PULLMAN -- College quarterbacks aren’t the only ones who put in a lot of film study. As a nose tackle, I can tell you that watching tape is critical to success. Because offensive linemen, all of them, have one thing in common.
They all have tells.
Watching tape is really important for us on the d-line because every offensive lineman gives his own keys away. It’s easiest to see them when you’re up close. But you can notice them on tape, too.
When I watch tape, and I watch a lot of it, I’m not watching the opponents’ play, I’ve seen them all a million times. I just watch the offensive linemen. Some guys will have their butt lower to the ground when they’re about to pull. Some guys sit back, some guys lean heavy -- you can usually tell when they’re about to pass or run.
Some guys tap other guys on the hip -- you can pick up snap counts that way, too.
WE DID MORE BOXING on Tuesday, that went pretty well, and we’re doing all our conditioning and lifting -- not much has changed in that respect since my last diary. But you can rest assured they’re very, very intense workouts. For examplE ...
As my teammate Andrei Lintz noted in his diary last week, we added in the “sleds” for the offensive and defensive linemen while the skill players were doing stadium stairs this past Thursday. Everybody was gassed but it went beyond that. I’d say about half the guys threw up. It’s not like we’re just starting out either, we’ve been going through our workouts for weeks. But that was tough.
I was thinking at the time I would rather do the stadium but now I’m not so sure. For big guys, it can be tough on your knees and joints if you do lots and lots of stairs.
SPEAKING OF BIGGER, someone asked if I’m trying to get in the 300-plus pound range now that I’m playing nose or trying to stay lower.
I am actually trying to get up to 300, I was around 295 as a freshman and I was at 295 earlier this year, but they were different weights. Said a different way, I have lost weight since I’ve been here -- I’ve gotten leaner but stronger.
At the nose, one of the hardest things on defense is to be on the center and when the guard comes down on you. Getting to 300, the heavier you are the harder it is to move you. Our nutritionist is really on us by the way. This is the first year we’re having our body fat measured.
I’VE MENTIONED IN previous diaries that Travis Long, Darren Markle, Darryl Monroe, Eric Oertel and Xavier Cooper have been standing out in our workouts. This week, Steven Hoffart and Matt Bock caught my eye.
Those two guys have been working harder than ever. They are always there doing extra work. Matt is a walk-on but look for him this year. He’s a guy who has gotten better. A lot better. He’s going to push guys.
IF YOU ASKED a question this last time but I didn’t get to it, I will answer it next week. You guys asked some really good ones and I’ll finish this week off by including one more.
Someone asked who has the biggest mouth that I’ve gone up against, whether one of my teammates or another Pac-12 player.
That’s a tough one. But the UW offensive linemen talk quite a bit. Stanford is physical but they didn’t talk crap. If they put you on the ground one play, they’ll also help you up. But there was a UW kid that graduated a couple years ago -- I don’t remember his name.
So I went up against him in an Apple Cup and I did pretty well against him all game. Then for the next 1-2 years, he had the biggest mouth. I actually ran into him on the East side of the state after he graduated so I went up to him and said, “Hi, we hate each other.” He said “Yeah,” and then walked away.
I haven’t been a big trash talker over my career so far. But in my mind I know I’m getting in their head and pissing them off whenever they start running their mouths. I laugh at that, I just do it on the inside.
Keep posting your questions on the CF.C message boards and I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can.
Cougar nose tackle Anthony Laurenzi (6-3, 290) out of Placentia, Calif. started all 12 games for WSU in 2011, posting a career-high 25 tackles, (17 solo) with 6.5 tackles for loss. A redshirt senior, d-coordinator Mike Breske this spring said that in Laurenzi, “we have what we want at the nose guard position.”
Laurenzi was named the Orange County Register Defensive Player of the Year his senior year at El Dorado High, racking up 40 sacks and 170-plus tackles over his prep career. His 23 sacks his senior year were both an all-time school record and the most that year in California.