Kevin Kooyman's Diary: The final entry

PULLMAN – We're wrapping up our last week of summer workouts out here on the Palouse. It has been an extremely tough summer but for good reason -- we refuse to have another year like last year. And we have realized that we have to outwork everyone in order to gain back the respect that Cougar football is accustomed to.

The season is nearly here and we couldn't be more excited about how things have been coming together. This 2010 team has become a family, and we will continue to build on that throughout fall camp and into the season.

To answer some final questions…

Has Montgomery been out there practicing with you and team?
Yes, Montgomery has been doing summer workouts with everyone and is back to full strength. After such a horrible injury it is remarkable that James is able to play for us again and personally, I am very excited to be able to watch him run the ball. Be on the lookout Coug fans, I feel that James is going to have an All-Pac-10 performance this season, without question.

How are you feeling through the summer? How is the injury doing?
I am doing great, the knee is at full strength and is probably stronger than it has ever been. I am just looking forward to getting back on the field and playing some ball. After all, it is the greatest game in the world and all I want to do is play.

Does the LB position look as fast as they do on paper? How is Alex Hoffman-Ellis Ellis doing on the outside?
Yes, they are as fast as they look on paper. It is ridiculous to watch these guys cover receivers in one-on-one coverage during skelly. I just hope it can continue when we put the pads on because it will allow the d-line to get a lot of sacks. Hoffman-Ellis is doing well and has emerged as the leader of the linebacking corps over the summer.

C.J. Mizell - How is he adjusting after being out of ball for a year?
It looks as though he hasn't missed much at all. But even after missing only a month of ball, you need a couple days to get back in the swing of things. Once we get back on the field as a team, I feel C.J. and the rest of the team will take everything in stride.

How has Darren Markle looked in the middle?
Markle has looked really good in the middle over the summer. With small injuries holding some of the linebackers out of some skelly, Markle has had to take a lot of reps and is looking really good. He is going to be a great player for us this season.

I have heard people say that we are not the best team on the Palouse right now, that the honor belongs to Idaho. I know what you will say to that, but after the 7-on-7 drills (which you already talked some about), how were we stacking up? Are we starting to get that edge back and a bit of attitude?
I definitely feel that we are the best team on the Palouse right now. We only played Idaho once in skelly but we made a huge impression. Compared to last year, we made a complete 180 and finally got our edge back. I don't want to take anything away from Idaho though, they are a great team and I hope for another spectacular year for them and Coach Akey.

My question is, while the "skill players" are running 7-on-7 stuff, what do the lines do to try and get similar quasi game-like experience?
Last year we did one-on-one pass rush but we decided not to do that this year because it isn't very realistic and can lead to bad fundamentals. Since we don't have pads on, the d-line can only do finesse moves - which force the o-line to try and grab cloth (t-shirt). After the o-line ripped quite a few of the d-lines t-shirts, the d-line started wearing no shirts which then leaves the o-line with nothing to grab onto. It's just complicated to get true game-like reps given the limitations, so we've just focused on individual drills.

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. The fifth year senior-to-be suffered an injury in the '09 opener and redshirted this past season. 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 frosh 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.

Cougfan Top Stories