Throughout the years, WSU athletics have been a big part of my life. Good or bad, it's always been there for me. When you are as involved and in love with something like this, the whole community becomes apart of your life. I have always wanted to give something back to the WSU community, and here is my attempt at doing so.
I am a freshmen here in Pullman. I am also involved with the football team. This is has given me a a unique insight into the team, particularly the freshmen, that I would like to share with you all.
I arrived in Pullman in early August to begin performing my duties with the team. Getting here that early, my dorm in Scott Coman was not yet open, so I had was placed on one hall with all the football players in Streight. I wasn't quite sure what to think about this. I was excited in one sense to really get to know the players on the team, but a little nervous about how they were going to treat me, a non football player.
When I first got there, with all of my nerves flying high, I was met at the elevator by a player.
"What's up my man!? What's your name?" said the player with all of the energy in the world. His name was Jamal, and he became the first person I ever met in Pullman, and I wouldn't have it any other way. He is one of the friendliest people you will come across and always, even to this day, greets me with a smile on his face.
Soon after that, him and his buddy "3 stacks" (Andre Barrington) found themselves in my room, naturally because I had the first XBOX 360 set up. Jamal challenged me to a game of NCAA football, he lost of course, but I could have told you right then he was a high energy guy. He plays video games with as much energy as Casto plays basketball with. Andre was not up for a challenge, he was hates losing so much he didn't even want to risk that pain.
Just in that short time, I learned two things that would be reinforced about this group, they hate losing and they have lots of energy. The next day, I learned something new, coming from Jeff Tuel.
There had been a few fights in practice the previous day, and people were sitting in my room playing XBOX and talking about them. I suggested the way to start the biggest fight would be to hit the QB after the whistle. Andre said, with Jeff in the room, "I'll do it, I'm not afraid of any scrawny *** QB."
"If you wanna get your *** knocked out, go ahead and try it. I'm not afraid of anyone!" said Tuel, with tempers flaring in the room.
That's when I learned this, this group does not back down from ANYONE.
From the energy of Jamal, to the competitive nature of every player (particularly Gino SImone, to the never back down attitudes of Jeff and Andre, to the team spirit expressed by Casey Locker and Jordan Robinson, this group of freshmen is one that has the correct make up to get this team turned around. I've seen it in the dorms, I've seen it on the field in practice, I've seen it in games, and I have seen it 5:30 in the morning workouts that have been happening for a few months now. This group is special, keep your eyes on them. Keep the faith.