best one I heard. Sadly, the guys hung things up after reviewing 160 films. It’s a treasure trove that I think you’ll enjoy.

Non-Sports

‘I’d Never Been Involved in Anything as Secret as This’ - POLITICO
The plan to kill Osama bin Laden—from the spycraft to the assault to its bizarre political backdrop—as told by the people in the room.

The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army | The New Yorker
The country’s cyber forces have raked in billions of dollars for the regime by pulling off schemes ranging from A.T.M. heists to cryptocurrency thefts. Can they be stopped?