What caught my eye at Day 13 of KU football's fall camp


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.


Tad Shurtz 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the update, Matt. Good stuff. Now for the annoying question (bet you thought you'd be rid of those once Short received NCAA clearance):

Hearing any rumblings on whether or not Pearce Slater will return?

Jim Jackson 4 years, 10 months ago

Would love to know the answer to this; we need him.

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 10 months ago

I just have a feeling that he's not coming back. I suspect he probably got worried that he made a hasty decision and that he wants to wait another year before taking the D1 Plunge to see what his options are.

Hopefully I'm wrong, because he seemed very excited about being a part of this team at KU, but we don't know this guy very well and it could be that this was the first time that he's ever been far from home, too. And especially if he has a family medical emergency, that would make him think twice about leaving in a hurry and going so far away.

Boouk 4 years, 10 months ago

Before the spring game I thought Jake Heaps would have no reliable pass catchers this season aside from Tony Pierson. Now with the emergence of Matthews, Ford, and McCay at WR, Mundine at TE and Brandon Burbon at the F position, the only big question I have for our offense is pass-protection. Fortunately for us there's not a lot of good pass rushers in the Big 12 outside of Devonte Fields and Jackson Jeffcoat.

Jim Jackson 4 years, 10 months ago

The song has a good beat to it. The first girl to get in the car with him is 'mokin!

Tait, is Rodriguez Coleman still kinda banged up? Was hoping he would be in the mix.

How does Mark Thomas look?

Rivethead 4 years, 10 months ago

Lol. Yeah, the song has a good beat. And also the line "let's fire up a doobie".

Too bad firing up a doobie is against team rules. Gotta suck hearing that, but then not being able to do it. Maybe this is some form of mental abuse from Coach Weis........

kellerman411 4 years, 10 months ago

Bob Stoops is no dummy. If Justin McCay was a power hitter, he wouldn't have been released to Kansas. I think he can be a really nice contributor but it sounds like he's not a guy who can blow the top off a defense or really give them serious matchup issues.

Micky Baker 4 years, 10 months ago

Blah, blah, blah, so you're not a real fan, blah, blah.

Randy Bombardier 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, and Saban is no dummy. He didn't take him either. Maybe it is McCay who is no dummy. Maybe he sees something here others don't see. What McCay needs is someone close to come along side him and help him get a fire under him that reminds him he is a great athlete, he can compete and he will win the starting job. He needs what (according to Keegan's story) Heaps got when he came here.

Ken Schmidt 4 years, 10 months ago

I believe you fail to see the point. Weis' offenses have always been predicated upon a receiver who has strong hands and can maintain control of the football first. I would challenge you to go back over his years in any of the offenses he had a hand in (even to Parcells and the Giants) and find a Pro Bowl receiver who was about speed and ran primary go routes. In almost every case, history has shown his offensive schemes rely upon several strong receivers who can catch and take a hit around the 10-15 yard mark and doze their way for another 5. Those seem to be the guys we have now and quite possibly will play into Coach's lineup better than many recognize.

Jim Jackson 4 years, 10 months ago

Anyone know who the QB is Jayhawkslant listed as a possible transfer?

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