Cougar footballers add serious bulk

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? Annual observers of WSU's spring session are going to get an eyeful on Thursday. When Paul Wulff took the helm at Wazzu he said a top priority was to get his players eating better and spending more time in the weight room. WSU's spring roster reveals some head-turning weight gains since last fall. Indeed, it's become quite apparent how the Cougs spent their winter.

Washington State has been packing on the beef.

Proper context is called for here -- Physically, Wulff will tell you Washington State is not yet where he wants it to be as a program. Wulff will almost certainly mention in the coming days that more work, both in the weight room and in caloric consumption, remains. And that it is a process measured in years, not weeks or months.

But that said, Wulff's plan has been carried out with aplomb by WSU strength coach Darin Lovat since the season ended. And the Cougars are certainly getting closer to where they want to be -- that much is evident.

Comparing last year's roster to the spring, an eye-popping 33 players have packed on 10 pounds or more. And in some cases, considerably more.

Offensive tackle Tyson Pencer is a prime example, posting the biggest gain. When Wazzu recruited Pencer out of high school, he was a 230 pound TE/DE. By last year, he had morphed into a giant-like 6-foot-7 and 270 pound freshman. Well, since last season, he's added another 27 pounds to his frame and now checks in at a solid 297 pounds.

There are some Cougars that stayed about the same or even lost a couple pounds. But by and large, from the youth to the veterans, from the scholarship players to the walk-ons, gains this winter are evident across the board and at every position.

DE Jesse Feagin was 250 pounds last season, he checks in at 266 headed into spring. TE Andrei Lintz weighed 231 pounds when he got to Wazzu last year. He's 20 pounds heavier now at 251.

You might think a 5-foot-11 defensive back wouldn't be able to pack on a whole lot of beef but in the case of Kevin Frank, he's added poundage aplenty. Listed at 166 last year, Frank has added 18 pounds of Grade A prime and now weighs 184.

S Xavier Hicks, one of the hardest hitting defensive backs at WSU, was 196 pounds last season. This winter, he passed two-bills and kept right on going. He now checks in at 211 pounds.

RB James Montgomery is 5-foot-10. But he went from 192 last season to 202 pounds this spring. DE Adam Coerper jumped from 240 up to 250 pounds.

Last year, OT Joe Eppele was listed at, and in our opinion it generously so, at 294. Eppele is now comfortably over three bills, checking in at a solid 306 pounds. DT Bernard Wolfgramm was listed at 264 pounds in 2008, now checks in at 288.

DE Cory Mackay was 246 pounds last season. After his first spring at Wazzu under Wulff, he now weighs 257 pounds.

And those are just a few of the guys who gained 10 or more pounds.

There are also plenty more who have added 7, 8, 9 pounds this winter -- WR Anthony Houston went from 196 to 205 pounds, S Eric Block from 187 to 196 pounds, S Terrance Hayward from 178 to 187 pounds and the list goes on. Others like senior RB Dwight Tardy went from 201 to 208 pounds while Daniel Blackledge climbed from 178 to 185 pounds.

Newton's second law says force equals mass times acceleration. The mass is greater this spring at Washington State, and when it comes to pads cracking out on the Palouse this spring the volume figures to be cranked up a few notches.

CF.C subscribers can head to the Luxury Suites where an analysis and complete comparison of the roster weights is presented, click here.

• Walk ons from last fall who look to have left the program and are no longer listed on the roster include: Wade Penner, Kevin Farmer, Darrin Friberg, Jack Gala and Will Hunter.

• New walk-ons making their first appearance on the roster include: WR Parker Flynn, WR Colin Huemmer, RB Remy Martin, WR Nick Proen, OL Michael Spears.

• Spring practices begin Thursday and conclude April 25. The first two days will be helmets only.

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