One final week until launch and excitement is building here for the home team. The coaching staff has been working the players hard during the pre-season football camp and even a few three-a-day practices, but they’ll be transitioning to a normal practice routine this week. It’s a whole new world, especially for the freshmen players. I think I saw Marquise Steele headed into the weight room.

Marquise - Steven JacksonNot sure why you’d want to talk to me instead of one of the starters unless you want to record a “knew him when” story in case I get side-swiped in practice. Or better yet for some day when I’m famous instead of getting knocked around in practice with the scout team.

How am I adjusting? To Colorado as opposed to the big city of L. A.? Oh, you mean fitting in with the team. It stings a bit to be back on the bottom of the pecking order, but that’s part of being a freshman. Not that anyone’s been hazing us. Just having to sing the fight song before we get to eat or picking up the trash in the locker room. Coach is good about building a team atmosphere.

Even though I’m not afraid of hard work, the mental part has been the biggest challenge. There’s a giant play book to memorize and then the practice pace is a whole lot faster than I’m used to. It gets pretty intense, especially when we’re all tired and sore and hungry. I haven’t eaten this much in years. And when I’m not practicing, eating, or studying, I’m trying to get some sleep so my body can recover and do it all over again tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, we’ve got part of the day off so I can get my class schedule figured out and move my stuff into the dorm before afternoon practice. At least my roommate, Luke Daniels, is also on the team. It helps to have someone there every day pushing me to do my best.

That reminds me, I need to get back to my workout. Go Cougars!

Since I wrote the book, I’m glad Marquise is willing to work so hard because his chance may come sooner than he thinks.

Catch of a Lifetime: Meet Marquise Steele