What caught my eye at Day 7 of KU football's fall camp


Jake Love (left) and Ben Goodman run through a footwork drill during Wednesday's KU football practice.

Jake Love (left) and Ben Goodman run through a footwork drill during Wednesday's KU football practice. by Matt Tait

It was another incredible weather day at KU football practice Wednesday afternoon. And I gotta tell ya, these odd August days have been noted by the KU football staff.

While at practice, I talked with head trainer Murphy Grant about whether or not he was loving the cooler weather and not having to worry about heat exhaustion like they do every other August. Grant said he thought the good-weather days were great but added that he would not mind if it got just a little hotter so these guys could test their bodies and conditioning in real heat just in case Sept. 7 rolls around and it's a scorcher.

Makes sense to me. And it's certainly cool to hear that the training staff is thinking about things like that. Grant said they're still focused on proper hydration and all of those things just as if they were going through a normal August. But there's no better test for seeing how the body reacts to heat than being out in it.

Murphy's one of best out there and he and his staff take great care of these guys.

Moving on, here are a few other things that caught my eye on Wednesday:

• Today was the first day for Pearce Slater to don full pads. He was big before but he looks like an absolute mountain all dressed up. If his stamina and conditioning can get to where the coaches want them to be, he'll help in a big way right away. Heck, even if they can't, he might help anyway. The guy's a load.

KU O-Lineman Pearce Slater, all 6-foot-8, 340 pounds of him, in full pads at Wednesday's practice.

KU O-Lineman Pearce Slater, all 6-foot-8, 340 pounds of him, in full pads at Wednesday's practice. by Matt Tait

• I was particularly tuned in to Ben Goodman today at practice, largely because the defensive linemen we talked to this morning said he had looked sharp in camp. In fact, Keon Stowers went as far as to say he didn't think there was any drop off from what Chris Martin gave the defense this spring to what Goodman's giving the D in camp. Stowers is a straight shooter so that should be considered really good news. Goodman works some with the linebacker and some with the D-Line. Today he was with the linebackers and he more than held his own athletically. The guy is in great shape and he looks incredibly athletic. I think you should toss him onto the pile of guys you're excited about this fall if he's not already there.

• Minor note: Darius Willis is now wearing No. 52 instead of No. 2. We'll have to ask him about the change next time we get to talk to him. I still always think of Steven Johnson when I see 52 in a KU uniform. And, no, it's not because Johnson plays for the Denver Broncos these days, although that doesn't hurt.

• While watching the LBs I caught my first real glimpse of Courtney Arnick. Don't count this guy out. He's got great feet and can really change direction. Another guy who stood out today was Victor Simmons. I think he's having a solid camp and KU coach Charlie Weis was not overstating it when he said Simmons looked like a man among boys, physically, at linebacker. Watching him move out there, he actually reminds me of a bigger Bradley McDougald. That should come as no surprise, though, since he played quarterback at Olathe North in high school.

Another two-a-days session awaits tomorrow.


Rivethead 4 years, 9 months ago

OMG Slater looks huge. Dead God please let our OL come together as a unit and develop some pass blocking skills. If that happens, we'll have a great season.

Ken Schmidt 4 years, 9 months ago

Lol, Matt. That's a whole lot of cheeseburgers Slater has on display there; Holsopple has a bit of work to do before Sep. 7. That said, he's a welcome addition and will be an important part of this team. I am sure his family is happy to share the food bill.

Boouk 4 years, 9 months ago

I don't think Slater will beat out Riley Spencer at RT, but I can see him getting a lot of playing time this season in goal-line and short yardage situations.

clevelandjayhawker 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you thinking of some sort of tank-fullback use?

Marcus Balzer 4 years, 9 months ago

No way would I have a guy who is 6'8 get down in a three point stance as a lead blocker for a RB. If he is used at all in goal line situations it would be as an extra tight end.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 9 months ago

Jonathon Ogden? Not comparing, just saying.

clevelandjayhawker 4 years, 9 months ago

I love the idea of a nickle base D, but from what I keep hearing it sounds like we are loaded at LB.

Dirk Medema 4 years, 9 months ago

Cassius Sendish, Victor Simmons, and Courtney Arnick are all NB.

KJD 4 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the video link! Goodman stepping up and filling that BUCK role would be huge. This tape got me thinking about Weis's comment in the first press conference that Colton Goeas having the potential to help with pass rush. It would be great to Red Shirt a talent like Goeas to develop his body, stay away from an injury playing as a true Freshman, especially with the mention of one of the WLB's cross training at MLB:

Andy Hess 4 years, 9 months ago

Arnick and Simmons are listed as Nickelbacks. Why are they practicing with LBs?

Matt Tait 4 years, 9 months ago

This defense is incredibly versatile and they're trying to make sure that guys like those you mentioned as well as Goodman, Willis and Reynolds at Buck can change gears on the drop of a hat so the coaching staff will not need to sub as often and can, therefore, better keep up with the Big 12 offenses.

In order to get certain guys ready for those roles, they need them to work at multiple spots. It sounds complicated, but it's really not. Just a matter of learning one or two more keys and applying them to whatever position they're playing at any given moment.

It'll be cool if they can get it to work.

Jason Sinclair 4 years, 9 months ago

I think you are probably in the clear minority. Most people consider the time between plays to be worst part about watching football. Heck, a lot of people DVR football games, and fast-forwarding thru commercials is only one reason.

Jim Jackson 4 years, 9 months ago

Matt, do you think Short will be here anytime soon?

Also, I am assuming that since Bourbon is now a Flanker (though I doubt he gets much PT since Tony Pierson is there???) there is no chance that the staff will put a RS on Taylor Cox?

Rivethead 4 years, 9 months ago

I believe Cox is already on record saying he won't take a redshirt....he wants to play this year.

Regarding Bourbon, I'd like the staff to try him out at TE and split him out wide. He's too talented to be a backup to Tony. Gotta get him on the field.

Jim Stauffer 4 years, 9 months ago

I was already excited about Goodman. Some guys have a knack for getting penetration into the backfield and other guys just seem to always stick to the blocker. He has the knack. He has demonstrated it ever since he has been here.

The interesting character to me is Reynolds. Will he develop enough drive to be a success. Man he has some quicks.

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