PULLMAN, Wash. — It's a day many thought wouldn't come in 2020.
WSU opened fall camp on Friday in Pullman.
Media was not allowed to observe, but Nick Rolovich seemed pleased with the effort on day one.
"Pretty hungry, pretty happy to be there," Rolovich said of his squad. "I think it's been a long journey to the first practice. Gives them a little bit of validity for everything they've been through this year. I appreciated their their focus and effort. These guys, they like playing football."
It certainly wasn't a normal first day of practice. It started off with COVID-19 tests for the whole squad.
"I think the process has been smoother than we thought and quicker than we thought. Today was very fast. I don't have a time frame for you, but I know we were talking about, ‘Well, will this whole process take four hours before we get results and trainers and doctors and machines?’ They're getting to a level where it's pretty, pretty seamless," said Rolovich.
Day one of practice may have started with something foreign, but once WSU players got on the practice field it most likely felt familiar. For the third straight year, WSU is in need of a starter at quarterback. Nick Rolovich offered a brief synopsis of strengths of all three of the QBs in the running today.
"Gunner is a very outspoken leader. He is very dialed in on a lot of the mechanical stuff as far as the offense goes. I think he's really encouraging and has a better grasp of the complete offense," said Rolovich of Gunner Cruz.
"Cam is has shown confidence. I think he's shown that he wants to be the guy. I think he's had some nice deep ball throws," said Rolovich of Cammon Cooper.
"Jayden, the lights aren’t too big for him at this level. He knows why he came here, and he’s kind of reveling in the opportunity," said Rolovich of freshman Jayden De Laura.
Whoever ends up passing the ball will be sending it Renard Bell's way a lot this year. He glowed when talking about what the Run-n-Shoot could hold for him.
"Very excited for this offense. I actually feel more comfortable within this offense. It allows me to be an individual out there on the field, making certain reads based on the coverages and things like that. I really love this offense. Yeah, I love it. I really think this offense will be extraordinary," said Bell.
Rolovich did note today that he had some players opt out due to COVID-19 concerns. He was unsure if he could name those players.