Kevin Kooyman's Diary: Week Three

PULLMAN--I want to focus this week on the impact our strength and conditioning coach Darin Lovat has made. He immediately made his presence known in winter conditioning after the season ended - if you weren't mentally prepared each workout you found yourself in serious trouble. I have answers to your questions, plus I have something from this morning's workout I'd like to share with Cougar Nation.

If you aren't focused when you come to our workouts, you won't benefit from the hard work you are putting in this offseason. And you could even possibly injure yourself.

One thing that is new about our voluntary offseason workouts this year is that we do maxes on a more regular basis. This allows us to see our improvements, and to gauge where we need to put more focus.

From what I've seen this offseason, including this summer, everyone has made steady improvements in all aspects of lifting. In my workout group this morning, there was a pretty good example of that.

We did a two-rep max this morning on our Power Cleans and afterward, coach Lovat asked us who all improved their max lifts.

Everyone raised their hands.

By the way, from what I heard, OT Joe Eppele had the biggest two-rep PC max of the day for the team on Tuesday.

It is great to see improvement right in front of you and I have to say it is thanks to the new structure and discipline that we have with Coach Lovat.

LAST WEEK was the first chance we had to see the new freshmen at work here at WSU. You can definitely tell they are trying to make a strong, immediate impression -- and myself and others like what we have seen so far.

Last week during skelly, the freshman that first caught my eye was Gino Simone. He made two great TD catches that got everybody going crazy. It is great to see freshmen coming in here early to get a step ahead.

From the d-line freshmen, I am really anxious to see Travis Long. He showed some good speed and awareness in our drills.

Seeing all the freshmen signees who came in (14) early is just a reminder that the season is right around the corner. And I can't tell all you COUGS out there how excited we are about the upcoming season.

NOW TO SOME of your questions you posted last week.

Response to SelahCoug: The d-tackles are looking very good. I think we're going to see a lot from Toby Turpin, who is nearly 300 pounds now, and Bernard Wolfgramm, who is coming back strong after his injury. We are going to have good size and speed across the entire d-line this year. We fully expect a dramatic change in how the d-line plays this year.

Response to CougarVet: The team actually spends a lot of time together outside of football. We often have BBQ's either at one of the parks in Pullman or at a player's house. This last weekend a lot of us got together and made a trip down to the Snake River to enjoy the weather. Personally, I hang out with Aaron Gehring and Micah Hannam the most because we are roommates.

BigCat97 I appreciate the comment on the Cougar Nation's passion. It's very refreshing to hear that.

Response to caralegal: I really like this question! I have been asked by a lot of people who would win a wrestling match between myself and Louis Bland. (Editor's Note: Both Kooyman and Bland are former highly decorated state champions in wrestling.) I'm going to say that I would have the edge on Bland -- those California guys don't know what real wrestling is, HA HA. No, I haven't seen him wrestle, but I've heard nothing but great things.

PhilX Of course you can list me as a reference in your quest to become an ESPN college football analyst. I don't know how much help I would be, but I wouldn't mind at all.

Response to Crazy4Cougs: The nutrition program has completely changed since coach Wulff arrived. We have regular meetings with our team nutritionist to check up on our diets. It's just one part of a comprehensive system that includes, among other things, tracking our caloric intake and a guide for planning our meals, something that especially helps players off campus to fix nutritious meals that promote us getting bigger and stronger. During the regular school year, the Cougar Fitness Café is where it's at -- it is all-you-can-eat with different meal combinations each day. In addition, we have things we do nutritionally immediately following each one of our workouts to maximize proper muscle recovery and growth.

Response to ferris9: If I had to choose six players and make a basketball team… Hmmm… That is a tough question because we have a lot of ballers on the football team. Based solely on what I have seen, I would probably have to take Jared Karstetter, J.T. Levenseller, Randy Johnson, Easton Johnson, Gehring -- and then I can be the substitute. Hey, I never played in high school but I've learned a few things since coming to college. I can just guard the big guy. And I will be there to throw down any alley-oops!

Post any questions you have for me on the CF.C message boards. I might not be able to answer all of them but I'll read them and answer any that I can.

Kevin Kooyman

Cougar defensive end Kevin Kooyman hails from Maple Valley, Wash. where he was named the statewide high school Male Athlete of the Year for 2005-06 by the Seattle Times. He played in 12 games in 2008 for WSU, starting six and posting 31 tackles. Injuries wiped out half his sophomore year but he still earned two starts on the d-line. As a true freshman in 2006, he saw action in 11 games, registering six tackles, one sack and 1 QB hurry. He was also a two-time state wrestling champion in high school.

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