Marshall Lobbestael's Diary: Week One

PULLMAN -- HELLO COUGS! So far, our summer is going great. We had around 20 guys stay for the first summer school session in May -- it was great to be able stay in town and work out. The rest of the team started coming in towards the end of May and beginning of June to start their summer classes. It's been fun these last couple weeks having everyone back.

Dual viewpoints on offense
Note: The summer diaries on offense will feature more than one view as two roommates -- QB Marshall Lobbestael and C Andrew Roxas -- both graciously volunteered this summer to give CF.C readers an inside look at the world of pre-season Cougar football preparations with a weekly diary. In having both an offensive lineman and quarterback record their thoughts and observations, CF.C readers this summer should glean more insight than ever before. Lobbestael kicks things off today, and look for Roxas' first entry next week. Coming later this week, a look from inside the Cougar defense, with DE Kevin Kooyman putting pen to paper.

The incoming freshman should be getting here in a couple days to join us and I can't wait to have them here getting a head start on the season.

Having the new guys come in together is something that I hope will keep happening -- not only is it a bonding experience for the freshmen, it gives them around five extra weeks to be in Pullman and get ready for fall camp.

OUR SUMMER CONDITIONING is challenging us mentally and physically. We've been running players-only practices during the week to start going through our plays and formations so when fall camp hits, we can take off.

For June we're running offense and defense separately so we can sharpen up our systems a little before we start working out together. Once we come back from our short Fourth of July break, we'll start combining and doing 7-on-7 and more team drills.

THE OFFENSE HAS been coming together, but we're definitely looking forward to competing against the defense. It's exciting to see players holding each other accountable for being there and working hard, and I think the coaches will be able to tell the difference once fall camp starts.

The offensive line has really been dedicated so far this summer. They're working hard in drills, are never late and are communicating well on their assignments and calls. It's obvious they have a chip on their shoulder and are out to show everyone what they can do.

Andrew Roxas is back from his spring injury (ankle) and looking strong. Zack Williams and B.J. Guerra are both moving extremely well at guard and we're starting to build depth at tackle with Micah Hannam, Wade Jacobson and David Gonzales all looking good. Tyson Pencer adds to that depth, and is rotating in at both tackle and guard. The rest of the o-line is getting after it every day as well.

OUR SKILL PLAYERS are having a great summer so far, and are led by Daniel Blackledge and Chantz Staden. They're setting a great example for all of us and are both looking good on the field. Our receiving numbers have been a little thin, but Daniel, Jeffrey Solomon and Gino Simone are getting a lot of reps and helping other guys with routes and plays.

The tight ends have also been very consistent throughout summer and are running much better routes.

AT QUARTERBACK, we have the same four guys from spring here so far – Jeff Tuel, David Gilbertson, Dan Wagner and myself -- but are looking forward to having Connor Halliday come in and start learning the offense.

Tuel is bigger and stronger, and continues to improve his knowledge of our system and make all the throws in our offense.

Overall, the offense is already ahead of where we were last summer, but we know we need to keep improving every day and finish strong.

If you have questions for Marshall, post them on the CF.C message boards. He might not be able to answer every one of them, but he will read them all and answer any that he can.

Cougar quarterback Marshall Lobbestael hails from Oak Harbor, Wash. where he was named the 2006 state Class 4A Player of the Year by the Associated Press and Seattle Times after leading Oak Harbor to its first-ever state championship game. During his Cougar career, he has earned a Pac-10 offensive player weekly award and has started six games, while playing in 14. Back healthy now following a knee injury that ended his '08 season, he has passed for 1,226 yards with seven touchdowns.

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