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.


kufaneg 2 years, 9 months ago

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


KEITHMILES05 2 years, 9 months ago

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


nuleafjhawk 2 years, 9 months 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.


haydenhawkco 2 years, 9 months 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.


ozzzy 2 years, 9 months 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!


kennethterry92 2 years, 9 months ago

Anyone know if Brock was at these workouts?


Geekinout 2 years, 9 months ago

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


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 9 months 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!


stm62 2 years, 9 months ago

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


Jhawk59 2 years, 9 months ago

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


Randy Maxwell 2 years, 9 months ago

BB hanging out in the air conditioning while his teammates have endured this kind of crap all summer is exactly why Keegan was on point. No way in hell are his teammates gonna let that crap go


nuleafjhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

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


Kevin Studer 2 years, 9 months 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.


Jim Stauffer 2 years, 9 months 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.


jhwkfan162515 2 years, 9 months ago

If they can just beat McNeese State...


Ron Prichard 2 years, 9 months ago

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


russkie10 2 years, 9 months 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.


Andy Tweedy 2 years, 9 months 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.


rockchalknation 2 years, 9 months 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 2 years, 9 months ago

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


gardenjay 2 years, 9 months ago

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


onlylookin2score 2 years, 9 months 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.


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