First to arrive, Mayle says WSU is eye-opener

PULLMAN – On Monday, new Cougar wide receiver Vince Mayle got to experience his first taste of play at the Pac-12 level -- voluntary skeleton drills at Washington State. He also had his first 6 a.m. workout session with the Cougs. Both events, he said, were big time eye-openers.

"Oh my gosh, at the junior college level, I used to be able to breeze through workouts," Mayle said. "I never needed to nap after those workouts. I had to nap after working out (Monday). The workouts are no joke."

Indeed, the summer work is rigorous in and out of the gym at Washington State.

"And on the 7-on-7 drills, I thought I was wide open after beating the corner," Mayle said. "But nope, the safety was right on top of me and made the play.

I wasn't used to that. I'm used to making the play as soon as I beat my man. The game is just faster."

The transfer out of Sierra College said he doesn't know his Cougar teammates well enough yet, so he couldn't say exactly which safety came in full-bore and leaped over his outstretched hands.

Mayle (pronounced May-Lee) is the first of the 2013 class to enroll and join the program, opting for the early summer session at WSU. The remainder of the 2013 class is expected to arrive later this month.

Gone are the days when just a couple new Cougs would trickle in during the summer, almost all the rest of them arriving a few days ahead of fall camp. And Mayle this summer is getting the earliest of the early starts.

SO HOW IS that early start and transition going so far? And the better question is, can he keep up?

Mayle said getting down Mike Leach's Air Raid "playbook" will take some time, but he's confident he will be able to take his game up a notch and contribute right away this season.

Mayle also said getting used to the weather and the rolling hills of the Palouse will be, well, a process.

"The first day I got here, it was nice and sunny," Mayle said. "Since then, I've had a hail storm, rain storms, thunderstorms, some crazy wind, and now it's bright and sunny again."

Keep in mind he's been enjoying Pullman for all of three days.

ANYONE WHO has spent some time out on the Palouse knows that Pullman summers and the early fall are incredibly beautiful with few other places like it. And regardless of any recent unusual weather, the 6-3, 220 pound physical specimen said he felt like he was on top of the world.

A sought recruit this past recruiting class who chose WSU over offers from Arizona State, West Virginia, Kentucky and others, Mayle will be a frontrunner for early playing time this fall for the Cougs at outside receiver.

He caught 61 passes for 984 yards and 16 TDs this past season, earning All-America honors as well as the Valley Conference Offensive MVP award.

Back in February after he signed with the Cougs, his future position coach, Dennis Simmons, was counting the days until Mayle arrived, calling him, "a freak (athlete) with all the attributes you could ask for."

Mayle said he has his eyes on the prize, but added working his way into the starting lineup won't be easy or immediate. He knows he'll have to earn it.

"Right now I'm just working on short-term goals," Mayle said. "I want to get comfortable with the offense and then work to make an immediate impact. After that, I'll work toward starting this fall."

In the meantime, the Sacramento, Calif. native will continue to get the early-early jump on offseason voluntary conditioning and classwork. Mayle is taking entry level biology and psychology courses this summer, and said he's slowly getting acclimated to the four-year university lifestyle.

Except for that business with the early summer hail.

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