Jeshua Anderson plots return to the gridiron

WASHINGTON STATE receiver and hurdler extraordinaire Jeshua Anderson, fresh off his title at the world junior games in Poland, is back him in Los Angeles getting ready for football season. He told CF.C on Friday that he's running stairs, lifting weights and playing catch at a local park with a quarterback who's been throwing to him for years. He also talked timetable on his Pullman return.

"He doesn't throw as hard as Gary Rogers," Anderson joked about his dad, Tim, who is Jeshua's designated quarterback these days. "But I'm getting my hands in shape."

Anderson, who is known to have a serious work ethic, has been going nonstop since the Apple Cup back in November. After the Cougars' dramatic win, in which he made an acrobatic TD catch, he started training immediately for track season and competed in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Along the way, he made headlines, winning the Pac-10, NCAA and World Junior championships in the 400 meter hurdles.

He finished ninth at the U.S. Olympic trials. Otherwise, he'd still be focused on hurdles rather than pass routes.

To get in football shape, he says, he's running a lot of hills and stairs. He's also lifting weights five days a week.

This marks his first prolonged stay at home in more than a year. Last summer he competed in the Junior Olympics and then headed to Pullman for his first fall camp.

The whirlwind of the past year, capped by his recent trip to Europe for the world juniors, tuckered him out both mentally and physically, Anderson said. Laying low with his family and working out under the watchful eye of his old high school coach is recharging the proverbial batteries, he said. He has clearance from WSU coaches to add a couple of extra days to his summer break, and will report to fall camp on August 9. "I'll be on the plane August 8th and on the field the next day."

The Cougars open the season August 30 at Seattle's Qwest Field against Oklahoma State. Great seats are still available.

Anderson, who caught 12 passes for 372 yards last season as a true freshman, is expected to be one of the Cougars' primary offensive weapons this year. He and All-American candidate Brandon Gibson figure to form a dynamic duo for Rogers.

As for the future, the 6-2, 190-pound Anderson says he plans to play football and run track for the duration of his college career. Asked if he had to choose one over the other, Anderson doesn't hesitate: "I love 'em both and am just glad I have the chance to do both."

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