PULLMAN, Wash. — It was a big day for Washington State football today as the Cougars held their first intersquad scrimmage at Martin Stadium. Players and coaches alike enjoyed being in game mode for the first time.
The first team offense was not on the field much today, but it was productive when it was. Quarterback Cameron Ward was comfortable running the offense and wide receiver Dezhaun Stribling dazzled with multiple acrobatic catches and a 36-yard touchdown reception.
"A lot of people in our building have seen Strib work when no one is watching, catch extra balls throughout the summer and really work on his speed and more importantly his releases. You're seeing the maturation of a really dang good player," WSU head coach Jake Dickert said.
The star of today's scrimmage was none other than true freshman running back Jaylen Jenkins who filled in for an injured Nakia Watson today and ran riot all day long.
"He's an exciting young player coming from Allen, Texas over there for the Allen Eagles. Just getting him in here, he's still learning the plays, but when the ball is in his hands, he shows you what he can do," WSU quarterback Cameron Ward said.
"Explosive runs are game changers and that is what (Jaylen) brings to our offense. That makes the defense have to come up and then we can hit some things over the top. I thought he had an excellent scrimmage and I'm looking forward to seeing him build off of a little bit of success," Dickert said.
The defensive player of the day was Jaden Hicks, who delivered two vicious hits and was flying around the field throughout the scrimmage.
"NFL scouts come walking through here asking, 'Who's number 25?' We tell them he is only a redshirt freshman, so it is exciting to see that growth he has made from his redshirt year," Dickert said.
It was also a perfect day for preseason All PAC-12 first team kicker Dean Janikowski. Coach Dickert has been very impressed by the redshirt sophomore all camp long.
"Dean has been in midseason form since day one. I trust Dean and to take that 52 yard field goal and kick it to where that would have probably been good from 60, is a big confidence booster for using him as a weapon out on that field. I'm excited for Dean's progress," Dickert said.
We sit just three Saturdays away from the Cougars' season opener at Martin Stadium against the Idaho Vandals. We will have continuing coverage of fall camp in the lead up to the 6:30 PM kickoff on September 3rd.