Mike Graise's Diary: Week Two

PULLMAN -- What's up Cougs?! It's Mike Graise and I'm here with you all summer long. There are a number of Cougs this offseason who I think you just might want to keep your eye on headed into the season. There's a few weightroom warriors you might want to know about. And then there's the most important subject of all to discuss -- the defensive ends!

I have been a little sick lately but that will not stop me from fulfilling my task to my team and to you. Some of you had some questions for me that you put on the Cougfan.com message boards. Let's get to it!

We are in our third week of our voluntary summer workouts and there are a number of people already standing out to me: Matt Mullennix, Dwight Tardy, Jed Collins, Bobby Byrd and Kenny Alfred, just to name a few.

There are many more players doing a great job, but since our team is too big to all fit in the weight room at once, we all have different lifting groups. When I see Mully and Collins in the weight room, I see a couple of machines working overtime. It is amazing to watch them put on more pounds after each set and not slow down.

Byrd and Alfred impress me because those are the guys I went against everyday in spring practice so it's cool watching them get stronger. As I watch them get stronger, it only pushes me to put on more weight when I am on my last set.

Now Tardy is a different case; sometimes is just plain scary to see him push weights. He's mad crazy when it comes to the weight room. You know how guys get drained after squats? Well, not Tardy. I watch him squat about what an elephant weighs and when he's finished, he just laughs about it and goes straight into doing lunges with a monster dumbbell in each hand.

OK, let's talk about the Ends! Lance Broadus and I both have speed that drives offensive tackles crazy. But some people point out I am a little undersized in my position. That's very true, but so was Lance last year. Some of the great Cougar d-ends have been too. Some of you out there are hoping for the return of Isaac Brown and D.D. Acholonu. Well to tell you the truth, we are too.

As far as our other ends, I foresee us having the perfect rotation for ends coming in and out of the game. We have two power houses with Mully and Kevin Kooyman, not to mention a back-up speedster known as the "Haitian Sensation," Asly Jean-Jacques. If we all stay healthy and smart for next year, our d-line starters will be able to take a breather when necessary, something we lacked last season with all the injuries.

We know it is going to be a fantastic year for the defense and for our brothers on offense. Our defensive captains, Greg Trent and Husain Abdullah, had all of us on D write down out summer goals that will in turn benefit us for the upcoming year. Some of mine were to get faster, stronger and have more endurance so I could play at my best all the way through the fourth quarter and that's exactly what I'm doing here in late June.

Remember, we are one week closer to greatness. Thanks. And GO COUGS.

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

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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