Pro Cougs Tracker: Henley at Senior Bowl, Three Cougs in Super Bowl

Thompson on top of the world — as usual



WSU linebacker Daiyan Henley lunges for Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay during an NCAA football game, Nov. 12.

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports editor

Daiyan Henley turned heads at the Senior Bowl, Klay Thompson sank 12 3-pointers on the Oklahoma City Thunder (Bring back our Sonics!) and as you have surely heard by now, three Cougs are headed to the Super Bowl.

Henley at the Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is a chance for NFL prospects to impress NFL scouts and jump up draft boards. Henley as the lone WSU Cougar in attendance did his alma mater proud by wearing his Cougar helmet and swag throughout the game. Henley even had a chance to make a play on the ball.

When the opposing team fumbled, Henley was in the right place at the right time as he promptly lept onto the ball. After acquiring the ball, he ran down to the end zone to strike the obligatory fumble recovery celebration pose in the end zone — folding his arms with his teammates.

After the game, Henley posed for a picture with a young Cougar fan.

Draft analysts say Henley is an NFL-ready talent.

“The big test for Henley was how he would hold up in coverage against all-star competition. Well, he passed that test with flying colors. He’s instinctive and he can run. Henley has a chance to be a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick,” according to NFL Network. praised his vocal engagement with his teammates during Senior Bowl practices.

“He’s a rangy second-level defender with easy movement skills that have stood out among the rest of the linebackers in team drills,” according to an ESPN article.

Cougar fans should be eager to learn where Henley will go in April and see him represent Wazzu in the NFL.

Klay Thompson is Klay Thompson

Guard Klay Thompson shoots while covered by Kansas State forward Dominique Sutton during the first half on Saturday in Manhattan, Kan. KSU won 86-89

I don’t get around to writing these Pro Cougs trackers often, but when I do it is an absolute requiem to mention Thompson and his latest triumph.

On Monday, Thompson did his Washington state friends a favor by beating the team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics and known as the Oklahoma City Thunder since 2008.

With his fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry out of the lineup, it was the Thompson show in San Francisco.

Thompson had 27 points in just the first half and finished with 42 points on a 15-for-22 clip which included 12-of-16 successful shots from downtown.

With his eighth-career double-digit 3-point night, Thompson is second in NBA history behind his teammate Curry (22 games) for the most games with at least 10 3-pointers.

Three Cougs in the Super Bowl

University of Southern California wide reciever Drake London (15) catches a pass while Washington State University defensive back Jaylen Watson (0) attempts to tackle him during the second half of a college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, WA.

On Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will square off with the Kansas City Chiefs meaning at least one Coug will walk away with a Super Bowl ring.

Offensive lineman Andre Dillard and backup quarterback Gardner Minshew play for the Eagles and rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson plays for the Chiefs.

Senior left tackle Andre Dillard didn’t start playing football until eighth grade, but he has a good reason for eventually taking an interest in the sport. “I thought it would make me cool,” he joked.

In a handful of opportunities late in the season, Minshew looked sloppy but made some great plays.

Against the Dallas Cowboys, he completed 24-of-40 passes (60%) for 355 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Eagles lost to their NFC East rivals, 40-34 on Christmas Eve.

The following week against the New Orleans Saints, Minshew was sacked six times as he completed 56% of his passes for 274 yards, one TD and one interception.

Graduate quarterback Gardner Minshew poses for photos after their 19-13 win against California on Nov. 3 in Martin Stadium. Minshew finished second in the nation in passing completion percentage and first in completions.

Watson has one interception for each playoff game he has played (two).

His two playoff interceptions were his first since his first career interception, an electric pick-six of Los Angeles Chargers and former Oregon Duck QB Justin Herbert.

Watson was asked for his thoughts on the Chiefs’ first-year players thriving.

“What rookies,” he said to the press conference room soon full of chuckling reporters.

Dillard, Minshew and the Eagles will face Watson and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVll at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl? Whomever it may be, you can proudly say go Cougs on Super Bowl Sunday.