Michael Bumpus's Diary: Week Six

PULLMAN -- The linemen are the most important element to the running game but the receivers play a critical role as well. If you saw the game against UCLA last year, down-field blocking by the receivers can really let a player like Jerome Harrison get loose in the open field. Blocking for a guy like him is fun because you know that he can break away at any minute. He's the kind of guy who makes you want to block harder.

Besides the importance of blocking, there are a few other things that might not be readily apparent about playing receiver.

Probably one of the least transparent to many is how our routes are designed to take advantage of certain defensive coverages.

Before the ball is snapped I know who the quarterback's first option is, but you still always run any route hard because making defenders commit to your route can get other players even more open.

Josh Swogger, who was on the front end of many of those passes last year, is one of those "lead by example" players. His work ethic and concentration on the field rubs off on everybody. But don't get me wrong, whenever necessary he's quick to step up, voice his opinion and get things rolling.

Someone asked who are the funniest guys on the team. The list is lengthy. If I could only pick two, I would have to say a couple of offensive linemen, Mark Matthey and Josh Duin.

Matthey does a great impression of the announcer for the Detroit Pistons, especially when in the playoffs he was announcing their starting line up. I can really see him doing this professionally.

Josh Duin's locker is right next to mine and he always has an entertaining story to tell me about his weekend.

I've got to run but post any questions on the CF.C message boards and I'll do my best to answer as many as I can.

Michael Bumpus is a sophomore receiver and return man from Culver City, Calif., where he was a first-team "Best in the West" pick by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. As a WSU freshman in 2004, he set a school record for punt return yardage and earned a place on The Sporting News' Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. Along with defensive end Mkristo Bruce, he graciously volunteered to lend CF.C readers a window unto the world of pre-season Cougar football preparation with a weekly diary.

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