COUGAR NOTES: Washington State's second scrimmage is 'time to start separating' for quarterbacks

Apr. 20—Washington State's second spring football scrimmage has arrived, which means it's time for players to start separating themselves from the pack.

That starts at the quarterback position, where sophomore John Mateer and senior transfer Zevi Eckhaus are vying to be the next in a long line of prolific Cougar passers.

WSU will hold its second scrimmage at 10:30 a.m. today at Gesa Field in Pullman before heading into the final week of spring camp.

"We'll continue to evaluate it, but (today's) scrimmage is going to be a big deal," WSU coach Jake Dickert said. "It's time to start separating."

Mateer had a few too many turnovers early in the spring, but he has settled in as the QB with the most experience in the WSU system after backing up Cam Ward each of the last two seasons.

He's also showcased his explosive running ability in practice — a dimension that would keep opposing defenses on their toes if he were to be named the starter.

But Eckhaus has a far more experienced arm after passing for more than 8,500 yards and 75 touchdowns at Bryant University in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Eckhaus has had to tackle the learning curve of familiarizing himself with a new offense for the first time in his college career.

Dickert said he wants to start seeing some separation — not just at QB, but across the board — but the quarterback battle could go all the way up until the final week of fall camp in August.

"This might go all the way up until an hour before kickoff, but we won't announce anything until probably the week before the (first) game," Dickert said. "And even so, whoever it is has gotta go out and do it (in games) ... so both guys are going to constantly be prepared for their moment."

Spring camp will conclude next week with the Crimson and Gray game at 3 p.m. April 27 at Gesa Field.

Men's hoops' Chinyelu headed to Florida; Mullins to MSU

One former Cougar men's basketball player is headed to the opposite corner of the country, while another is staying nearby in the Big Sky Conference.

Former WSU center Rueben Chinyelu announced this week he's heading to Gainesville, Fla., to be a Florida Gator.

Meanwhile, his former teammate, guard Jabe Mullins, will join the Montana State Bobcats.

Chinyelu's jump to the Southeastern Conference is a big one.

As a freshman last season, the 6-foot-11 big man averaged just 4.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He started 12 games and played in all 35 Cougar contests.

But the Enugu Agidi, Nigeria, native showed tremendous potential and athleticism, especially with his interior defense.

As for Mullins, he will look to see more time on the court at MSU after riding the bench most of last season. The 6-6 senior is a solid 3-point shooter and he started eight games as a junior in the 2022-23 season.

Cougars add another former Eagle to men's basketball roster

Sophomore guard Isaiah Watts won't be the only Watts on the men's basketball roster next season.

New coach David Riley swiped another one of his former players from Eastern Washington when sophomore LeJuan Watts announced his commitment to the Cougs this week.

LeJuan Watts was last season's Big Sky newcomer of the year after posting 9.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

The 6-6 forward joins former teammate Ethan Price as the two Eagles to join the Cougs so far. Price is a 6-10 incoming senior center who recorded 12.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season. He's a former Big Sky freshman of the year.

Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, or on Twitter @StephanSports.