Mike Graise's Diary: Week One

PULLMAN -- What's up my fellow Cougars? If you don't know who I am, they have a bio about me on Cougfan. But in a nutshell, I'm one of the guys expected to fill the shoes of the one and only Mkristo Bruce! We made it through our first week of summer conditioning without any problems and are ready for all that our strength coach, Rob Oviatt, has to offer in preparation for the 2007 football season.

I want to start off by saying congratulations to our graduating seniors who are trying to make a name for themselves at the next level ... Mkristo Bruce (Dolphins), Eric Frampton (Raiders), Jason Hill (49ers), Charles Harris (Titans), Tyron Brackenridge (Chiefs),and Steve Dildine (49ers).

Those guys and the others who preceded me to WSU have played a part in shaping the work ethic I bring to the field. From the moment I put on a WSU jersey, they served as my role models. I thank them for showing me and my teammates who looked up to them, on and off the field, what grit and determination are all about.

Another summer in Pullman may sound nice and relaxing if you are not a WSU football player. For us, it's the time you really know what you are made of -- and it's a time to tell who on the team kept up their conditioning during our month off in May.

In the end, after all the running and lifting and skelly, when you look in the mirror, you should be able to see a difference in your body structure. We are only into our second week and I can already see a difference in me and other players.

I have been here all summer with a couple of my teammates who also decided to stay behind and take first-session summer classes rather than head home for a few weeks. We spent that "down time" working out, preparing for what Coach O had waiting for us. It was a good experience staying put -- one that I think will help give me a boost in crunch time this fall.

Since I've been at WSU, one thing we are always proud of on this team is the fact we're more conditioned than our opponents. We are trained from summer on to never surrender. Our motto, from Coach O, is to "dominate the workouts, not let them dominate us."

When I was younger I used to hear about how some of our players stayed behind for the whole summer and not take advantage of the one month they had to spend with their family and I thought it was crazy. Now I am one of those older guys and I realize that not seeing my family for a month is just a sacrifice that some of us have to make to be number one and get us back to a bowl game. We were almost there last year. Now all we have to do is just stay focused and keep working hard. The road to a bowl game is being paved right now.

Week One is done and Week Two almost is, but we're just getting started!!!

If have you have questions you'd like me to address in my next diary, just post them on the Cougfan.com message board and I'll try to answer as many as I can.

Thanks. And GO COUGS.

Mike Graise finished the '07 spring season as WSU's starting weakside defensive end. The 6-3, 216-pounder will be a fourth-year-junior in 2007. He hails from the Los Angeles area, where he earned both first-team all-conference and All-Area honors at Inglewood High. He's played in 19 games over the past two seasons at WSU as a backup end and special teamer, recording 21 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He realized every lineman's dream when he returned an interception 33 yards for a TD last year. He graciously volunteered this summer to give CF.C readers an inside look at the world of pre-season football preparations with a weekly diary.

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