Archive for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ochoa excited about attitude this spring

March 21, 2006


Offensive lineman David Ochoa, a fifth-year senior, is going through spring session number four with Kansas University's football team.

And, while he's an optimist at heart, the senior team captain was bubbling over the start the Jayhawks had this spring, which currently is in a week-long hiatus for spring break.

"We've had awesome tempo," Ochoa said last week. "A lot of times, you'll come in and be in no pads like we are now, and guys will be tentative. But people are flying. You still hear helmets banging. People are excited. There's a lot of guys from top to bottom who just want to get better."

Ochoa particularly is stoked about the offensive line, which once again is going through a tinkering phase. After being honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference at center in 2005, Ochoa recently has moved back to guard, perhaps his more natural position, while KU coaches work a now-experienced Ryan Cantrell at center.

The move wasn't made last year in part because of the leadership responsibilities at center, something Ochoa had proven, but Cantrell, a freshman in '05, hadn't.

But after starting five games in '05 - games in which KU went 4-1 - Cantrell might be comfortable enough to slide over to center before '06. In spring ball, at least, there's time to try, and Ochoa has noticed that the chemistry continues to hold up despite the change.

"This is probably the most comfortable I've felt as a unit all the way across," Ochoa said. "I know a lot of people say that because it's the p.c. thing to say, but I honestly feel that. The communication is better, and the thing is, we generally have a concern about what the other person is doing next to us and their well-being."

Ochoa and Cantrell are two of four returning starters on the line, joining tackle Cesar Rodriguez and guard Bob Whitaker. Anthony Collins could be the frontrunner at the other tackle position, while Jake Cox, Travis Dambach and Rameses Arceo all will push for playing time, making the line a deeper position than in years past.

"There's nobody out here just throwing on a jersey, and I think that's great," Ochoa said. "It's an attitude that permeates through any type of practice we do."

¢ More Ringwood details: KU fullback Bruce Ringwood is scheduled to appear in court March 31, after being arrested for aggravated assault Friday night in Lawrence.

According to the police report, Ringwood allegedly assaulted his roommate, Marcus Ford, 20, after a confrontation between the two in the 3500 block of Ellie Lane in northwest Lawrence.

Ford was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital by ambulance for treatment. The report indicates police went to question Ford at the hospital and found Ringwood there getting treated, as well.

Ringwood, 21, told police he was at LMH because he injured himself punching a box before the alleged confrontation with Ford. Ringwood was arrested upon his release, booked into Douglas County Jail at about 10 p.m. Friday, and was free on $3,000 bond at 7 p.m. Saturday.

It's the second time Ringwood has been arrested for assault this school year. He was arrested at a country-music concert in Kansas City, Mo., last August and charged with two counts of assault after an altercation with a husband and wife.

KU coach Mark Mangino could not be reached for comment through a spokesperson. Associate athletic director Jim Marchiony had no comment Sunday.

¢ Practice schedule: KU will practice again Monday after spring break ends. That date wasn't originally scheduled, but was filled in after the March 12 practice was canceled due to the high winds that damaged much of Lawrence.

KU then will have about four practices a week, mostly every other day, before the spring game April 14.


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