What caught my eye at Tuesday's practice: Nov. 27


The KU running backs run through a drill at the start of Tuesday's practice at Memorial Stadium.

The KU running backs run through a drill at the start of Tuesday's practice at Memorial Stadium. by Matt Tait

It was a dark and cold evening at the latest Kansas University football practice, but you never would have known it from watching what went down on the field.

From players bouncing around with energy and excitement to coaches screaming and smiling, it looked like just another week on the KU practice field for the Jayhawks, who began final preparations for this week’s match-up with West Virginia.

At this point, there’s not a whole lot new that’s going on out there. But it’s worth noting that the energy shown today was equal to what we saw during practices back in September and October.

KU coach Charlie Weis was asked earlier in the day if he thought it would be tough to get his guys fired up for one more game and his answer painted a clear picture:

“I don’t think the offseason’s even in their mind yet. You think they’re looking forward to spending extra time with (strength coach Scott) Holsopple? They’re not there yet. They’re happy we’re still playing. Maybe it’s the lesser of two evils, but I think they’re really looking forward to having one more shot.”

With that in mind, Here’s a quick look at a couple of things that caught my eye at Tuesday’s practice.

• KU’s running backs continue to work as hard as anyone on the roster and, while they’re doing it, they also have as much fun as anyone. Credit running backs coach Reggie Mitchell for some of that. At the start of individual drills, the KU RBs were on the ball and ready to work. So much so in fact, that they surprised Mitchell. “We even started before the clock,” Mitchell said with excitement. “I love it.”

• Speaking of the running backs, I noticed that KU senior D.J. Beshears, who has played wide receiver, running back, defensive back and returner during his KU career, was working with the backs. Maybe Beshears will be KU’s answer to WVU’s Tavon Austin. For more on him, check tomorrow’s paper.

• The first-team offensive line, which has been a revolving door at times during the season, shaped up like this on Tuesday: RT Aslam Sterling, RG Randall Dent, C Trevor Marrongelli, LG Duane Zlatnik, LT Tanner Hawkinson. Hard to believe that Hawkinson, is going through his final week of practice at KU.

• Finally, the season may be winding down and many on that field may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the focus seemed squarely on the task at hand, with several coaches shouting several colorful things designed to pump the Jayhawks up for their 1:30 p.m. meeting with the Mountaineers on Saturday at WVU.


SEsco10 5 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Matt! Can't wait for next year already!

Boouk 5 years, 4 months ago

Anyone know what happened to Damon Martin? Weis said after the OU game he was playing as good as Zlatnik, then he doesn't even make the trip to TT, and now Luke Luhrsen has taken his spot on the depth chart at LG.

Emery 5 years, 4 months ago

I think he is transferring to Notre Dame in order to get more PT.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 4 months ago

CW made a comment a week or so after the short traveling squad @ TT about players taking care of buisness on and off the field (getting to class and study hall on time). Maybe that had something to do with it, though definitely conjecture on my part. The other reasons just didn't seem to fit.

bradynsdad 5 years, 4 months ago

Thought I would throw this out there. Reports from some ESPN people are saying B1G looking at UNC,Virginia, Ga. Tech, Notre Dame and Kansas. Wants 2 of those five. Apparently they have been sending out "feelers" to those schools.

Ted Adams 5 years, 4 months ago

UNC already issued a release to its boosters and alumni stating they are staying in the ACC for another 60 years or more. However, I think VA and GT are the top 2 on their list anyway. For what it's worth, Cincinnati is putting all the cards on the table that they want in the ACC to replace Maryland. Top 25 FB and MBB last year, top 35 public institution, $1B endowment better than half the ACC to include Maryland, etc. etc.

Ashwin Rao 5 years, 4 months ago

I want UC in the Big12! I live in Dayton, and work in Cincinnati... Would love to go to more KU games close by!

Rivethead 5 years, 4 months ago

This week feels very much like the week preceding the Wyoming game (coached by our DC after Terry Allen was fired.....the game was postponed to the end of the season due to 9/11).

I'd be willing to bet that fewer than 50% of KU students and alums even know we have a football game this Saturday.

That Wyoming game was at home. 10,000 fans watched KU win in cold, freezing rainy weather.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 4 months ago

We had better have a productive offseason, or we're in for a long 2013 campaign.

notjustbread 5 years, 4 months ago

What would you call success next year? 3-4 wins?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 4 months ago

Not 3-4. At least 5 wins.

Because 3 to 4 wins more than likely means the three non-cons and maybe steal a conference game.

If Weis is to defend himself as a rational hire, he needs to win at least 5 games next year.

A 5-7 record with competitive losses is what many of us had hoped for this year. He has to be able to achieve that.

And I believe 5 to 6 wins is the absolute ceiling we can hope for next year.

ccarp 5 years, 4 months ago

What was the song for the practice?

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