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What caught my eye at Tuesday's practice: Nov. 6


KU senior D.J. Beshears (in the end zone, not in uniform) returned to the practice field Tuesday.

KU senior D.J. Beshears (in the end zone, not in uniform) returned to the practice field Tuesday. by Matt Tait

For the first time in all of my trips to KU’s football practices this season, we had one without a Bruce Springsteen or Bon Jovi song.

Not sure if that was out of respect for Election Day, some statement of support for the folks back east impacted by Superstorm Sandy or if someone on Charlie Weis’ staff simply forgot to charge the iPod. Either way, it was really weird and it offered a chance to hear just about every word yelled or screamed from all four corners of Memorial Stadium.

Running backs coach Reggie Mitchell was in a particularly entertaining mood today. Not sure if it was because he was angry or because he was feeling good, but Reggie was loving his role as the guy beating the running backs with the bag as they ran through individual drills.

“Makes me feel better,” he kept saying, while calling his shot about what type of swing he was going to take at each back.

Pretty funny stuff. If there’s one group and position coach who can feel really good about what they’ve done this season, it’s Reggie and the running backs.

Here’s a quick look at what else caught my eye from a chilly Memorial Stadium on Election Night.

• Senior wide receiver D.J. Beshears was back out on the field but did not fully practice. He went through warm-ups — looked great running — and did all of the stretching, but he was not wearing pads. He also was no longer wearing a sling, which should be taken as a good sign that his shoulder is healing. At this point, it seems like the best-case-scenario and something for which Beshears is likely hoping for is for him to be able to play against Iowa State on Nov. 17, which also would be his senior day. We’ll see.

• I spent a little more time watching the QBs — mostly to keep a closer eye on BYU transfer Jake Heaps — and while I liked what I saw from Heaps, both in terms of the way he threw the ball and the way his feet moved, it’s worth pointing out that it’s hard to tell much during individual drills. Still, it looked to me like Heaps has the best (read: quickest) feet of the bunch, with Michael Cummings a close second. Turner Baty’s probably third, though his footwork is a little choppier, with Dayne Crist fourth and Blake Jablonski fifth. That should tell you all you need to know about why Cummings is the guy they’re sticking with and also should get you excited for the future... Just not too excited, OK?

• One more quick injury update, Toben Opurum, who missed a lot of last Saturday’s loss to Baylor, also was a full-go for practice. Weis said Sunday night that Opurum was in much better shape this Sunday than he was last (after suffering an injury vs. Texas) so look for Toben to be out there a little more this weekend.


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