Coach Gill Encouraged by Improvements in Spring Practices

April 27, 2011


Kansas football held its 13th practice of the spring Wednesday afternoon at the practice fields and at Memorial Stadium. The workout was KU’s last one of the spring in full pads before Saturday’s Spring Game.

Head coach Turner Gill said he was impressed with the overall development of the team over the course of the spring and was especially pleased with how the players have come together over the first 13 practices.

“I like the way our team is responding together; all units,” Gill said.

“We’re coming together as a team and once the players start to coach themselves that’s a big plus for us going forward. I’ve seen that happen with championship teams. The coaches have to coach and teach, but once the players get together and can do that on their own that’s when you start to see big things happening within your program.”

All three units – offense, defense and special teams had their shining moments Wednesday. Sophomore place kicker Ron Doherty led the special teams by connecting on four consecutive field goals during one of the stations, including a 52-yarder from the left hash marks.

The defense was led by the defensive line as senior Richard Johnson made a juggling interception on a ball that was tipped in the backfield, while sophomore linebacker Darius Willis and freshman defensive tackle Pat Lewandowski made a handful stops during the scrimmage portion of practice.

The offense played with some rhythm, gaining big chunks of yards on the ground and producing a pair of touchdowns in the 20-minute stage. The practice ended on a diving catch in the end zone by sophomore wide out Chris Omigie.

“There are a lot of good things that are happening with a lot of different people,” Gill said. “Overall I think we’ve made progress with the 13 practices we’ve had. As a head coach, that’s what you want to see. We still have a ways to go, but we’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

The Jayhawks will return to the practice fields on Friday for their final workout before Saturday’s Spring Game.

Kansas Athletics has planned a full day of events and activities for the annual Kansas Football Spring Game this Saturday, April 30. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. on Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium and admission is free. The game will be televised live on Metro Sports in the Kansas City area and on Kansas 22 throughout the rest of Kansas. It will also be broadcast live on 610 Sports in Kansas City and across the state of Kansas on the Jayhawk Radio Network. Additionally, the game will be streamed live at This year’s Spring Football Game is brought to you by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lawrence.