Two-Minute Drill: Back to Work
Today marks day five of camp, but practice number four. The players did not exactly have a day off on Sunday, but they did get a chance to rest their bodies as they did not practice physically. They had the opportunity to attend a church service of their choice Sunday morning and then spent the afternoon at the Anderson Family Football Complex watching film and having position meetings. So while their bodies got some much needed rest, their minds still got a workout as they look to improve each and every day leading up to the Sept. 5 season-opener against South Dakota State.
One piece of bad news did make its rounds Sunday afternoon as it came out that recent graduate and current NFL rookie JaCorey Shepherd was injured during practice. Shep— as his teammates call him–had been having an outstanding training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles prior to suffering the injury. Word spread later Sunday that Shep might have torn his Anterior Cruciate Ligament, but nothing would be confirmed until further testing was done. The Eagles announced this morning that he did indeed tear his ACL and would be out for the 2015 season. While the news was gut-wrenching for his Jayhawk teammates and friends, the sentiment that resonated from Lawrence was that Shep will back soon and better than ever.
Monday morning consisted of walk-throughs and lifts. While the offense spends time in the weight room, the defense holds a walk-through and vice-versa. The first part of the day is capped off with a team meeting where each day the staff implements a new motivational message.
Despite just going through media day on Saturday, it was time for the quarterbacks and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Rob Likens to sit down with the media as position groups and coaches rotate. Junior quarterback Montell Cozart spoke to various media outlets for an entire hour Saturday, but he was back again today taking on questions about the KU offense and specifically about the heated quarterback competition. Joining Telly (another nickname given by teammates) in the media session along with Likens was junior quarterback T.J. Millweard, who not only graduated from KU with a business degree in just three years (including transferring from UCLA), but has started on his MBA. Telly and T.J., are both guys reporters enjoy speaking with due to their insightfulness and willingness to answer each and every question.
For the first time during Fall Camp, KU took to their regular practice fields after spending two practices on the old grass practice fields and Fan Appreciation Day inside the stadium. The Jayhawks went through a fast-paced, high intensity session that lasted just under two and half hours.
One of the players who continues to stand out is junior safety Fish Smithson. Fish, who is one of a couple players who have stepped up to fill the leadership void left by departed defensive stars such as Shep and Ben Heeney, has taken over as a quarterback of the secondary. With KU having to replace all four starters in the secondary and nine defensive starters overall, it is crucial that leaders emerge and Fish has been someone the defense has been able to count on consistently throughout the summer and thus far during Fall Camp.
On the offensive side of the ball, sophomore receiver Derrick Neal had a strong performance. Neal was especially noticeable during the one-on-one period, making the defensive backs pay every time he was up for a rep. Quick and shifty, Neal not only made some great catches, but he has the ability to gain yards after the catch by making defenders miss.
Day five was capped off by visits to the training room for treatment and the always important–FOOD. Tuesday is a huge day for the Jayhawks, the first day in full pads.
Reports Fall Camp Archive