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.



Jim Stauffer 8 months, 1 week 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.


Jim Jackson 8 months, 1 week 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?


Andy Hess 8 months, 1 week ago

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


Keith Hummel 8 months, 1 week ago

There was a great article in May about how Josh Williams spent a lot of time mentoring Ben Goodman (see, and Goodman turned a lot of heads in the Spring. I noticed he was really coming on late last year. But to hear he might be athletically on a par with Chris Martin is music to my ears. Remember, this kid was just a red-shirt freshman last year, so he's got a ton of football left to play for KU. Can't wait to see what he does this year.


Randy Maxwell 8 months, 1 week ago

By the time Big 12 games start Slater will be starter at RT. No disrespect to Spencer but OU didnt do its very best to steal him at signing day


clevelandjayhawker 8 months, 1 week ago

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


Boouk 8 months, 1 week 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.


Ken Schmidt 8 months, 1 week 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.


Charles Logan 8 months, 1 week ago

LOL. Don't mean to laugh, but Cummings wants his pants back!

I know KU isn't used to having such big players, but Slaters uniform looks way too small and uncomfortable. I just picked Cummings because he was the smallest player to come to mind. Get this guy some big boy pants .... And be thankful the pic wasn't taken from the rear! :)


Rivethead 8 months, 1 week 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.


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