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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.

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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 JayhawkSlant.com 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.

Comments

CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 10 months ago

Before I say anything, let me say that I was formerly known as jhwkfan162515 and then as always_a_jayhawk. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion I ran afoul of LJW's guidelines on insulting members with whom I was having a disagreement or dropping F-bombs during the live feed of Kansas' loss at Iowa State. I have been away for several months, and I have missed everyone, but being gone has also given me time to reevaluate the way I interact on message boards and with other fans. So I want to start by saying I am sorry to those whom I needlessly offended with my comments and language. I am a diehard Kansas fan, and I bleed crimson and blue. I promise to be respectful with my comments and language and to watch myself on these boards.

Now, as to what's going on, I love the way Weis and his guys are cracking the whip and forcing the players to toughen up. The players who were around for the 2009 anti-Mangino revolt and languished under Turner Gill have hopefully learned their lesson the hard way, that you have to have a coach who's willing to be mean and nasty to be successful in I-A football.

Now, I don't think Kansas is going bowling this year, but I do think we're going 5-7, winning all of our non-con games and beating Iowa State and Texas in conference.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 10 months ago

WAS THIS KICKER WORTH A HOOT IN THE FIRST PLACE ?? NOT !!! HE WAS NOT THE BEST SO OH WELL AND GOOD FOR HIM TO LEAVE TO BE CLOSER TO HOME.

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texashawk10 1 year, 10 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.

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danmoore 1 year, 10 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.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 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.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 10 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.

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ejlumus 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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number1jayhawker 1 year, 10 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.

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cobweb 1 year, 10 months ago

BB sounds like Micah Downs. He will also disappear.

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Terran Woolley 1 year, 10 months ago

So you didn't like our obese S&C coach from the last two years? You are against "voluntary" S&C sessions like the past two years? You didn't like watching 20+ point leads just disappear late from several games? Wow. What's wrong with you?

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rcjallday 1 year, 10 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.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 10 months ago

1] "Boooo" Bergland will be in jail before he finishes his college career...you 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??? :)

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IrishCharlie 1 year, 10 months ago

See LJW, it's not that difficult to get the name correct...

Brock Berglund, the former Valor Christian quarterback who left the University of Kansas under strenuous circumstances in January, will continue his football career at the junior college level.

Shame on KU for screwing over the kid like this, wonder how many others are in the same academic situation.

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Jayhawk2016 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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Terran Woolley 1 year, 10 months ago

What date is the Dave and Buster's trip set for?

THIS is how you get a team ready. Not by playing video games and BELIEVEing that you will be great and doing nothing to prepare.

Glad we have this staff. The next several years are going to be a LOT of fun!

RCJHKU!

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stm62 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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GregStang 1 year, 10 months ago

Are we screwed at kicker or what?

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Mr_C 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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april28 1 year, 10 months ago

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

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ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh...my...GAWD!!!

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)

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