July 24, 2006

Off season attrition bug bites again?

Defensive line depth for the 2006 Cougars may have been depleted before August practice even starts. CougZone has learned the team was recently informed that defensive tackle Odell Howard and defensive end Paul Stevens have been suspended indefinitely. It is currently not known if Howard and Stevens will be suspended for part or all of the season or whether they will be reinstated.

Howard, a senior and two time letterman, had been listed coming out of spring football as the primary backup to returning starter Aaron Johnson. Howard had his best season for WSU as a redshirted sophomore in 2004. In 2005 as a junior, Howard - in the dog house with the coaching staff - rarely saw the field. Howard had been in Pullman during the summer participating in off-season workouts.

Stevens, a redshirted junior also with two varsity letters, similarly had his best season as a Cougar in 2004. Stevens showed a great deal of promise and high energy that year. Like Howard, Stevens' presence on the field was greatly reduced in 2005 with most of his game time coming on special teams. Following spring football, Stevens had been listed as the third squad weakside defensive end behind senior starter Mkristo Bruce and redshirted sophomore backup Mike Graise.

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