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Originally published October 12, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 12, 2006 at 1:02 PM

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WSU Football | "Bossy" plans to teach lesson

Awaiting the arrival of a stellar trio of California receivers in Pullman Saturday is a Cougars cornerback who hits first and asks questions...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Awaiting the arrival of a stellar trio of California receivers in Pullman Saturday is a Cougars cornerback who hits first and asks questions later.

Tyron Brackenridge is a senior who last week forced two Oregon State fumbles recovered by WSU on back-to-back possessions.

The previous week against USC, Brackenridge hit former high-school rival Chris McFoy so hard that the receiver suffered two fractures in the shoulder area.

"He's one of my buddies from back home," said Brackenridge of McFoy. There was no remorse in his voice.

Brackenridge is savoring this season because last year was a drag: He was ineligible.

"It was tough, but I had to overcome it," he said. "I wanted to be better for this year, so I took advantage of it."

Saturday

Cal @ WSU, 2 p.m.

Practices were his games in 2005, and he pushed himself and the offense hard as a scout-team cornerback. At times, coaches had to tell him to back off because they were afraid someone would get injured.

"Tyron is a guy I have a lot of respect for," said quarterback Alex Brink. "He never quit. He showed up every day last year, and he knew he was not only making himself better but making us better."

What put Brackenridge on the shelf for last season was a class where the professor gave up to 30 percent in extra points if students rewrote and improved their papers.

Brackenridge didn't grasp the consequences and refused.

"I would never revise my papers because I'm stubborn and I felt my papers were good enough," he said.

Result: Ineligibility.

He is retaking the class this year. Revising the papers?

"Oh, yes," he said.

In fact, he is on track to graduate in December.

WSU secondary coach Ken Greene calls last season Brackenridge's "year of penance" and said the extra year of school and football has been good for him.

"He improved every aspect of his game," Greene said. "I think he's grown up an awful lot."

The evaluators of football flesh at the next level have taken notice, too.

Coach Bill Doba said, "He's got a lot of attention from the pro scouts that come through just because of his aggressiveness and because he makes plays."

Brackenridge is listed as 6 feet, 183 pounds, and Doba said some NFL evaluators think he could play safety, where the big hitters in pro secondaries reside, if he keeps getting bigger.

Brackenridge, who is sixth among WSU tacklers with 29 tackles (20 solo), was recruited to WSU from Chaffey Community College after starring at nearby Upland High School in Ontario, Calif.

Brackenridge's nickname is "Bossy," and it was given to him by his grandmother.

"When I was a baby, I was real fat and had a white suit and my granny said I looked like Boss Hogg (of 'Dukes of Hazzard'). As I got older, they just called me 'Bossy' for short."

"Bossy" will be tested Saturday by speedy Cal receivers DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan, weapons in a Golden Bears offense that has scored more than 40 points in the past four games.

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