Long wait for Bruhn finally over

PULLMAN -- <b>Chris Bruhn</b> was a part of the WSU family before he even put on a crimson jersey. He can give you a list of names of the players who were in Pullman when he first visited in 2000. The majority of them have already come and gone, but three years later the long-coveted running back is just arriving.

WSU coaches thought they had Bruhn out of high school but academics sent him back to JuCo, and they continued to for the next two years.

However, part of what contributed to the poor performance in school and ultimately to his comeback was a tragedy in his personal life.  Bruhn won't say what that tragedy was exactly but Cougar running backs coach Kelly Skipper said what may have been a deterrence at first ultimately helped him see the big picture of what he wanted to do with football. In fact, Skipper was integral in making sure he stayed with the Cougars.

When Mike Price left, Bruhn was left wondering about his future. And two states away he was just receiving bits and pieces. "I thought the whole coaching staff had left," he said.


Skipper may have been new to the program, but he knew there was one person he needed to talk to.

"When I got hired here he was the first person I wanted to see," Skipper said. "We went out and told him we still want him here."

So now that Bruhn is officially part of the family, Skipper says it is back to the embryonic stage for Bruhn.

"We're going to give him a crash course and then break it down and go back over it," Skipper said.

Right now Bruhn is working on learning how to use his feet in the Cougars' offense. Typically he's been part of an I-formation offense where he just explodes. With the Cougars using a variety of passing plays he has to learn routes, how to tip toe before exploding, as well as adjusting to different blocking schemes.

"His mind is telling him one thing but his body is not reacting fast enough," Skipper said. "These other guys are moving a lot faster because they already know all this stuff."

While Bruhn may be in the embryonic stages there is little doubt his re-birth as a player will come. And with the right family support success it's inevitable.

"I didn't want to go to any other school," said Bruhn, who was listed as the nation's 27th best JuCo prospect by JCFootball.com. "WSU stuck with me through everything. With the tragedies in my life I knew these guys were like family and that's the people I want to be around during the hard times."

NOTABLE NOTES: Ropati Pioitua, a 6-foot-1 240-pound linebacker out of Clover Park High in Lakewood will not be eligible to enter WSU this fall because of grades. He signed with the Cougars this past February. Most likely Pioitua will enroll in January and grayshirt.

.... Contact drills are to begin on Sunday.

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