Mike Graise's Diary: Week Five

PULLMAN -- What up Cougs?! So about 40 more days until kick-off, and only about 12 or so until the start of fall camp! The excitement around the locker room, and also around Pullman, is building. This will be my first start for the Cougs and everyone wants to see what I have to bring to the table. The defensive line continues to get together and watch film, and we've noticed a few things.

I can't, for obvious reasons, tell you specifically what they are but during those voluntary film sessions I told you about earlier, where the d-line is getting together and watching Wisconsin games? Well, it was time well spent as we saw a few key points we think will help our efforts in Madison.

What we, as a front, now have to do during fall camp is to use that knowledge and to really work on and apply those things we saw on film. We are of course in a different league than Wisconsin and we're used to teams that pass the ball a lot of the time. I predict this will be a good challenge for us and later when we enter conference play, we should be more prepared ready for the running and passing games they're going to throw our way.

The entire team is working hard and we're focused on finishing everything we do. We only have a few more days before we take our last week off, and then camp starts up the first week of August.

I have to tell you, this last week is the most intense week of summer workouts. It will test us all, in part because around this time, guys can start thinking about that week off that's coming up. They can start thinking about going home and seeing family and friends -- this week will test everyone's ability to focus. We're in good hands fortunately, as our captains and leaders on the team are keeping everyone focused on finishing up the voluntary summer workouts on the right note.

My plan for reaching my season opening weight is working out. I am currently exactly where I wanted to be, and I'm maintaining the "good weight." And as long as I keep this up, by the time fall camp ends, I should be at the exact right weight for the opener, give or take a frozen pizza. (And I want to thank one of the fans who offered up the advice of eating more frozen pizza because it was tasty.)

I'm pretty sure many of you have already tried your hand at the Washington State vs. Wisconsin game on NCAA 2008. I love the new tackles they have on the game, and the Campus Legend mode is better than ever. Just like Mkristo Bruce last year in his player diary, after playing it and making a couple of tackles with myself, I could actually see myself making the same tackles in reality at Wisconsin.

Good luck to everyone who has summer finals, and kudos to those who are at home relaxing. For Dan Rowlands and myself, our final diary entry will be next week, so keep up the good questions and last chance to post them on the Cougfan.com message boards. I'll try to answer as many as I can next time. 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. Graise also 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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