Mkristo Bruce's Diary: Week 6

PULLMAN -- I can feel the Palouse heat beating down upon my head as I run with my teammates on beautiful Rogers Field. The sweat pours down my face as I lock onto the intensity of this team, as we encourage one another to go for yet another rep. Just one more rep. All I eat, sleep and dream about these days is Cougar football!! What about you?!

Just like every week this offseason, each aspect of the voluntary workouts and the annual summer building of the Cougar program has increased dramatically.

New recruits continue to arrive, hanging out with the team and building a relationship with some of their fellow position players. Also, there is a feeling in the air -- and that feeling is the beginning of camp is now only two weeks away!

Its no longer some faraway event off in the distance, its reality! We are ready and we are hungry, and the young bucks have NO IDEA. But they still have three more weeks to mentally start getting their minds right for two-a-days.

THERE ARE a couple more players on my mind this week, guys I've been watching all summer. The first is Chris Baltzer.

He's a linebacker I've watched grow since his freshman year. Ever since Chris has been here, he's had the "nasty" in him. He plays with a big heart and has that Will Derting mentality – ‘Its either gonna be me or you, and I always win!!!'

That's the mentality we need. Chris played, deservedly so, as a true freshman. The sky's the limit on how far he can develop his talent, and I can't wait to play alongside him again this season!

ANOTHER GUY is Eric Frampton. His intensity is so high and his motor never stops!!

It can be 90-plus degrees and hot enough out on the turf to scare a lizard and he doesn't care. It can be blazing hot with Cougars runnin' loose all around the field and he doesn't care. He'll run circles around them and when he's done, he looks to have enough energy to go out and play a full 60 minutes. And I love it!

Eric's the leader of his running group and he looks so ready to fill the shoes of Hamza Abdullah and Erik Coleman and some of the other Cougar greats who have come before him. He's just one of those guys who inspires trust -- I trust him in the secondary.

The rest of the defense is going to be looking to Eric to do great things this year too. He has an outstanding work ethic and he hits like a horse, so don't be surprised if you see old No. 37 knockin' some heads this season.

Well, that's all the time I have so until the next time, keep in mind we are -- and we remain -- the Cougar Nation of Domination!!!

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.

Editor's Notes:
All players report on August 6, the first practice (helmets only) is August 7. The Cougs put on full pads for the first time on August 11, with two-a-days beginning August 12.

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