Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weis sets earlier start to KU spring football practice

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis signs an autograph for Ivan Valdivia, Shawnee following the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field. At left is Eric Smith, also of Shawnee.

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis signs an autograph for Ivan Valdivia, Shawnee following the Spring Game on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Kivisto Field. At left is Eric Smith, also of Shawnee.


Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis will waste no time in moving on to his second season in charge of the rebuilding program.

Instead of kicking off spring practice in the last days of March, as KU has done for the past several years, Weis is moving up the Jayhawks from one of the latest starts in college football to one of the earliest.

KU will begin spring drills on March 5 and will practice five times before taking a week off for spring break. Following the break, the team will return to the practice fields for three straight weeks of drills which will wrap with the annual spring game, which is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff on April 13 at Memorial Stadium.

NCAA rules allow teams to have 15 practices during the spring session, with the spring game counting as one of them. As a safety precaution, players are required to go through two days of helmets and shorts and a third day of helmets and shoulder pads before suiting up in full pads.

KU will enter spring football with 35 returning letterwinners, including 12 starters, from the 2012 season. In addition, the team is expected to welcome 11 mid-year transfers, 10 junior-college players and one early high school graduate. Those players are planning to report to campus throughout this week and should be in Lawrence in time for the beginning of the spring semester next Tuesday.

Other spring dates announced Tuesday were: Hannah and Friends Football Clinic with Charlie Weis and the Kansas Football Team (March 9), Kansas Football Coaches Clinic (April 5-6) and the Train Like a Jayhawk Kids Clinic (April 13). Times and locations for these events will be provided at a later date.

KU pro day on March 15

With spring practice on a one-week hiatus, a handful of former KU football standouts will get the spotlight all to themselves on March 15, when NFL scouts descend upon Lawrence for KU’s annual pro timing day.

Any former Jayhawks hoping to catch on with an NFL team will go through a series of tests and drills similar to those the prospects experience at the NFL combine in late February.

This year’s event figures to attract more attention and more participants than any in recent memory. Eight different Jayhawks have been invited to participate in postseason all-star games, safety Bradley McDougald and offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson have been invited to the NFL combine and five to seven others have pro aspirations.

In addition, the NFL backgrounds of KU coach Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Dave Campo may attract a larger number of scouts than normal.

Koehler update

Four-star offensive line prospect Reeve Koehler, of St. Louis High in Honolulu, offered his reaction about a recent in-home visit with Arkansas coaches with Danny West of

Koehler, an offensive guard who remains at the top of KU’s wish list to round out the Class of 2013, said his family made a strong connection with Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema and offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

Koehler plans to visit the Arkansas campus this weekend but told West that the Jayhawks remain in the mix.

“It’s still KU and Arkansas, yes,” Koehler told West. “I will know my decision after the Arkansas trip, after I get home and talk to everybody about it.”


kellerman411 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the Koehler update. I think this kid could be a game changer as far as running the ball.

vd 9 years, 7 months ago

Name an offensive guard who has ever been a "game changer".

Jayhawker111 9 years, 7 months ago

This offensive guard was a game changer...

John Hannah played tackle and guard for the University of Alabama under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant from 1970 until 1972, and earned All American honors twice, in 1971 and then was a Consensus All American his senior year in 1972

John Hannah (born April 4, 1951) is a former American football left guard who played for the New England Patriots (1973–1985) in the National Football League. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991, and Sports Illustrated dubbed him, on its August 3, 1981, cover, "The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time."

kranny 9 years, 7 months ago

Ask any football coach that won a championship at any level. I'm sure they could come up with a few names. Problem is that linemen are unsung.

Boouk 9 years, 7 months ago

Watch the Chicago Bears OL and then watch the 49ers OL. That's "game changing."

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad that so many of the newcomers are going to arrive in time to take part in Spring practices. That will be a big payoff for the those guys and for the team as a whole.

Sounds like Reeve may be slipping away. I'm sure that the coaches are still in touch with him regularly though. I'm sure that the Arkansas coaching staff is selling him the SEC>Big 12 shtick and telling him that he'll get more exposure playing against Alabama, LSU, Florida, etc... And he may be right, but Arkansas doesn't have Charlie Weis!

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

"Koehler, an offensive guard who remains at the top of KU’s wish list to round out the Class of 2013"

Matt, I thought we had two scholarships left: one for Koehler and possibly one for a receiver or whomever. Does this mean we filled the other scholarship or did you use the phrase, "round out" in a general sense? I hadn't heard anything so this really caught my eye.

Matt Tait 9 years, 7 months ago

No. Still two spots left if they wanna use 'em both. Just pointing out that the class is almost complete. Sorry for the confusion!

Ron Prichard 9 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the clarification! Hopefully we land Koehler.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 7 months ago

One additional problem with not making bowl games, is you miss out on the practices in December.

I think there are like 10 additional practices you get when you make a bowl game.

Annette Lee 9 years, 7 months ago

I saw on a recruiting show that Tex a&m had 34 commitments, how can they sign 34?

ozzzy 9 years, 7 months ago

According to Rivals TaM does have 34 commits, with 9 already signed. I am not an expert on the rules, but they are probably going to have to tell some guys sorry but we don't have a spot for you anymore. One of their commits - Jeremy Tabuyo - goes to the same HS as Koehler and Goeas (current KU commit). Would be nice to add Tabuyo and Koehler. Build the pipeline.

KGphoto 9 years, 7 months ago

Somebody had mentioned here that they are over, and that we may be in line for one of their WR commits from Hawaii.

741hawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Hopeful, but not optimistic about Koehler.
Bret Bielema at Wisconsin was known for big, strong linemen. However, Charlie's NFL experience and more pro-style offense may win out.

vd 9 years, 7 months ago

. As a safety precaution, players are required to go through two days of helmets and shorts and a third day of helmets and shoulder pads before suiting up in full pads.

How does this make the fourth day safer??????

Jayhawker111 9 years, 7 months ago

Division 1 - NCAA rules --- Does it make it any safer - that is debatable!

All schools must respect a five-day acclimatization period at the start of the preseason. During this time, athletes may engage in no more than one conditioning, speed, strength or agility test or one on-field practice per day of no more than three hours and one walk-through without gear. There must be a three hour recovery period between practice and a walk-through. During the first two days, only helmets may be worn. On days three and four, helmets and shoulder pads are allowed. From day five onward, full pads are allowed.

Multiple practice sessions per day may not occur on consecutive days, and student-athletes must be allowed at least three hours of recovery between sessions. On single-session days, no more than three hours-on field is allowed, and on multiple-session days, no more than five hours on-field is allowed.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 7 months ago

Great story. I have enjoyed the Relays at Memorial, but am excited by Zenger's vision for the future for football as well as track, not to mention all the moves in other sports. We have a thoughtful man of action as AD!

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

KU does not have a big enough fan base to justify that large of a stadium. KU can't even fill it's current stadium which is about 1/3 the size you're suggesting. I'm guessing capacity at Memorial will go up with future renovations when the track is torn out, but the reality is KU football is a big enough draw to dramatically expand seating. One day if the demand ever is there, then there's three much cheaper and easier options to add capacity. The easiest option would be to put in bleachers in the south end of the stadium since there is already a bunch of empty space there anyway. The second easiest option would be to fill in the bowl by adding seats at the top to make that end even with the rest of the stadium. The third option would be to build a second deck of seats along the the sides of the stadium. A new football stadium isn't going to happen because it is way too expensive and donors aren't going to want to contribute that kind of money to a bad football team.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think "Bigger" is always better. You have to create an environment of success and with that success be smart and efficient about the funds with the facilities you currently have.

I think Kansas needs to update the cosmetics and aesthetics of the current memorial stadium and get it up to the standards of "Modern" stadiums and then if Kansas starts selling out and having seating capacity issues, look to that as an option and a later date. If that is happening then Kansas is having a "Good Problem".

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

KU hit a grand slam with this hire. Zenger is one of the best things to happen to KU Athletics in a long time. This man kept KU from panicking publicly during the conference realignments, hired a football coach that has gotten KU football public attention despite the ineptitude of the previous seasons, he's gotten the money raised to benefit football, track and field, soccer, and softball instead of just basketball. After all these construction projects are done, Zenger needs to get Hoglund up to par so that KU can have some games broadcast from there. The scoreboard is really nice, but they need to get rid of the wooden fence in the outfield and get rid of the chain link fence that goes up the foul lines. Make Hoglund the place Kansas kids want to play instead of WSU and the place KC kids want to play instead of Missouri.

I love the job Zenger is doing for KU and I can't wait to see what his ideas will look like in regards to Memorial Stadium and for housing the Naismith rules.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 7 months ago

10,000 seats for the track. That should be enough to shut up the KU Relays contingent!!

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 7 months ago

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Chris Shaw 9 years, 7 months ago

Good stuff KG! I've been trying to catch up on my KUAthletics reading and get updated on all the Zenger stuff he is proposing.

After reading your article and going back and reading some others, I cam across this article very impressed. I've stayed away from the discussions, but I am pretty impressed with this guy and his plans.

I just hope he can pull through and put Memorial Stadium and Kansas Football in a positive light 'Nationally'. And...I hope Weis stays long enough to see it through and stick with it.

JayhawkBigXII 9 years, 7 months ago

This is an intersting page about the recruitment of Reeve Koehler from an official Arkansas web site. The comments after the article are entertaining... Sounds like Jethro and Uncle Jed get into an argument about "culture". It's worth a look!

kay_you 9 years, 7 months ago

Dear Reeve:

I like bacon as much as the next guy but do you really want to go to a school that has a pig for a mascot. Just think about it before you sign.

CrystalJones 9 years, 7 months ago

Couldn't agree more with all the positive comments!

Dr. Z is finally turning KU into a first-class athletic operation. Basketball excellence, obviously. But now FOOTBALL! I know the Reesing years were nice, but looking back that all now seems like a flash in the pan. But with Charlie "Three Super Bowl Rings" Weis, I truly believe we're headed for unprecedented heights.

I've said it several times in the past few weeks: With the combination of the hands-down best head coach in college football, the best overall coaching staff in the Big XII, the best running back unit in college football, the best new quarterback in the Big XII, one of the best recruiting classes in KU history, and one of the most scenic venues in college football, things are looking up for KU football...way up. 2013=Big XII title. 2014=national championship contention.

(And by the way, we will clobber KSU this year. They return NOTHING, including a completely inexperienced QB. Not a good situation for them at all.)

Brian Leiker 9 years, 6 months ago

It's all over once he sees Arky's facilities.

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