This year has been different from years past in that we arrived in Pullman two weeks earlier than usual to start our summer training program. This has allowed us to get a head start on the summer and while these workouts are optional, virtually the entire team is here and participating.
Our schedule consists of two workouts four times a week and then on our own, we're also doing a player-organized skills and 7on7 session three evenings per week.
Our workouts focus on speed and agility on the field and then we also get in our work in the weight room. Strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo was brought in by Coach Mike Leach over the winter and has us on an excellent training regimen.
He has already made good use of the sandpit, the "Leach Beach", where the entire team goes through numerous drills aimed at enhancing our leg joints and muscles on the uneven surface. The sand makes it very hard to gain traction and maintain stability -- but the results are almost instantaneous as we repeat the exact same drills on the turf with much greater ease.
Another significant improvement this summer over past summers is the fact that we instantly jumped back into 7on7 drills on the first Monday we all got back. Over the past couple of years the offense and defense have primarily focused on individual drills during evening sessions and waited until late June or early July to start 7on7. Starting 7on7 this early during these player-led practice sessions allows skill players to get a jump on competitive situations and gain valuable live repetitions.
Individual standouts so far during workouts include Rickey Galvin, Travis Long, Xavier Cooper and Eric Oertel. These guys have set the trend on the field and in the weight room with their intensity and ability to lead the entire group.
Top performers so far in 7on7 include Gino Simone, Daniel Simmons and Jeff Tuel. Tuel has made more of an effort to be a leader while Simone continues to impress with superb route running and catching everything in sight. Simmons has turned heads and gained respect by shutting down opponents both in 1on1's and 7on7.
That's all the time I have for my first entry, I hope you guys stay tuned. Feel free to ask questions on the CF.C message boards about anything you want answered about Cougar Football and I'll do my best to answer as many of them as I can.
Other than that, keep showing us why you are the best fans in college football and Wave the Flag! Go Cougs!
If you missed the CF.C diary entry from nose tackle Anthony Laurenzi, click here.