Two Washington State football players are ending their college careers early because of injuries. Running back Allen Thompson and offensive lineman Bryan Boyer have decided not...

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Two Washington State football players are ending their college careers early because of injuries.


Running back Allen Thompson and offensive lineman Bryan Boyer have decided not to return for what would have been their redshirt senior seasons next fall.


Thompson emerged as the No. 2 running back late in this past season behind junior-college transfer Jerome Harrison.


Thompson, who earned praise from coaches for all-out effort, gained 271 yards on 54 carries and scored two touchdowns for the 5-6 Cougars.


Thompson, from National City, Calif., had recurring shoulder injuries throughout his Cougars career and also missed time with a high ankle sprain in 2001. He is scheduled to graduate in May.


“Allen Thompson has elected not to use his fifth year of eligibility,” said Coach Bill Doba in a statement issued by WSU. “He has had two shoulder surgeries and felt some slippage at the end of the season. I thoroughly understand his decision and we will miss him.”


Boyer, from Lapwai, Idaho, began his Cougars career as a defensive end and made the switch to offense before this past season, when he was a redshirt junior.


Boyer played in only nine games in his injury-riddled career.


“Both of these young men were very mature in their decisions,” coach Bill Doba said. “They could have come out in the spring and may have been part-time players with their injuries, but they decided to retire and free up a scholarship at a time when we can go out and find someone to fill it.”


Thompson’s departure puts an urgency on recruiting a running back who can play immediately. Senior Chris Bruhn, who fluctuated from No. 1 to No. 3 on the depth chart this past season, has completed his eligibility. The No. 2 running back going into spring football will be Kevin McCall, who will be a redshirt sophomore next season. McCall rushed eight times for 40 yards.




Note


• The Cougars held their annual team banquet Saturday and the three top awards were won by players scheduled to return in the fall.


Sophomore wide receiver Jason Hill was named offensive MVP. Linebackers Will Derting, a junior, and Scott Davis, a sophomore, shared the defensive MVP awards.


Junior punter Kyle Basler, who averaged 43.1 yards, was named special-teams MVP.


Senior safety Jeremy Bohannon earned the Frank Butler (“Cougar spirit”) and Fred Bohler (“inspirational”) awards. Fellow senior safety Hamza Abdulla won the Laurie Niemi Award (“courage and attitude”). Senior tackle Sam Lightbody was named Offensive Lineman of the Year. Junior defensive end Adam Braidwood won the Tim Petek Strongest Man Award with senior linebacker Pat Bennett. Senior running back Blair Hawkins won the Ozzie Dire Scout Team Player of the Year Award. Additional special-team awards went to freshman Husain Abdullah (Assassin Award), sophomore Eric Frampton (Iron Man Award) and freshman Michael Bumpus (Game-Breaker Award).