Drew Bledsoe watches as WSU Cougars have an intense first padded practice of fall camp

Senior cornerback Marcellus Pippins welcomed a young freshman receiver to college ball in his own special way, plus some observations from WSU’s first practice in pads.

LEWISTON, Idaho — Three days into fall football camp, after finally being allowed to throw on their shoulder pads, the Washington State Cougars got feisty with one another… in a good way.

Friday marked the Cougars’ first practice at Sacajawea Junior High School in Lewiston.

In the Make-or-Miss drill at the end of practice — basically, an offensive and a defensive guy go one-on-one in a straight line and try to get around one another — senior cornerback Marcellus Pippins and freshman receiver Davontavean “Tay” Martin pushed the energy level to fever pitch.

At Jim Mastro’s whistle, Martin took it to Pippins full speed and managed to get an elbow in his chest plate. But Pippins was ready. He took Martin down right as he crossed the line that signified the end zone and knocked the ball out of the freshman’s arms.

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The defense went wild, thumping Pippins on the helmet and circling around him in congratulations. But the offense protested, claiming Martin had scored before the fumble.

“Let’s go again!” the ever exuberant Pippins insisted.

In Round 2, Martin hit Pippins hard, but this time, the senior knocked the receiver aside well before the goal line.

So, was outside receivers coach Derek Sage pleased to see one of his guys at least hold his own even though he finished 0-2 against a senior cornerback?

“Hold on a second, I disagree with your out take on the deal,” Sage told the reporter who posed the question.

Then, only half-joking, Sage said, “I believe he did score on the first one. If you go watch the tape – I believe the ball crossed the plane without extending the football, and then the ball came out. So it’s all up to Pac-12 officials in the box to review that.”

Pippins was gracious when asked about his two big plays against the freshman.

“We were just getting after it, just competing,” Pippins said. “It’s good to see that he has some fire to him. We don’t want to have no one that’s soft on your team. I’m glad we got to do that today.”

Both Sage and Pippins were effusive in their praise of the 6-foot-1, 183-pound Martin.

“Tay Martin comes in from Houma LA as a true freshman, it’s just good to see…

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