Woodard, Bell should have increased roles this season
Inside the Lines
"Inside the Lines" is a look into the world of the cougar football
team. Each week Mark Hopkins gives his thought on the week that was, game
preparations, weekly routines and life as a student-athlete. Today, he
talks about two rising Cougar football stars, Jermain Woodard and Keykowa
Bell, and the contributions they can make this season.
With only 62 days until kickoff at Rice Stadium, where we'll be vying
for the Bayou Bucket, keeping the competitive spirit alive was the No.
1 thing on our minds this week.
The daily routine of drills can sometimes get monotonous without a specific
game to play or a specific person to beat.
So, before a short break for the July 4 holiday, the Cougar football
team divided into teams for competitive events to help keep the competitive
Freshman Jermain Woodard will be a key defender as a safety
for the 2002 Cougar football team. Last year, the freshman All-American
had 90 tackles.
The Daily Cougar
Five different teams competed in six different events consisting of
the following: 1000-lb. sled pull, a log-shoulder lift, a short obstacle
course, a four-man log run, a tire-flip relay race and a four-by-400 meter
After coaches divided teams equally between linemen and skilled positions,
we eagerly took the field to do battle.
Each of these events helps us condition and get stronger, but the element
of competition makes for a fun and exciting workout.
During the off-season, we look forward to these competitive days because
they take the place of regular season games and this remind us of just
how much we want to win.
Two of our hard-nosed competitors in the spotlight this week are 20-year-old
junior Jermain Woodard and 23-year-old senior Keykowa Bell.
Jermain was a freshman All-American safety last season. He had 90 tackles
with 8 of those resulting in a loss (which was second on the team behind
a senior linebacker). He also had two quarterback sacks.
Jermain, who graduated from Dobie High School in Pasadena, is a health
When he's not knocking heads on the field, he spends a lot of time with
the person he admires most, his brother.
Some would say Jermain's pre-game rituals are quite superstitious since
he has to touch everything twice. Since it seems to work, he should stick
Jermain says he is secretively sensitive and afraid of getting his heart
broken (Yes, ladies, he's available).
Keykowa Bell, a kinesiology major, from Kimball High School in Dallas,
is a playmaker.
Bell was red-shirted last season due to an injury, so Cougar fans missed
his incredible speed and explosive play-making ability.
Two years ago, he was part of the No.1 receiver tandem in the nation,
along with Brian Robinson, and having him on the field again will be exciting
for fans and teammates alike.
Keykowa says he most admires his mother because of her determination.
This must be where he gets his focus and work ethic.
He enjoys fishing, bowling, and, can you believe, writing poetry? In
the same artistic vein, Keykowa listens to either Creed's "Take Me Higher"
or Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" to motivate him before games.
It's funny that he says Jerry, from Tom and Jerry cartoons, is his favorite
character "because of the way he always finds a way to get past Tom."
We'll be seeing him do the same thing to defenses this fall.
Any questions about the 2002 Cougar football team or suggestions for
topics for "Inside the Lines" can be e-mailed to Mark at CougarHandsUH@aol.com.