Thursday, June 7, 2012

No days off: Jayhawks to sweat through the summer with strength guru Holsopple

Kansas strength coach Scott Holsopple gets at his players as he conducts warmup drills during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.

Kansas strength coach Scott Holsopple gets at his players as he conducts warmup drills during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.


Now that June has arrived, things begin to get very interesting with the Kansas University football team.

For months we’ve heard head coach Charlie Weis and several of his assistants talk about the crop of players who were on the way, many of whom, they said, would be asked and expected to contribute immediately.

The majority of the incoming class of 26 players is here now, and, although Weis and his staff cannot work with them directly until August, strength coach Scott Holsopple and his crew get their chance immediately.

What the newcomers do in June and July probably will not be reflected on the first depth chart Weis puts out at the beginning of fall camp. But their efforts — both good and bad — will be noted, and Weis will be briefed by Holsopple almost daily about which players look good and which players need to pick it up.

While the adjustment to what Holsopple has in store no doubt will take some getting used to, many of the newcomers got at least a taste of what to expect from individual workouts back home during the past four months.

“Coach Holsopple sent out a workout packet, and I’ve been following it very closely,” said freshman offensive lineman Sean Connolly, who arrived in Lawrence last Sunday. “All the running and lifting and all that, I’ve been doing all of it. I just wanted to be as prepared as I could be to come to KU and help out as soon as I can.”

So, too, does junior-college defensive tackle Ty McKinney, who found out recently that he would not make it to Lawrence until July so he could complete a class he needed to transfer.

“They sent us a packet so I did that until I finished it up, and once my friends got back from school, I’ve been working with them these last three weeks,” McKinney said. “Now I’m about to pick back up on my own again just to stay in shape until I get there.”

So what’s next for the 20 or so newcomers and their teammates who are here? More of the same, according to Holsopple.

“Day by day you chip away at it,” he said. “You chip the rock and get better and better and better, and you don’t accept anything else. You have to be disciplined, and it’s gonna be tough every day.”

Such a statement is exactly what Connolly expects, and he is not entertaining any notions that what he has done the past several weeks was anything like what he’ll do this summer.

“I think there’s some tricks he has up his sleeve, obviously,” Connolly said. “But those workouts were pretty intense. I think it was like four or five pages of directions on just how to do a workout. It was crazy. His main thing is just you can’t take breaks in college football when you’re working out. That’s something I’ve tried to get adjusted to, and I think I’ve done a good job. I’ve gained strength and I feel like I’m ready to help.”

While some high school football players may be a little intimidated by the transition from the prep ranks to major college football, the bulk of KU’s incoming class seems excited about the chance to grow, literally and figuratively.

“I’m definitely looking forward to being a part of the strength and conditioning program,” said juco defensive tackle Keon Stowers, who arrived on campus last Saturday. “I’ve heard a lot about coach Holsopple, and I know he’s gonna push us hard and he’s gonna be on our butts, so I’m really looking forward to getting into that weight room and getting to the weight that I need to be at, which coach Weis told me was about 295.”

At last check, Stowers weighed 289, up six pounds from the end of classes at Georgia Military last month.

With this coaching staff, it’s all about earning your spot. Hard work pays off, and the guys who show the best work ethic and also execute consistently are likely the guys that will play. The bulk of KU’s roster received a head start with the new coaching staff in April, but KU’s coaches have emphasized that it’s what’s ahead that matters most.

“No one here should think that we’re gonna automatically put a freshman or a junior-college guy third string just because he’s new,” defensive coordinator Dave Campo said. “If we think he’s a second-string or a first-string guy, that guy’s going there right away. If we’ve done a good job of recruiting, there will be some guys jumping right into the second unit or the first unit right off the bat.”

Mueller leaving KU

The KU kicking game got a little thinner recently, when sophomore place kicker Alex Mueller decided to transfer to a school closer to his Grapevine, Texas, home.

Mueller, who earned the starting job as a true freshman in 2011, told Jon Kirby of that he had no destination in mind and was just beginning to look at other schools. He also said he enjoyed his time at KU.

“The coaching staff is doing great things and turning it around,” Mueller said. “I wish nothing but the best for the football program.”

Mueller’s departure leaves junior Ron Doherty as the only kicker with game experience on KU’s roster.

Berglund lands at juco

Former KU quarterback Brock Berglund, known more for what he didn’t do at KU than what he did, has announced that he will enroll and play football at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College this fall.

Berglund, the former three-star QB from Valor Christian High in Highlands Ranch, Colo., who graduated high school early but never got his KU career on track because of legal issues back home, said he chose Scottsdale CC to give him time to reevaluate his plans, which he hopes again will include playing quarterback at the Div. I level.

Berglund, who said in a statement that he maintained a 3.49 grade-point average while at KU, officially was dismissed from the team by new coach Charlie Weis after he missed a mandatory team meeting shortly after Weis’ arrival.


ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago!!!

Anyone wanting to fly into Scottsdale/Phoenix to boo BB at games can stay at my place. Free room and board.

(save the "all homeless shelters have free room and board" jokes. I beat you to it)

madamhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Great offer. But, I'll be too busy supporting KU football and won't give two shats about this kid. Karma is such a biotch!!!

Andy Hess 9 years, 7 months ago

This might shed some light onto WHY he was forced to go the CC route.

" The quarterback had been looking for a landing spot since Kansas dismissed him from the team on Jan. 16, specifically eyeing a Pac-12 transfer. But an error in his class schedule at KU, discovered two weeks ago, left him two credits short of an NCAA requirement, and made Berglund academically ineligible — something of a no man's land for a potential transfer."

Steve Reigle 9 years, 7 months ago

Interesting he blames KU for his being two credits short. Interesting it happened only to him.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

Lol! He does know that he could knock out a two credit class in about two weeks online this summer and report to a D1 school this fall.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

What has he done to give anyone any indication that he is smart enough to have realized that?

Andy Hess 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry. That was supposed to go below ahperse's comment.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't remember Manning, Vick, Tebow, and whoever eles he compared himself to playing at the Community College level.

And wasn't he jet setting across country in his last update to Georgia, Utah, UCLA, Ole Miss, etc... I wonder what the Artichokes (really, that's their mascot. google it if you dont believe me) offered that these other schools didn't.

madamhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

What is it with artichokes today? Giada made some italian dish with them, Jay Bilas tweeted about this community college's mascot (included picture) and now this mention in the article. This is some sort of sign. For all you garden growers - is it too late to plant and grow?

BainDread 9 years, 7 months ago

Artichokes! Artichokes! Raw! Raw! Raw!

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

The "Fighting" Artichokes no less. What could be more perfect for BB? The two things he does best, fighting (allegedly) and choking (academically).

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm on board with you, not because I hate BB that much, but I've had guys I hate so much I just can't get over being petty and vindictive. For years, I used to draft Chad May in my fantasy football draft just so I could drop him when the season started!

John Beck 9 years, 7 months ago

ahperse we should team up and catch one of his games, I live in Mccormick, and taunt away. I wish the guys could see the SCC field, about a kansas 3A high school facility.

hawk316 9 years, 7 months ago

Personally, I think it's time to stop crucifying this kid. He made some mistakes, made some unfortunate comments, I get it. But how many of us haven't committed our share of "sins" along the way? It's time to drop the stones and walk away. Let the kid have a fresh start, hope he has learned from his mistakes and has a great life.

qringer 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm with you 316. Forgive, forget, move on.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

Ok, looks like we have 4 committed plus me gives us 5. 5 people at a SCC football game may set their all time attendance record!

jartiv 9 years, 7 months ago

free room and board in scottsdale? sounds like a good vacation... I could do without booing BB, but if thats what it takes to earn the free lodging.

april28 9 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Carl Anderson 9 years, 7 months ago

"ahpersecoachingexperience" - KU is idle 9/29, is Scottsdale playing that weekend? ;-)

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

Even if they aren't we can still go to the stadium and boo. That way your echoes will be there when he does play.

Ben Kane 9 years, 7 months ago

you're are wrongfully assuming that he will ever show up there...

KUFan90 9 years, 7 months ago

Please note that the correct terminology is to smack one's bitch "up", not "down".

This PSA brought to you by Prodigy.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

Lol! I'll go to picture day so I don't miss him.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Wasn't picture day one of the 4 days he was in Lawrence last season?

Dirk Medema 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe they'll have walk-on tryouts. Pick-up a stray JC as in surabce for a yr or 2?

cobweb 9 years, 7 months ago

Doubt that Weis is losing sleep over a kicker. That one should be easy.

stm62 9 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know what role, if any, Andrea Hudy has with the football team?

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 7 months ago

I thought Hudy was head of all of the strength and conditioning, but only works with basketball. I don't know what her official title is.

HAWKTOPIA 9 years, 7 months ago

There is a top flight JUCO kicker knocken at the door.

Jayhawk2016 9 years, 7 months ago

I heard Chad Kolumber also transferred too. To Richmond. Can you confirm this?

Stan Unruh 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Jhaux ...good article. BB needs to grow up. You can understand why Univ. of Colo. dumped him too. Colo Junior colleges don't play football so he will go to Az.

JayHok 9 years, 7 months ago

Did he ever think of taking a summer school class?

This kid is incredible.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 7 months ago

Haha, did you read all the comments on the article? Nobody reading it believes anything this kid says. Brock Berglund...what a tool.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

1] "Boooo" Bergland will be in jail before he finishes his college heard it here first!!

2] Is Peka available???

3] Hate to admit it, but I can't help but cheer for a team named "The Fightin' Artichokes"!!!

4] Can you imagine working out for Andrea Hudy on the days of her "monthly visitor"....YIKES!!!

5] I wonder if Mr. Mueller saw the handwriting on the wall that the party was over with the initiation of the new Charlie Era and suddenly got homesick!!

6] Is Pele available???

7] It appears there wasn't much "sweat' during the Turner Gill era.

8] ahperse, my pal...are you a vampire or just tweeting from the Canary Islands??? :)

Mat Davis 9 years, 7 months ago

Coach Holsopple's picture looks like it was from Central Casting for a strength coach. He's the most important coach on the staff, as he spends the most time with the players and is responsible for their physical development. I like the toughness he brings, and look forward to seeing the benefits this fall. More importantly, his job is the mental development. The team was soft last year, and a badass S&C coach sets the mindset by making guys struggle through workouts. It builds great confidence to push through a workout when your body wants you to quit, and it applies to the 4th quarter of a tight game and you're exhausted, but you need to get that 4th and 1 and you rely on that mental edge to get it done. RCJ.

cobweb 9 years, 7 months ago

BB sounds like Micah Downs. He will also disappear.

number1jayhawker 9 years, 7 months ago

Doherty is not only a very good punter, he's a good kicker as well.

Plus there's a kid from Pittsburg, KS, who is a kicker, walking onto the team.

ejlumus 9 years, 7 months ago

No question .... Holsopples worth 4-6 wins per year.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 7 months ago

Don't like losing young linemen like Kolumber. We also lost another red shirt linemen a few months ago.

Hoping we really acquire some big time talent on both sides of the line (particularly the defensive side) in the 2013 class.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Have any of you ever seen Hudy in action???

She makes Holsopple look like Mr. Rogers, Mr. Whipple and Floyd the Barber all combined together.

danmoore 9 years, 7 months ago

The loss of Mueller concerns me. We lost 2 games last year by a combined 4 points. We lost a number of close games in the Mangino era due to poor kicking as well. Kickers may be boring and most don't even consider them to be real football players but they determine the outcome of games. Ask Bobby Bowden.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

The loss of Mueller only hurts because of depth. He did get replaced halfway through last season and was second string after the spring so it's not like KU is going to be missing his on field production very much. He was 1-6 from beyond 30 yards last season so like I said, losing Mueller doesn't hurt from a production stand point. Doherty wasn't much better with a long of only 37 yards, but he was at least 3-4 from inside of 40 yards. The kicking game does definitely need an upgrade to someone who can be about 75% from inside of 45 yards which means KU only has to get to about the 30 yard line to have a decent chance at points instead of inside the 20.

Terry N Tom Denner 9 years, 7 months ago


kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

(Sound of me choking on lunch) I'm sorry, did you just say we're going to beat Texas? Are you referring to the Texas that landed the # 2 recruiting class in the nation? I've always been blinded by my Jayhawk goggles but even I don't buy that one.

Heck, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona if you're looking to buy. It's real nice, 120 yards from the water.

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