He may not have been wearing full pads like the rest of his KU teammates, but cornerback Kevin Short was at today's practice.
Short, a juco transfer from Fort Scott C.C., has been waiting all summer to get to Lawrence and doing a solid job of keeping people updated on his progress through Twitter.
He arrived in Lawrence on Monday night and went through his first practice Tuesday afternoon. He'll be in shells for the next two days and then will suit up in full pads starting Friday.
Although he did not go full speed and full contact in everything he did on Tuesday, Short still showed plenty in the way of athleticism to get a decent read on what type of player he is.
First of all, he's one of those guys who just looks like a natural athlete. Long, lean, with long arms and a solid frame, he looks to me like the kind of guy who could be a difference maker. I watched him in some individual drills, too, and those revealed that he's got quick feet, moves his hips and changes direction well and looks pretty effortless while doing it.
It'll be interesting to see how quickly he can get up to speed on the KU defense and what kind of role he can have when the season opener rolls around in a little over two weeks.
Here's a quick look at the rest of what caught my eye at Tuesday's practice:
• Chalk this up in the good news category, juco offensive lineman Zach Fondal looks like a different player than he did when he arrived a few weeks ago. In addition to continuing to work with the first team O-Line at right tackle, Fondal has trimmed down and toned up and is starting to look more and more athletic and comfortable each day.
• Speaking of the O-Line, it's just pre-practice drills, but the same five guys have been running those together for the past several practices. It may be too soon to tell if any of those battles have been won but it would not surprise me if they had. From left to right, it goes: LT Aslam Sterling, LG Ngalu Fusimalohi, C Pat Lewandowski; RG Mike Smithburg, RT Zach Fondal. The group running immediately behind those guys includes: LT Gavin Howard, LG Randall Dent, C Dylan Admire, RG Bryan Peters and RT Brian Beckmann.
• Christian Matthews and Josh Ford ran early drills with the No. 1 offense again on Tuesday, with Justin McCay and Tre' Parmalee running with the second team. Ford is a good athlete with great size who could be an interesting option at the X spot for KU this season, whether he's with the first team or second team.
• One local note to point out, offensive lineman Jamal Brown, a Lawrence High graduate and the son of former KU great Gilbert Brown, has dropped a few pounds throughout camp and continues to work hard. Brown still has a ways to go to get to the point where he could be in the mix, but the mere fact that he's still out there working is cool to see. He's probably dropped 10-15 pounds during camp.
• Finally, a musical note to send you off with. While the team was stretching, with the music blaring over the loud speaker, a song came on that popped linebacker Samson Faifili out of his stance and into scream and bounce mode. The song, “Let's Do It Again” by J Boog had a very island flavor to it and got both Faifili and Fusimalohi pretty fired up. Always cool to see the human, non-football side of these guys.