Kansas Football Practices In Full Pads For First Time Wednesday

March 31, 2010

Videos: Coach Gill |E. McGriff | L. Smith |

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Full pads were worn by the Kansas football team for the first time this spring as new head coach Turner Gill’s team took the field for the third time Wednesday.

After two days of helmets and shorts, the players were able to get in their full gear and go through some contact drills.

“This is a better day because we have pads on,” Gill said before practice. “Today we will have an opportunity to do some hitting, some thudding and see where it goes from there. Guys are excited. The first two days they did a great job of getting where they had to go. Obviously there are some adjustments from what they had to do in the past, but I like what I am seeing with their effort.”

Offensive lineman Brad Thorson was ready to put the pads on and get in a full football frame of mind.

“It was great to get back into it,” Thorson said. “It has been since late November since we had them on. I know the wide receivers don’t like it, but us linemen do. It makes it a lot easier to work. You don’t have to worry about hurting guys and hitting them with your helmet. We really enjoy throwing on the pads and getting in the hitting mode. That is what football is about. It is fun to finally get out here after such a long break and do what we love to do.”

For defensive back Lubbock Smith, wearing full pads wasn’t so easy after four months of running around without them.

“The first day of pads is tough for me,” Smith said. “I am not used to running around with the extra weight. I feel like we did a good job and we will be ready to come back out here Friday.”

Jayhawk basketball player Conner Teahan made his football debut and worked out with his helmet and shorts on. He ran through drills with the quarterbacks, who will be available for the media after next Monday’s practice. Gill said Teahan will be evaluated at the end of spring.

Gill provided an injury update stating that defensive lineman D.J. Marshall is out, but attending practice, while linebacker Drew Dudley, defensive end Jake Laptad and defensive tackle John Williams will be limited at the beginning of the spring.

Marshall was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in November, while the other three players are suffering from shoulder injuries.

The Jayhawks will finish their first full week of practices with workouts on Friday and Saturday.