"We've discussed (burning his redshirt) and given him opportunities in practice this week and we will next week. If things go well next week, then our plan is to play him," Wulff told CF.C after Thursday’s practice.
"He's going to help on special teams and in pass-rush situations," Wulff added. "There's a lot of things we could do as the season evolves. As our package grows and he develops there are things we can do with our players."
Mayes has flashed excellent speed coming off the edge, and in Thursday’s shoulder pads-and-helmets-only work against the No. 1 offense he looked very sharp. On back-to-back plays he put the moves on right tackle Wade Jacobson and blew into the backfield. Both plays led to celebrations from the defense, who praised the play of the rookie.
Mayes, from Marist High in Eugene, stands 6-3 and weighs 218 pounds. He would be the tenth true freshman to play for the Cougars this season, joining walk ons Jordan Simone, Alex Den Bleyker and Cyrus Coen and scholarship players Marcus Mason, Chester Sua, Henry Eaddy, Isiah Myers, Darryl Monroe and Spencer Waseem.
WULFF SAID HE WAS pleased with the Cougars’ work and tempo in practice during this bye week. "We've had a solid three days of practice and we've cleaned some things up," he said. "We tried to sharpen up some things we've installed in the past."
One-on-one drills Thursday between offensive and defensive linemen yielded the sessions most entertaining highlights, with defensive tackle Toni Pole leading the way. Afterward, he told CF.C he and the rest of the defensive line have had a fire burning within since the loss to San Diego State.
"We have a chip on our shoulder because we left a lot of plays on the field against San Diego State," Pole said. "We don't want to make those same mistakes again and we want to come out knowing that if we're going to lose it's because they beat us not because we gave them a win.
"I like how we're coming out here and we're practicing," Pole said. "We're out here and we're pushing ourselves to the limit. Yesterday I nearly collapsed on the sideline after a 10-play drive at the end. It was tough but we came out today but I felt like a different person because we were able to push ourselves and that's how practice is supposed it be."
DURING 11-ON-11 DRILLS, the interceptions that dogged Marshall Lobbestael and Connor Halliday on Wednesday were long gone. There were no INTs Thursday, and Lobbestael was a picture of consistency.
The play of the day came from Marquess Wilson, who soared high on a 30-yard pass and tipped the ball to himself with one hand, and corralled the ball as he fell hard to the ground.
The Cougs are off for the next two days before returning to practice Sunday to begin preparations for Colorado. Wulff said he told his players to be smart in their time off.
"Like always, I told them to be careful with what they're doing," Wulff said. "If you're driving home be smart, take care of your bodies and be ready to go on Sunday and get ready for Colorado."
Wulff said that he will remain in Pullman over the weekend while several assistant coaches will be out on the road recruiting. Wulff was also asked if he will be watching the Ohio State vs. Colorado game, and the head man joked he will if someone in the house allows him to.
"I will watch some of it, unless my wife has me doing some duties which is a possibility," Wulff quipped."
Sekope Kaufusi was able to return on Thursday after sitting out the last two days with a thumb injury. However, CB Daniel Simmons (knee), S Casey Locker (infection), DT Anthony Laurenzi (sick), RB Rickey Galvin (concussion)and RB Logwone Mitz (class) were not at practice. With Mitz out, Carl Winston saw the majority of carries with the 1s, while Marcus Mason was also in the mix.
RUNNING WITH THE 1s:
QB: Marshall Lobbestael
X receiver: Marquess Wilson
Flanker: Isiah Barton
Z receiver: Jared Karstetter
TE Andrei Lintz
LT: David Gonzales
LG: John Fullington
C: Matt Goetz
RG: B.J. Guerra
RT: Wade Jacobson
RB: Carl Winston (Marcus Mason also getting reps)
LE: Lenard Williams
LT: Toni Pole
RT: Brandon Rankin
RE: Travis Long
SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
MIKE: C.J. Mizell
WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
CB: Nolan Washington
SS: Deone Bucannon
FS: Tyree Toomer (Anthony Carpenter also getting reps)
CB: Damante Horton