Mkristo Bruce's Diary: The Final entry

PULLMAN -- Hello Cougfans! Twenty four hours from now I'll be in Los Angeles with coach Doba for Pac-10 Media Day but for me, today is a sad day out here on the Palouse. The summer workouts are winding down, so this is my final player diary of the summer. I know it's rough, but the good news is we're just a few days down the road from two-a-days and ANOTHER COUGAR FIRST DOWN!!

And Cougar first downs and the Cougar Football season go hand and hand.

These voluntary workouts this summer hit an all time peak here at Washington State for me -- the toughest I've been through in my five years in Pullman. The workouts end this week, and then everyone has a week off to rest and prepare our bodies for the physically demanding practices coming up.

Out of the five years I've been here, this has also been the hardest working bunch that I have been around. I wanted come on and let my team know how proud I am for how hard they worked all summer. This team, this program, this school is special. And we all realize that.

I don't know if anybody has been working out in 105 degree plus temperatures but the Cougs have! It's so hot in the Palouse it hurts. I'm talking about the don't-go-outside-fill-up-the-bathtub-with-ice-water kind of hot.

To deal with the heat, some of the team went swimming this weekend and just spent some time hanging out out. Some of the younger guys were able to better connect with the older guys which is harder to do with the demanding schedule during the season.You get into such a routine during the year, it's hard to slow down and get to know people so this was a good time.

I saw a question asking about a typical day for me during the summer. I get into a routine and schedule that doesn't really change too much. I usually wake up before the sun comes up, and my thoughts immediately turn to what coach Oviatt (WSU Strength and Conditioning Coach) has up his sleeve and whether or not he is going to kick my butt in that day's workouts.

Then I hop on my scooter and head to the gym. Just in case you're wondering, not all 260-plus pound guys ride Harleys. We ride scooters -- they're not just for smaller people! After parking my boss ride, I hit the weight room for some hard lifting. The captains then take their groups to the locker room to switch shoes then it's up to the field for a nice little run. Except there's really nothing little or nice about it!

Depending on the day, we take our NO SURRENDER flag back to the locker room, switch shoes, then get ready to do some more lifting and on field work. There's a variety of different drills we go through, there's always a mad dash for classes and we all need to grab something to eat, too.

Some of us go home for a nap or if we're lucky, or some NCAA 2007! After a quick game it's time for homework and sleep. If anyone thinks we're going to be up late or going out on the town after one of these workouts, You..Are..Crazy!! Sleep is your best friend out here.

At the end of the day, I get mentally prepared to do it all again and one of my last thoughts is to wonder how Professor Oviatt is going to kick my butt tomorrow. And I love it!

To finish up my last diary of the offseason, I just really want to thank for giving me this opportunity to talk to all of you, not only this summer but for last year, too. When I'm out there on that field Saturday and I look up at all the support and pride people have for Washington State Football, it just makes me so very, very proud to be a Coug.

The best saying I have ever heard and one I truly believe is: "Once a Coug, ALWAYS A COUG". Keep in mind we've added another one for this year: NEVER SURRENDER.

Because we won't. And finally, there's one more quote and saying I'll never forget. That we are, and still remain, THE COUGAR NATION OF DOMINATION!!

Thank you, and I'll see you at Auburn!


Mkristo Bruce a WSU senior who tied for the league lead in tackles-for-loss and was also one of the Pac-10's sack leaders in 2005, will be an All-America candidate in 2006. The one-time quarterback from Renton's Liberty High has started 22 consecutive games for the Cougars and is on the 2006 watch list for the Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the best defensive player in college football. Along with WSU senior offensive tackle Charles Harris, and, previously, backup QB Cole Morgan, he graciously volunteered this summer to give CF.C readers a window on the world of pre-season Cougar football preparation with a weekly diary.

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