Cougs' voluntary workout is all business

PULLMAN -- Maybe it's the water in Pierce County. Or just osmosis. Whatever the reason, Washington State senior wide receiver Brandon Gibson, a Puyallup product, looked all the world like he was channeling his position coach, Tacoma native Mike Levenseller, last week at Martin Stadium.

With Cougar footballers under the lights for a Thursday evening session of voluntary workouts, Brandon Gibson – a legitimate All-American candidate this season -- had no trouble preaching the gospel according to Levy to his mates out on the flanks.

Coaches aren't around for these summer workouts, so the sessions offer a window into individual motivation and the power of peers.

Gibson sat out the proceedings with a sore knee, but he wasn't sitting by idly. He was firing passes to the wideouts during position-specific drills and readily offering pointers to Jared Karstetter, the incoming freshman from Spokane, and other young guns.

Poorly run routes didn't sit well with him. And every dropped ball yielded a mandatory set of pushups by the offending party.


KENNY ALFRED

FIFTH-YEAR QUARTERBACK Gary Rogers was one of the first people on the field Thursday. And at the evening's conclusion, with teammates encouraging him, he huddled the team around for some words of inspiration and a hearty "break!"

Earlier, during position work, Rogers led the QBs in footwork and passing drills and looked very sharp doing it. Most of his throws were on the mark, including several well-placed deep balls.

The ground game also received attention. Linemen and running backs joined Rogers at one point to go over various running plays. Learning and executing the new no-huddle offense clearly is an emphasis.

BASED SOLELY ON Thursday's performances, Rogers should be excited about the targets he'll have at tight end this fall.


GARY ROGERS

Seniors Devin Frischknecht and Ben Woodard and junior Tony Thompson each made a series of nice catches, with Thompson showing great form on several of his grabs. It figures to be an interesting battle among the three when fall camp opens in August. Trevor Mooney, the fourth-string tight end coming out of spring workouts, has left the program.

COUGAR LINEBACKER Kendrick Dunn produced one of the highlights of the evening, Near the end of the session joined with running back Marcus Richmond and defensive back Myron Beck for a friendly footrace. Most odds wouldn't be on a linebacker in that situation, but the 5-11, 224-pounder from Hearne, Texas, took top honors.

NOTABLE NOTES:
• With the voluntary workouts in full stride, all indications are that virtually every member of the team, including most of the incoming rookies, are participating.

• The Cougars open the season Aug. 30 at Seattle's Qwest Field again Oklahoma State. That game is among four that FSN already has selected for live national or regional TV coverage.

• Levenseller said at a recent Cougar golf event that says DB-turned-wideout Michael Willis is far from a finished product when it comes to receiving, but he expects the Lincoln High of Tacoma product to turn heads this fall. With Jeshua Anderson in training for the Olympics, the Cougars' top three receivers are Brandon Gibson, Daniel Blackledge and Willis. Anderson, when he's back from track, will give the Cougs a nice squad but depth must be developed, Levenseller said.


FELLOW LINEBACKER CORY EVANS CONGRATULATES KENDRICK DUNN AFTER DUNN TAKES THE TITLE OF FASTEST MAN ALIVE FOLLOWING HIS RACE WITH MARCUS RICHMOND AND MYRON BECK.


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