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Routine starting to settle in for WSU

COUGARS

Got a pretty extensive to-do list today. Work out. Call the cable company and get an explanation why my bill jumped $50 in one month. Wash the dishes. Pick up some more sunscreen. That should do it … no, there's something else this afternoon. What is it …? Right. Practice. Sorry, it already seems like we're in the middle of the season and such mundane aspects like practice start to slip my addled mind. For more along those lines, read on.


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• Washington State: It doesn't take long for the dog days of preseason camp to set in. Heat, exertion, minute-by-minute intensity works to wear down a player mentally. Sure, the physical strain is daunting, but that's all summer the players spent their early morning hours getting ready for that. It's the mental aspect, the all-day pressure, that's hard to prepare for. Early on in camp, there are new benchmarks that help to perk the players up incrementally, but also contribute to the day-to-day wear-and-tear. Right now the Cougars are in the middle of the first week. Yesterday, shoulder pads were added to the mix. Tomorrow they'll take the field with full pads on. And Friday is the first two-a-day. Then the camp will settle into routine broken only slightly by a day without pads or a scrimmage. And that's when a team's mental toughness, or lack of same, starts to show. Physically, this team is improved, tremendously so over a few years ago, just enough over last season to allow a Cougar fan some level of optimism. But is it tough enough to compete, especially down the stretch in the Pac-12 when each week WSU will face another challenge? The answer to that question will start to reveal itself next week. … We had a story this morning concerning the importance of a player's number, a break from the day-to-day camp coverage (though that was in our blog post last night). We promise to get back to more football items today. … Can't link this, but Cougfan is reporting offensive tackle B.J. Salmonson has committed to Washington State. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman took in practice yesterday. His commitment gives WSU 11 in the class of 2012. Salmonson is the first offensive lineman in the group. … And that's about it from Pullman. Oh, wait. Some video courtesy of Bobby Alworth in the WSU sports information office.

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• Around the Pac-12: Where does the Pac-12 stand in the Heisman race? What youngsters should shine? And what do you want to know about the quarterbacks? ESPN.com's Ted Miller fills you in. … Washington: It was tight end day at Husky practice, with a couple stories on freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins. … Oregon State: A camp report from the Beavers and a look at the offensive line, trying to bounce back from a tough 2010 season. … Oregon: The Ducks are looking for a new center and the player leading the way right now has a familiar name to Cougar fans. … The sun was actually shining in Eugene. … Colorado: The Buffs will be missing a backup quarterback at Saturday's scrimmage. … Utah: Quarterback Jordan Wynn is looking forward to competing in the Pac-12. … California: The Bears' defense should be bolstered by a few freshmen. … What did Willie Lyles supply Cal? … Stanford: Nothing. … USC: The Trojans seem to have their usual depth at running back. … UCLA: Speaking of depth, the Bruins picked up some yesterday. … Arizona State: Just how improved are the Sun Devils? … Arizona: Pine nuts brought down one of the Wildcat defenders just before the Alamo Bowl.

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• That's what we have this morning. As usual, we'll be back after practice. Until then …


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