Sep. 17—PULLMAN — The early days live in the perfect place in Kyle Thornton’s mind. Even if Washington State’s starting linebacker had a chance to forget his first couple years as a Cougar, when he was a walk-on and played sparingly, he might etch the memories even deeper into his brain.
He never saw the field in 2019, when he redshirted as a preferred walk-on. A year later, during the Cougars’ COVID-abbreviated season, Thornton appeared in just three games, mostly on special teams.
So now that he’s on scholarship, starting at linebacker for the No. 23-ranked team in the nation, Thornton can look back on the trek with grateful eyes. He understands that, for as trying and taxing as those first few years might have been, he might not be who he is now without experiencing every day of them.
“Nothing’s been given to me. It’s been all taken, all earned,” Thornton said on Saturday afternoon, shortly after WSU took down FCS Northern Colorado in a 64-21 rout. “Nothing’s been given to me. That’s just what makes it that much sweeter for me, knowing that I earned everything that I get out there.”
For Washington State, that’s what made this win over Northern Colorado so gratifying. The Cougars were heavy favorites, and they played like it, but so many of them are where Thornton used to be: Walk-ons, players who are limited to four games to maintain their redshirt, guys who are wondering if they’ll ever earn starting jobs.
Lots of those players got their chance to shine on Saturday. Redshirt sophomore Dylan Paine supplied a career game, leading the team in rushing with seven carries for 81 yards and one touchdown. Redshirt freshman quarterback Emmett Brown completed 2 of 4 passes for 14 yards. True freshman Warren Smith made three tackles, two solo, and fellow freshman defensive back Adrian Wilson recorded two takedowns.
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/washington-state-rewind-win-over-020200292.html?src=rss
Author : The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
Publish date : 2023-09-18 02:02:00
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