A look at Cougs in the NFL, and a shout out to Nate DeRider, a walk-on linebacker who, as of Friday night, is officially on scholarship.
When the news broke last week that New York Jets receiver Quincy Enumwa was out for the season on injured reserve, Washington State fans salivated at the thought that this might open the door for Gabe Marks, who’s vying with 13 other receivers for a Jets roster spot.
But alas, Marks has been sidelined with an injury. And he did not play in the Jets’ first preseason game against the Titans.
Instead, it was another former WSU receiver who made the most of the opportunity opened by Enumwa’s injury.
Marquess Wilson had three receptions for 20 yards in the Jets’ win over Tennessee. The fifth-year pro who spent his first four NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears caught three of the four balls that came his way.
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Here’s a look at how other WSU alums did over the weekend.
Deone Bucannon (Safety/LB, Arizona Cardinals): Bucannon did not participate in Arizona’s 20-10 win against Oakland.
Xavier Cooper (Defensive tackle, Cleveland Browns): Cooper took 45 percent of the Browns’ defensive snaps and had one tackle. He also played in four snaps on special teams. Cleveland beat the Saints 20-14.
Joe Dahl (Offensive guard, Detroit Lions): Now in his second NFL season, Dahl, a Spokane native, started at right guard and got 34 snaps worth of work. He’s hoping to win a starting job at either guard or tackle.
John Fullington (Offensive guard, New Orleans Saints): Fullington did not start, but the Bremerton native played 62 snaps, or 84 percent of plays, at guard for New Orleans.
Shalom Luani (Safety, Oakland Raiders): Luani has certainly made a case for the Raiders to keep him in camp this summer, and he built on that momentum in the Raiders first preseason game. Luani had 43 defensive snaps — 59 percent of all defensive plays, and was in on about half the Raiders’ special teams plays. He also had five tackles and one pass defense on defense, and a sixth tackle and a fumble recovery on special teams.
Vince Mayle (Wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens): Mayle got eight plays in the Ravens’ 23-3 win over Washington, but he did not register on the offensive stat sheet.
Kache Palacio (Linebacker, Seattle Seahawks): Palacio led Seattle’s defense with five defensive tackles, and two more tackles on special teams. He played 17 defensive plays, about 30 percent, and was in on 35 percent of Seattle’s special teams plays.
Destiny Vaeao (Defensive tackle, Philadelphia Eagles): Vaeao did not start, but played in 43 percent of the Eagles’ defensive plays, registering one tackle.
Dom Williams (Wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles): Williams signed with the Eagles as a free agent this offseason, but is currently on the reserve/injured list after injuring his Achilles.
More Cougars links:
— WSU rewarded walk-on linebacker Nate DeRider with a scholarship before its first fall scrimmage on Friday evening, and announced it on Twitter.
WSU’s Matt Chazanow caught up with DeRider after the scrimmage to congratulate him on his scholarship.
— Elsewhere, Yahoo Sports has dubbed 2017 college football’s Year of the Quarterback. Pat Forde has this list of 25 quarterbacks to watch this season, but WSU’s Luke Falk is ranked only 21st on this list. Though, Forde does note that Falk could be a first round NFL draft pick in 2018. (So, why’s he 21st again? Ranked under the likes of Quinton Flowers and Logan Woodside.)
— On Twitter late last week, Mike Leach went off on Texas Tech and the state of Texas’ sovereign immunity laws that he claims has resulted in him not being paid for his final season at Tech in 2009, and worse, in him also not being able to do anything about it legally.
— In case you missed it, CBS Sports analyst Jerry Palm predicts that WSU will end up in the Cactus Bowl, against former Leach disciple Dana Holgorsen’s West Virginia team.