Mkristo Bruce's Diary: Week Three

PULLMAN -- I say it again! The Coug fans ask and they shall receive! Here I am again, with the third entry in the diary of Mkristo Bruce. I logged on and read a few of the postings on Cougfan.com and I really appreciate the enthusiasm and support from all of you Coug fans!

The main thing I love about WSU is that there's no better fan in the world than a Coug Fan. I have been all over the United States, and it's the funniest thing -- I've run into rambunctious Coug fans every trip. It's just so beautiful.

As we start to get further into the summer, the workouts become more and more challenging. You can feel the intensity level increasing, and the players becoming more and more focused.

TO ANSWER a few questions out there on the CF.C message boards, I would like to say "Yes!" to nearly all of them. Yes, each player buys into the program. Yes, each player holds himself accountable for being bigger, faster, and stronger. Yes, we have outstanding leadership from the seniors, and finally, Yes, we can't wait to get back on the field.

There was also a question about the Cougs' confidence level after a losing season. For a long time after the season, I was upset, hurt and disappointed. But after talking with a few of the players, I took the positives from the season and ran with them.

Just think about this -- we had young players out there doing some amazing things on the field. We were all learning together as a team. We took a lot of young guys who had never started a Pac-10 game, nor played beside many of their teammates. We took these guys and we won games -- not enough games, but we won. But the main thing was we were all gaining experience.

For me, to come out and say I wasn't nervous at the beginning wouldn't be true. My first start at New Mexico, I was a complete and utter mess of nerves and apprehension. But now, with that year under our belts, we're all really coming together as a team. We work harder, run harder, and play harder.

WHICH PLAYERS ARE the strongest in the weight room? All I can say is that its pretty hard to beat (Scott) Davis, (Steve) Dildine and (Adam) Braidwood.

Picture three bodybuilder types, men who idolized Arnold Schwarzenegger and have as their motto, "Increase the weights". I know, I know. It sounds a little crazy but these guys really INCREASE THE WEIGHTS! Sometimes I think these three live in a little apartment in the back of the weight room.

Players consistently stop for a moment to gather ‘round and watch what crazy amounts of weight they'll push around.

If you have questions, post them on the CF.C message boards and I'll do my best to answer as many as I can but before I go, I'll leave you with an update on one other player. Husain Abdullah is following in the footsteps of his brother, Hamza Abdullah, also a safety and a guy who was most definitely heard 'round the weight room and practice field during his time at WSU.

Husain's been an outstanding leader during these workouts. He leads the lines and encourages all of the players to be the best they can be. I've had the opportunity to be in the huddle with Husain and I know he will be a HUGE part of our defense next year.

Because, Coug fans, we all know that DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!

Mkristo, No. 94

Mkristo Bruce, junior defensive end at Washington State, is one of 24 players on the preseason watch list for the 2005 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. In 2004, Bruce started all 11 games at Washington State, leading the Cougs in both sacks and tackles for loss. During his prep days at Renton's Liberty High, Bruce was an all league linebacker and quarterback. Along with wide receiver Michael Bumpus, he graciously volunteered to give CF.C readers a window unto the world of pre-season Cougar football preparation with a weekly diary.


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