Friday, July 8, 2011

KU football players endure uphill battle

Upperclassmen lead summer workout on Campanile Hill

Kansas University football players go through workouts on the Campanile Hill. Upperclassmen led the voluntary workouts on Thursday on the KU campus.

Kansas University football players go through workouts on the Campanile Hill. Upperclassmen led the voluntary workouts on Thursday on the KU campus.


Temperatures in the low 80s made conditioning a little more bearable for the 60 or so Kansas University football players who participated in an afternoon workout on the Campanile Hill on Thursday.

With upperclassmen leading the charge, the Jayhawks in attendance ran through a variety of grueling sprints that started at the base of the hill and finished at the top.

Throughout the session, the Jayhawks were encouraged by teammates and several members of KU’s strength and conditioning staff to sprint instead of walking and to finish every run all the way through.

NCAA rules dictate that the workouts are strictly voluntary and that position coaches and head coaches are not allowed to work with their players in any capacity during this time of the year. Therefore, the heavy lifting was left to team leaders and strength coaches.

That did not appear to be a problem, as the players quickly ran through what seemed to be an endless cycle of drills up the hill. Included in the session were straight sprints, backwards runs, side shuffles and crawls, along with regular trips to the water coolers.

Though such a workout is common in college football, it likely comes as a welcomed sight for KU fans who grew tired of watching the Jayhawks run out of gas late in games last season. This spring, KU coach Turner Gill and his staff said they would put extra emphasis on getting the players into better shape. As anyone who’s been around Lawrence for any amount of time can attest, there are few more grueling workout regimens than ones that include the Campanile Hill.

Commitment cooling?

Derek Keaton, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound “athlete” from Camden Fairview (Ark.) High who orally committed to KU in mid-June, may be backing off his commitment.

Otis Kirk, of the site, reported earlier this week that Keaton was still trying to decide whether to attend an upcoming camp at Arkansas despite being committed to KU.

“I would like to have an offer from Arkansas,” Keaton told Kirk. “When I was up there, they said they liked me. I don’t know if the offer will come later or what.”

Ultimately, Keaton’s decision figures to boil down to one thing.

“I’m looking for a place where I can play,” he said. “I think I can play anywhere though.”

Though he remains committed to Kansas for now, oral commitments never are binding and Keaton is free to change his commitment at any point until he signs a letter of intent.

Former coordinator cracks talk show

Two-time KU assistant coach Ed Warinner, who most recently served as KU’s offensive coordinator from 2007-09 and now works as the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Notre Dame, received a little face time on the popular morning television show, “Live! with Regis & Kelly” on Thursday morning.

The show, which is co-hosted by Kelly Rippa and huge Notre Dame supporter and graduate Regis Philbin, highlighted the presence of Warinner and his wife, Mary Beth, who sat in the studio audience for the show that featured an interview with actress Jennifer Aniston and a musical performance by Rick Springfield.

Decked out in a Notre Dame polo shirt, Warinner talked Fighting Irish football with Philbin during the early portion of the show.

During his three seasons as KU’s offensive coordinator, Warinner directed the KU offense to unprecedented heights.

On his watch, the Jayhawks posted the three highest yards-per-game averages and the three most prolific passing seasons in school history, while also delivering three of KU’s top seven scoring seasons.


onlylookin2score 5 years ago

Sounds like we ought to (If and When Gill leaves) offer Warriner the HC position. BTW I believe Noter Dame is back. Thank God. I am tired of the SEC's dominance. I think ND will be contending for a championship in the next 5 years. Kelly's got a helluva staff and some pretty amazing recruits lined up.

hawkalumN2011 5 years ago

I agree....Kelly Ripa is pretty amazing!!

KGphoto 5 years ago

Get outta here with that ND crud!

gardenjay 5 years ago

I thought a commitment meant, well, commitment. I guess not in college athletics. How un-fun to not show your love for KU.

Kevin Studer 5 years ago

So then Tyshawn Taylore should be at Marquette, and the Morris Twins should have just finished up at Memphis, right? This happens all the time. Sometimes it sucks for us, other times, it is a wonderful thing.

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

gardenjay - sometimes, in order to fully understand a potential recruit's real intentions, you have to break down their words/actions. In this case - let's look at the word COMMITMENT.

COM - obviously short for commie MIT - thread - as in his commitment is hanging by a thread MENT - when he commited to Kansas, he MENT ARKansas

All in fun ( Just in case he keeps his COMMITMENT to us!)

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Good to see them doing hills, tho sure looks like a lot of standing around and walking.

Funhawk 5 years ago

Ah yes, walking up the hill to class on a warm day. It took some conditioning just walking up the hill. Memories of sweating and catching your breath and the out-of-state students remarking, "I thought Kansas was going to be flat!" Anyone who can run up that hill on a sweltering day deserves a medal.

LAJayhawk 5 years ago

Doing long hill sprints was one of the many conditioning drills we used to do for cross country in high school. You have to have short breaks in between the sprints. Usually we would sprint up, and take the break on a gentle jog back down, then wait about 10 seconds and sprint back up.

These short bursts help considerably for conditioning. Everything from long distance running to a sport where sort bursts are essentially the entire game like football.

This picture reflects exactly what a workout like this looks like. And it would undoubtedly make 90% of the people on this board vomit, pass out and die.... not necessarily in that order.

rockchalknation 5 years ago

Hey Dagger, It's a snapshot, not a video. Looks to me like guys are finishing a sprint up the hill, beginning a sprint up the hill, coming down the hill after completing their run up, and in a recovery phase ready to go again. It's not marathon training, it's conditioning. You sprint and then recover, most likely many times.

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Sorry Rock, Ran too many hills to not poke some fun. Coming down the hill = Recovery Phase for some conditioned athletes, and the body position indicates their rate regardless of the picture being still or moving, hence poking fun at standing around and walking. Mostly glad to see the players leading them running hills for conditioning.

Fun - Still remember the summer day I was working on campus and overheard some campers walk past suggesting one route over another. "Is it shorter that way?" Not sure, but it seems flatter!"

Funhawk 5 years ago

LOL. That's funny. Course, before the hill was a college campus, I believe it was called Razorback Ridge. The hill was a corn field that August morning when Lawrence was invaded by Quantrill and Anderson's men. William Anderson and Quantrill were two ex-Kansans, believe it or not. Lawrence survivors hid in the corn field on top of the hill, which subsquently became the campus. Kansas gave Missouri Bloody Bill and Quantrill and Missouri gave Kansas Phog from Jamesport.

Andy Tweedy 5 years ago

I am a Turner Gill fan, but he went out of his way last year to say the team's problems had nothing to do with conditioning, but then goes out of his way in the off-season to say they were going to spend more time on it. So which one is it? I get that he's not going to roll his strength and conditioning coach under the bus, but why say anything when it was pretty clear to most of us that this team did, in fact, looked gassed in the latter part of games last year.

milehighhawk 5 years ago

someone hit on it below, but I got the distinct impression that the entire athletic department was responsible for creating a culture of timidity surrounding tough workouts, given what just transpired with Mangino - the pendulum swung too far the other way. I think (hope) he will be given greater latitude this year & moving forward.

Pbbut 5 years ago

Agreed, and it's just another example of how little sense the whole problem has become. If the head coach can't find a strength and conditioning coach who doesn't know the difference between dangerous and demanding, neither one of them should have the job. At $2 million a year, the HC better ensure his coaches understand.

John Randall 5 years ago

"""... it was pretty clear to most of us that this team did, in fact, looked gassed in the latter part of games last year."""

Lack of depth, due to numerous injuries on an already thin squad, had a lot to do with what was left in the tank late in 2010 games.

Look at the minutes LeBron and company were on the court and how they were able to finish the last three games of NBA playoffs.

Michael Lindsey 5 years ago

Most games last year, the team was way behind at halftime. Besides, why complain about the players running out of gas in the 4th quarter when so-called KU fans left during the 3rd quarter. Why should players exert effort the whole game when fans leave early.

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Maybe because they're competitive athletes?

Matt Bowers 5 years ago

Hey Russkie, their on scholarship and fans pay! These aren't our kids out their competing, they are athletes. Is poor attendance the reason the KC Royals blow or is poor attendance the result of a team that can't compete?

Rock Chalk

John Randall 5 years ago

""" ... their on scholarship and fans pay! """

In the chapter on usage from a grammar text, please refer to

• there – adv: at that place • their – adj(poss): belonging to them • they're – subj/vb contraction: 'they are'

and share your findings with kustrong.

Matt Bowers 5 years ago

ku62, I was in fact referring to the athletes, not a place. Sorry about the confusion and thanks for the lesson.

Rock Chalk

John Randall 5 years ago

Sorry you looked right past the lesson...

" ... their on scholarship and fans pay! " is improper use of the third person plural possessive adjective.

Since " ... THEY ARE on scholarship ...", you're obligated to use the contraction, please.

Kevin Studer 5 years ago

So, if the fans leave early because the game sucks, it is OK for the scholarship players to quit trying? I didn't realize when I bought a ticket to a game that I owed it to the players to stay the whole time, and I was such an integral part of whether or not the players had to put forth effort. Thanks for the lesson.

Ron Prichard 5 years ago

Matt, do we know if BB participated in the workout?

Matt Tait 5 years ago

We're not invited to attend those workouts, therefore I wasn't able to scan all 60+ players to see if Brock was there or not.

Our photographer snapped a cool photo and got out of there.

I don't know if Brock was there yesterday or not, nor do I know if that was the entire team out there conditioning. It's entirely possible that some others were inside lifting weights or doing some other form of conditioning/training, therefore it was best to leave it out entirely rather than add to the madness.

We'll know soon enough if Brock's here and working hard. This much we do know, though... He wants to be. Check it out.

Ron Prichard 5 years ago

Thanks, Matt. We appreciate the info. Keep the articles coming! RCJH!!

Jim Stauffer 5 years ago

Many believe as I do that Lew was the problem in the staff pushing the kids last year. There seemed to be a distinct hangover from Lew's battle with MM over his harsh techniques that led him to limit or restrict Gill's normal routine.

Gill has put some players from Buffalo in the NFL and only spent 3 or 4 years there. He knows what it takes to be a successful player. Left alone, or better yet, encouraged by SZ, he will put together a successful program here and we will begin to see some of our guys in the NFL as well.

KGphoto 5 years ago

Right on. I don't think Gill could've been in a worse position last year. I totally expect to see marked improvement in all areas this year.

And also would like to know what raprichard asked. Was BB at the workout? I can't believe that wasn't included in the report. Matt what's up?

Matt Tait 5 years ago

We're not invited to attend those workouts, therefore I wasn't able to scan all 60+ players to see if Brock was there or not.

Our photographer snapped a cool photo and got out of there.

I don't know if Brock was there yesterday or not, nor do I know if that was the entire team out there conditioning. It's entirely possible that some others were inside lifting weights or doing some other form of conditioning/training, therefore it was best to leave it out entirely rather than add to the madness.

We'll know soon enough if Brock's here and working hard. This much we do know, though... He wants to be. Check it out.

KGphoto 5 years ago

Nice. Hope I didn't insinuate that you weren't on the ball. I actually previously commented, after Keegs tabloid effort, that I prefer no information, to speculation. So thanks for that.

Kevin Studer 5 years ago

I admit that I am not yet sold on TG as a Big 12 head coach. But to be fair, he was put in a horrible position last year. The athletic department was a complete disaster (Bill Self does not get enough credit for his success last year with all of that going on either). However, stability in the athletic department overall will be much better this year, so the team needs to show definite improvement.

ohjayhawk 5 years ago

I just hope fans will judge "definite improvement" on more than just W/L's. I think the team will be much better this year, but with the killer schedule, it may not necessarily be reflected by the overall record.

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

Campanile Hill is not the only uphill battle these guys will be facing this year. Just sayin....

Jhawk59 5 years ago

Terry Allen's teams ran the hill all the time too.

stm62 5 years ago

What was the city street that Coach Mason made his players run up? His teams always seemed to be in great condition.

HawkTronic 5 years ago

14th street. From the Hawk to the Boulevard.

ahpersecoachingexperience 5 years ago

hill training is one of the least functional training methods for a football player, distance runners sure, but how many times during a football game are our players going to be running up a hill? the short stride lenght not allowing for elongation of muscle fibers (building phase) along with the uneven ground are a muscle strain, rolled ankle, or blown knee waiting to happen. i know must of us grew up watching the walter payton run up the hill with guys chasing him but those days are gone.

today it's all about acceleration training ex: on flat surfaces with sleeds, reaction training ex: where you lay on the ground hear a whistle and pop up to a sprint, or overspeed training where you make you legs run faster than they normally would increasing stride length by. . .wait for it. . .running DOWN a hill.

gonna be a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong season!

ahpersecoachingexperience 5 years ago

i'll also have you notice the whole team is doing the same workout. do you really think db's and ol's should be on the same type of conditioning program?

haydenhawkco 5 years ago

Team building my friend. Endure through the tough times together.

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

If this were their entire conditioning program, you would have a valid point. Since this is one component of their conditioning, which recognizes that there are common elements of the coniditioning program for all players, your comment is just more mindless whining.

Do you think that the players don't all do squats, bench press, curls, ...

HawkTronic 5 years ago

I don't disagree that there are more advanced methods of training. However, what hill running does do, is build mental toughness and commitment. And we need it.

P.S. Hooray for metaphors!

justinryman 5 years ago

Whats a "sleed"?

Any and all card training is good for all positions. And according to your opinions I figured you would have something to say about the whole season being an uphill battle, so this would be good training for the "whole" team.

I'm sure Bill Selfs boot camp has drills for endurance that don't directly correlate to the game of basketball itself.

Oh and I believe it was Jerry Rice who ran up the hill over and over. But Sweetness may have done the same thing too.

KGphoto 5 years ago

Sweetness made it famous. Jerry Rice was wise to copy.

LAJayhawk 5 years ago

NFL Careers: Walter Payton - 1975-1987.... Jerry Rice - 1985-2004

Clearly Sweetness did it first.

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Sweetness used Mt Trashmore outside Chi-town if I remember correctly.

Geekinout 5 years ago

Cardio and mental toughness. I'm sure they do a number of different workouts that develops and conditions their bodies. If a D-1 college football athlete hurts themselves running hills, then they need to take up a different sport.

KGphoto 5 years ago

Hill climbing strengthens muscles for blocking or otherwise putting your shoulder into somebody and driving through. It's also about the best cardio there is for football. They didn't put an indoor hill in the new facility because it doesn't apply to football.

And I find it hilarious that you think Walter Payton's biggest training tool, the one that turned him into a devastating, punishing runner and blocker, even at his size, the one that Jerry Rice largely credited for increasing his speed and outstanding blocking ability, and making him the breakaway threat that nobody thought he was coming out of college (He went from 4.71 to a 4.45 and was never caught from behind), that training tool's days are gone. It spanned 30 years, creating the two best players possibly in the history of the game, but now it's useless.

Not to mention that today's' athletes, with their modern training methods, are getting injured more often than ever. Payton and Rice were never seriously injured. Payton missed 1 game in 13 years. Rice missed 7 in 20, but that ACL was because Warren Sapp nearly yanked him in half by the facemask.

ahpersecoachingexperience 5 years ago

not saying it's all bad, a little dated and that there is better ways of doing it. if you're doing hills do them on a controlled smooth surface like a treadmill or the inside hill would be much better and put less stress on the body. remember we were one of the most beat up (injury and score board) teams i've ever seen last year and most of that falls on the s&c coach because of training methods like this.

And remember workout programs evolve just like anything else so doing the same thing walter and jerry did isn't the best today.

i wonder if the players did a little fat jiggling after they got done running the hills?

fromthatstandpoint 5 years ago

NOT SAYING ITS BAD??? That is exactly what you said, Mr. Sunshine.

" of the least functional training methods for a football player.."

The Ahpers... motto must be, "Every silver lining has a cloud."

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

and as much substance as a cloud as well.

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Good point about the indoor facility. It's also worth noting that the "hill" isn't something unique to KU, but was modeled after facilities at some significant programs - if I'm remembering the article from a year ago

texashawk10 5 years ago

The average play in football usually lasts somewhere between 4 and 8 seconds with about 30 seconds between plays. Running uphill for short bursts is good way to lineman to replicate fighting with other lineman because of the resistance of uphill. As for the other players, combine running uphill makes them feel more explosive off the line while also building stamina in their legs. As has also been pointed out, two of the greatest football players in history used this as part of their training regiments, so why is running uphill as part of a total workout a bad thing again?

Dirk Medema 5 years ago

Besides the toughness and bonding, running up hill is still a great form of sprint training, even if it is old school. Te incline of the hill actually forces you into more of a sprint position, vs. being farther back on your heels going downhill. It is virtually impossible to get into a true sprint position going down hill, and really quite tricky to run fast down hill, because getting forward (sprint position) puts you really close to falling on your nose.

It is also entirely possible to adjust the stride when going uphill from short choppy, to bounding, and everthing in between. The article even talks about some of this, but why mess with details when there is inuendo to sling.

LAJayhawk 5 years ago

Clearly you have never seen Rocky 4. BOOM. Check and mate.

"If I's can change, and you's can change, then we all's can change!"

And that's how the cold war ended.

Geekinout 5 years ago

I remember running that hill for summer "Red Dog Days" workouts.

Kenny Terry 5 years ago

Anyone know if Brock was at these workouts?

ozzzy 5 years ago

I hope we can keep Derek Keaton. I think he is going to be a great playmaker for us, and he would have a great chance to show off his skills right away here. Gill and co are doing a great job of finding talent. Rock Chalk!

Matt Tait 5 years ago

Looks good. Rivals posted a couple of quotes today that had Keaton saying he was happy with his decision and sticking with Kansas.

haydenhawkco 5 years ago

I'm ready for football. The record does not matter in the end - there are worse things that could happen. I want KU to do well but I'm just ready for the anticipation on Friday and emotions on Saturday.

nuleafjhawk 5 years ago

hayden - good point! The fall is a good time of year - I like going to High School games on Friday nights and catching as much college and pro football as I can on the weekends. Let's try to get as enthused as we can about KU football and give the coach a chance to do his job.

KEITHMILES05 5 years ago

All I know is there were a bunch of sexy guys in that pic. Yummy.

kufaneg 5 years ago

The hill at Louisiana and 17th st is steeper than campanile hill.

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