On to your questions...
How are the new freshmen looking?
Here’s a good example. Quarterback Cody Clements, he’s impressed me just because when I went up to work on individual drills one day, he had gathered a handful of freshmen and they were working on things on their own. That tells me they’re serious about it.
Did you or any of the other guys get NCAA 12?
Definitely, almost everyone on the team has it. As far as the ratings, I think they underrated us a little bit but that’s to be expected. They did leave a few of my teammates out, and that was messed up. But it’s a video game, you can’t take it too seriously. The best people I’ve played so far are Deone Bucannon or my roommate LeAndre Daniels. He’s doing good by the way, he’s out of the neck brace.
Who’s a defensive player that impressed you this week?
Eric Oertel impressed me with how strong he was. I was looking at the weight he was doing for his power clean and squats, and he was doing a lot.
What’s the No. 1 thing a safety has to learn to be great, is it just getting down pat the long process of read and react?
The safety is the quarterback of the defense, and once you understand that, and what the defense and offense are trying to do, and all of their weaknesses and strengths and act accordingly, then you can become great. You’re also the last line of defense, if you don’t make the tackle it’s a touchdown, so it’s a lot of responsibility. It definitely takes time, watching tape is important, experience helps. Here’s the thing -- you can be out of position by just a yard, one single yard, and that can make a huge difference in the play. I was a d-end and outside linebacker in high school mostly, so playing college was a whole new feel and experience, and being out in space is a different thing. Once I got used to it I loved it, it’s a whole different feel for the game.
How has Jeff Tuel looked this summer in skelly?
He’s looking sharp, making smart decisions with the ball -- I don’t even know if he’s thrown an interception this summer. He’s been putting the ball in the right place. But the defense is hanging in too, and this is all without pads of course. They may catch the ball but when we hit ‘em that ball is going to come on out!
How has the addition of coach Howard, and coach Tormey impacted the Cougar defense?
Just in talking to the linebackers, they say coach Tormey knows what he’s talking about and he has a lot of knowledge. And I always see him in the office working, watching film. Coach Howard, he has a lot of knowledge too. He’s been at the pro level and he’s able to pass down what the learned.
Is there a style of offense that’s more challenging to prepare for than another?
A lot of teams have switched to a read-option, that can be a hard thing to prepare for because you have to account for the QB and a lot of formations. When you only have a week there’s no way you can absolutely prepare for everything. But there’s also things you can do that force them to adjust as well.
This is the last chance to ask your questions on the CF.C message boards -- I’ll answer as many as I can.
Cougar safety Tyree Toomer was the third leading tackler for the Cougs in 2010, with 62 tackles (48 solo). He came to WSU from St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif., where he was a football and track standout. He played in all 13 of WSU's games as a true freshman, including four starts. Injuries took away his second season but upon his return in 2010, he started every game at free safety.