The NFL wastes little times getting its rookies into the fold. Last weekend, the NFL Draft; this weekend, the beginning of rookie minicamps, which is where former WSU footballers Xavier Cooper and Vince Mayle find themselves today.
The Cleveland Browns started theirs on Friday, and the media used the time to get to know the team's newest members. For Cooper, this meant again telling the story of the big fella's journey to the league, particularly his history as a youth soccer player.
You know that one giant kid who towers over the munchkins at youth soccer games? That was Cooper at age 12.
Forget bending it like Beckham. The future defensive lineman took a more direct path to goal.
"They would kick me the ball and I'd run over everybody," the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder recalled Friday at the first day of Browns rookie camp.
Were his opponents happy to see him find a new sport?
"The soccer moms were," Cooper said.
Jokes aside, Browns GM Ray Farmer had high praise for the Coug, whom the team traded back into the third round to draft.
"I really felt like he was a difference maker," Farmer said. "The guy played with an unbelievable motor. He ran and hustled to the ball, showed that first-step, quick explosion to beat blocks and get up the field. I think the guy has got potential to be really, really good NFL player."
Mayle, meanwhile, has been forced to watch from the sideline, still hampered by the broken thumb he suffered at the Senior Bowl.
"I'm not going to catch,'' he said. "I'm not going to grab anything. I'm just going to run my routes. Everything's all right. It's just a little sore. I broke my thumb a while back, so it's still getting healthy again."
As for Connor Halliday's quest to make the team in Washington, D.C.? His new organization doesn't begin its minicamp until next week.
Cougars at minicamps
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Mike Leach legal news
Did you know Leach is STILL fighting with Texas Tech, Craig James, and Spaeth Communications?
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The Pac-12 Conference Tom Hansen Conference Medal recipients are Nicole Setterlund (soccer) and DaVonté Lacy (men’s basketball). The conference medal winners are those who best reflect the greatest combination of performance and achievement in athletics, scholarship and leadership, as selected by the athletic director and senior administrative staff.