In the Trenches with Brad Thorson: Aug. 4

Aug. 4, 2010

Throughout the 2010 season, senior offensive lineman Brad Thorson will be sharing his first-person experiences with the Kansas football team through “In the Trenches” at Thorson is one of four returning players on the Jayhawk offensive line, which will no doubt be a key to the team’s success this season.

Thorson brings the perspective of a player who has been through the battles of the college football season, having played one year at Wisconsin and three at Kansas. He is expecting to complete his Master’s degree in economics this year.

Aug. 4 –

When media relations approached me to write about day-to-day things during my final season at KU I was really pumped. I doubt anybody who knows me would think otherwise because I like to talk, especially about KU Football.

When I sat down to pen out my first post thought, I hit a little writers’ block. I tried to think of something funny and clever, but I think I used up all my jokes at Media Day in Dallas with Jake Laptad and Chris Harris last week. So I decided the best stuff to write about is the sort of day-to-day stuff that’s not front page news, but part of D1 football and how we go through it at KU.

I also realized from an offensive line perspective anything good we do isn’t necessarily newsworthy – it’s the missed blocks and sacks that make the news. So my range of story ideas is pretty wide open.

So much has been written about Coach Turner Gill’s fresh perspective on the field but not as much on how guys have responded over the summer, more specifically how the o-line grew in preparation for camp and the season. This summer most of the o-line worked out together as part of a larger group at 2 p.m. Lifting everyday with Sal Capra and Tanner Hawkinson really allowed us to push each other and become that much closer as linemen.

Both of them exceeded my expectations, and I think it’s because we could feed off each other when it felt like we couldn’t do one more squat rep. After a lift that assuredly left us soaked, our shirts clinging to our bodies, the last thing we wanted to do was run, but we know conditioning is a vital part of offseason preparation. I don’t remember a time when the linemen didn’t go out and attack every rep.

The afternoon is the hottest part of the day to run in, and admittedly we linemen aren’t the most efficient at cooling off. The truth is that it was great to have the group together working through the heat. Spectators in the Union garage often looked down on us, sometimes in pity I think. It really showed that guys were willing to sacrifice comfort for the team’s success.

Post-running you could always find the o-line piling into the cold tub, always treating the 8-10 person max a little liberally as it never says how big those people can be, chatting about everything from girlfriends to school and almost always something related to eating. I’m not saying we weren’t a close group previously, but I think our line had a lot of fun this summer recognizing the challenges ahead and our responsibility to confront them. Whether it was a couple hours watching film or bettering our technique on the field, we always made sure to laugh and have fun. The only exception was when we did drills against the d-line.

Much has been made of Chris Harris’ ability to jaw with wide receivers and get in their heads, but during every one-on-one rep against the d-line Jake ‘the Snake’ Laptad was impossible to keep quiet.

In fact, we like to joke that the defense practices talking about themselves in meetings instead of watching film. I have to admit though, they have reason to talk. Drew Dudley, Justin Springer and Laptad all live together and I’m pretty sure all they do are push-ups and study film together. I swear everything is a competition for those guys.

All in all, this summer has been a really good time, whether it be sweating every ounce of water in my body out or hanging out in the air conditioning from the Kansas heat. Summer has now officially ended for us, the 2010 University of Kansas football team. We’re ready for camp to start and to put the pads on.

Brad Thorson’s blog will appear periodically at throughout the 2010 football season.