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What caught my eye from Day 5 of spring drills
Friday marked the fifth practice of the spring season for the Kansas University football team and it was not without its noteworthy performances.
KU coach Turner Gill said the third day in pads had good energy to it and a likely reason for that is the upcoming scrimmage on Saturday, the first of its kind this spring.
When asked about a variety of topics — everything from who stood out to how the offensive line looked — Gill had a little extra juice in his answers, even if he did not divulge much.
The bottom line was this: Gill said he was pleased with the way his team had come out ready to work for most of the practices so far this spring, but added that it would take time to answer a lot of the questions surrounding the team still. Some questions, such as who is emerging as a leader and how the wide-receiving corps has looked so far, seemed closer to being answered than others.
Still, the looming scrimmage was something that had everyone in a helmet and pads fired up.
“We are just going to work with everyone tomorrow and get a feel for where everybody is at,” Gill said. “Once we scrimmage, we will make the adjustments and move on from there. Tomorrow is our first opportunity to see what they can do, and I’m very excited about that.”
Even though we were only able to show up for the end of Friday’s practice, here’s a quick look at some things that caught my eye:
Biere the Barbarian — For the third time this spring, Gill singled out senior tight end Tim Biere as one of the players who had stood out during practice. Biere, one of the more known commodities on the young and inexperienced roster, has not let his past standing with the team keep him from working hard during the early stages of his final season. “Tim Biere has stood out from a consistency standpoint,” Gill said. “He has a good time blocking and catching the football. He is playing with a passion, and that is really what I like to see.”
Admire the Animal — Senior offensive lineman Jeff Spikes, who appears to be all the way back from last season's tear of his Achille's tendon, said that freshman O-lineman Dylan Admire, who graduated high school early and arrived on campus at semester, added 30 pounds in a single month and has been one of the hardest workers in the program. "Dylan's got the right mindset. He really does," Spikes said of the rookie. "He goes hard. If he gets ahold of you, he won't let go."
No major injuries to report — Despite some rumors floating around that the Jayhawks had suffered a major injury early in the spring, Gill said his team was pretty healthy through five practices and that the only injury of note was a foot injury suffered by senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson, who was held out of practice Friday. Patterson is not expected to participate in Saturday’s scrimmage and Gill said the team would not rush the receiver back.
Brock Berglund update — Again, I was not there for the entire practice, but I did not see freshman quarterback Brock Berglund during the 15-20 minutes that I was there. I talked to a few other people who did watch practice and some said they saw him and others said they did not. Berglund was expected to be in town Wednesday through Saturday for the next couple of weeks, taking part in meetings, watching practices and being around his team. Just because I didn’t see Berglund at Friday’s practice does not mean he wasn’t there nor does it mean that he missed Wednesday’s practice or won’t be there tomorrow. I just didn’t see him. But it's good to hear that some people did. Whatever he can learn this spring will give him a jump on his career.
Wide Receiver position crowded — This might seem obvious just by looking at the roster, but I can assure you nearly all of the receivers on KU’s squad are out there getting a chance to make plays this spring. Though some of the more familiar (and experienced) names are the ones that have stood out each time I’ve been up to practice (and again Friday), I’ve found it interesting that nearly all of them have been in a position to work with potential starting QBs Quinn Mecham and Jordan Webb. Chris Omigie, Erick McGriff, Christian Matthews, Daymond Patterson, D.J. Beshears and Kale Pick seem to be getting the most work, but unknowns Brian Maura, Andrew Turzilli and Ricki Herod also seem to be working hard. Omigie had this to say of the battle at WR: “There’s always competition at the wide receiver spot because there are so many of us. Everybody wants to be the go-to guy so we’re always out here working hard competing against each other doing our best. We’re all out here going hard against the defense to show coach that we can be the guy. So the competition is really intense right now.”
We’ll be back at it Monday, so check back with KUsports.com for more from spring practice.