Football Fall Camp: Team Conducts Second Two-A-Day Practice Session

Kansas took to the practice field early Thursday morning and again in the evening as the team conducted its second two-a-day practice session on the fields outside Memorial Stadium. Before lunch, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis made the running backs and tight ends available to the media in the Anderson Football Complex with selected comments are listed below. 

Reggie Mitchell, Running Backs Coach
On Brandon Bourbon…
“Brandon (Bourbon) has been a pleasant surprise for the staff, because I know when Coach (Weis) moved him to the F to put him behind Tony (Pierson) he didn’t know if he would be able to do the down-the-field things. Brandon has had a good camp and has shown that he’s been able to run routes and do the down-the-field things and it’s been a pleasant surprise for everyone.

On Tony Pierson’s transition to wide receiver…
“It’s been smooth. He’s a good enough athlete and to his credit, it’s been pretty good because I think it’s easier to go from receiver to running back than running back to receiver just because of being able to make  all the down-the-field catches and he’s been able to make the adjustments pretty easy. “

Jeff Blasko, Tight Ends Coach
On Jimmay Mundine…
“Jimmay is in as good of shape as I’ve seen him in since we’ve been here. I think he is the most complete tight end that we have. He is good in the run game and he is good in the passing game. One of his strengths is his knowledge of the offensive system and his position flexibility, which allows you to play him in a variety of different roles. There are a lot of strengths when it comes to his play.”

On Trent Smiley…
“Trent has done a nice job, specifically mentally. He has a very good understanding of our offensive system and he has some flexibility in terms of position flexibility. That’s the number one strength that I would give to Trent right now. He can play the F, he can play the Y, he can play a number of different spots. He works hard and I’m glad we have him.”

Taylor Cox, Sr., Halfback
On how close the halfbacks are as a unit…
“We’re constantly picking each other’s brains. I watch these guys- Darrian Miller’s a shifty guy, so I pick his brain to see what he sees out there on the field. We’re really close. A lot of people think that just because there is competition doesn’t mean that we can’t be close, but I think we’re one of the closest groups on the team. And we communicate well when we’re out there.”

On James Sims…
“He has good vision; he sees the whole field well. He has so much game experience in the Big 12, it helps him see the holes a little bit better and get it done. He’s a good player.  We’re all cheering for him, it’s a brotherhood and everyone wants to see their brother succeed. I look at James as one of my brothers and I love to see him do well.”

On communicating with his teammates on the field…
“We definitely communicate with each other about what we’re seeing out there because we rotate so much. We just communicate and tell each other if a linebacker is playing something a certain way, how to approach a block or where a certain run play is hitting, inside or outside. We definitely communicate a lot to get the best result. Because, when you’re out on the field you get a different perspective from where I am, so when I go out there I want the most information I can have to make the most plays.”

Trent Smiley, Jr., Tight End
On how he feels about the upcoming season…
“I feel confident about this year. I’m just trying to continue to build on my skills and keep working my way up. I have always felt like a contender at the tight end position, but I feel like this is a year I can really contribute and be a productive member of this team.”

On his improvement in the passing game…
“That is definitely something that coming in I wasn’t as strong in and I really tried to improve on that. (Jimmay Mundine) has been a good guy to lean on and we do a good job of working off each other. We come back to the sideline and ask each other, ‘how was that?’ or ‘was that good?’ and tell each other, ‘you could have worked on this’ or ‘you could have done that better.’ The relationship we have with each other is invaluable, because Coach Blasko has all sorts of responsibilities on game day or during practice, so he can’t always watch everything, so to have something like the two of us have is great.”

James Sims, Sr., Halfback
On if the running backs can develop a rhythm with each other…
“I feel like we can. Once a running back gets going, let him keep going and then you can throw another running back in there, like a Darrian Miller, for instance. He can make big plays and he can make stuff happen. Then you can take him out and throw Taylor Cox back there and he can also make big plays, so it’s just a matter of getting carries and getting everyone in the groove, but I feel like we can all just come out and compete and make plays to help us win.”

On opposing defenses knowing the run was coming last year…
“Just looking across and seeing they have eight or nine people in the box and the safety is walking down, it’s pretty obvious they are playing the run the whole way. It wasn’t that frustrating because the offensive line did a great job and we still ran the ball well against defenses. We were coming in week in and week out, knowing that defenses were going to try to stop the run and we still ran the ball.”

Jimmay Mundine, Jr., Tight End
On if this could be a breakout year for him…
“Definitely. Without a doubt I feel that it could be a breakout year for me. There’s been a lot of hard work put in, and there’s still a lot of hard work to be put in. We’re definitely on the right path for everyone to have a good year, not just me.”

On his goals or expectations for this year…
“I just want to win, that’s the most important. I want to bring Kansas football back to have some respect and for people to know who we are.”

Brandon Bourbon, Jr., F-Back
On his attitude when approached about position change…
“As soon as they asked me I said yeah let’s do it. (It gives me) more of an opportunity to be on the field, more ways to get the ball in my hands, and more chances to make plays. There was no indecision whatsoever.”

On how his and Tony’s strengths compliment their new position…
“Well his strength is his quickness and his speed. Although we are both different players, we both have speed, so I have that as well. Instead of the shiftiness that Tony has, I have a lot more size and a lot of strength so it’s a lot easier for me to run through the smaller defensive backs.”


Once a Jayhawk Always a Jayhawk! #ThrowbackThursday to Darrell Stuckey #kufball @DarrellStuckey

— K Club (@KansasKClub) August 15, 2013

Don’t care how many times u talk to them or what u read about it, the unselfishness & team-first attitude of the #KUfball RBs is incredible

— Matt Tait (@mctait) August 15, 2013 Big 12 blogger @bchatmon lists #kufball TE Jimmay Mundine as a potential breakout star:

— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) August 15, 2013

James Sims ranks No. 8 as‘s @davidubben ranks the Top 25 players in the Big 12: #kufball

— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) August 15, 2013

In the Pros

NFL – Falcons vs. Ravens
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Tim Biere (TE, Atlanta Falcons)
NFL – Chargers vs. Bears* (ESPN)
*Jayhawks in the Pros Game of the Week
Thursday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Greg Brown (DB, San Diego Chargers)
Darrell Stuckey (S, San Diego Chargers)
Josh Williams (DE, Chicago Bears)
NFL – Chiefs vs. 49ers (KCTV5)
Friday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Bradley McDougald (S, Kansas City Chiefs)
Toben Opurum (FB, Kansas City Chiefs)
NFL – Patriots vs. Buccaneers (Fox)
Friday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Mike Rivera (LB, New England Patriots)
Aqib Talib (S, New England Patriots)
CFL – Tiger-Cats vs. Blue Bombers (ESPN3)
Friday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Ray Brown (DB, Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
CFL – Stampeders vs. Lions (ESPN3)
Saturday, 8 p.m. (CT)
Jon Cornish (RB, Calgary Stampeders)
NFL – Bengals vs. Titans 
Saturday, 6 p.m. (CT)
Anthony Collins (OL, Cincinnati Bengals)
Tanner Hawkinson (OL, Cincinnati Bengals) 
NFL – Broncos vs. Seahawks (NFL Network)
Saturday, 9 p.m. (CT)
Steven Johnson (LB, Denver Broncos) 
CFL – Eskimos vs. Argonauts (ESPN3)
Sunday, 6 p.m. (CT)
Marcus Henry (WR, Edmonton Eskimos)
NFL – Redskins vs. Steelers (ESPN)
Monday, 7 p.m. (CT)
Dezmon Briscoe (WR, Washington Redskins)

Looking Ahead

Friday night, Kansas Athletics and the KU Alumni Association will join forces to host the family-friendly KU Kickoff pep rally presented by First National Bank at Corinth Square (83rd & Mission Road in Prairie Village, Kan.). Starting at 6 p.m., Kansas football head coach Charlie Weis, women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson and track and field coach Stanley Redwine, who was recently named National Coach of the Year, will each address the crowd.

Fan Appreciation Day will be held in Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 17. The gates on the west side of the stadium will open at 10:45 a.m., with practice slated to begin at 11:15 a.m. Cameras will not be allowed to be used inside the stadium until the completion of practice.

Weis and the Jayhawk players, who will be set up at tables by position group, will sign autographs for 30 minutes following the conclusion of practice. KU football posters, rosters and other promotional items will be available for the team to sign. Any other items brought for signing will have to be personalized by Weis and the KU players. Additionally, the Hy-Vee Hawk Zone, full of inflatables games for children, will be open from 9-11 a.m., at the KU football practice fields adjacent to Memorial Stadium on the southeast corner.

Kansas will open the 2013 football season by hosting South Dakota on Saturday, Sept. 7 in Memorial Stadium. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by contacting the Kansas Ticket Office at 1-800-34-HAWKS or via the web at The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.