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What caught my eye at Day 5 of KU football's fall camp
Monday marked Day 1 in full pads for nearly everyone in a KU football uniform. Only offensive tackle Pearce Slater, who arrived a couple of days late was still limited to shells.
We didn't see a ton of hitting today (more on Sunday, actually) so the only thing we really could tell from the full pads was who looked good and who didn't.
I'll say this, when you put the team in pads, it becomes very evident who the guys are that have been here for a year already versus the guys who are just getting their first taste of Scott Holsopple and KU football.
And that's almost true across the board, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. It doesn't matter if it's Keon Stowers or Tyler Holmes or Jordan Tavai. Those guys look to be in much better physical shape than any of the newcomers, whether you're talking Ty McKinney or Pearce Slater or Marquel Combs.
This is not some huge revelation. Nor is it a knock on those new guys. It just goes to show that a year with Holsopple and crew really made a difference for those guys who are returning.
Here's a quick look at what else caught my eye on Day 5 of fall camp:
• Midway through stretching, KU assistant Dave Campo called me over to tell me that the scout dressed in all black who was at Monday's practice was 15-year pro Aaron Glenn. Specifically, Campo called Glenn one of the best defensive backs to play the game. During his career Glenn played for Campo in Jacksonville and for KU head coach Charlie Weis with the New York Jets. Glenn is now in his second year as a scout for the Jets and he had some equally kind things to say about Campo and Weis. “With those two running things, I know for a fact that they're gonna get this place turned around in a hurry,” Glenn said. “No question.”
• During the first six or seven minutes of Monday's practice KU linebackers coach Clint Bowen gave a presentation on proper tackling. The quick refresher served two purposes: 1. To remind these guys what a violent game football can be and to emphasize safety at all times — eyes up, never lead with your head, that kind of thing. 2. To explain to these guys that not only is that kind of tackling dangerous but it's also now a 15-yard penalty and a possible ejection. Bowen used Ben Heeney and Jake Love to get his points across.
• I may have caught him on a bad day or there may be more to it, but defensive tackle Ty McKinney does not look quite right to me. Maybe a step slow or something's bothering him. He opened fall camp as the third string nose tackle behind Keon Stowers and Kevin Young, and maybe what I saw today has something to do with that. I'll keep an eye on it.
• Not a huge deal here, but I noticed today that back-up quarterback Blake Jablonski is no longer wearing the red QB jersey during practices. He's been wearing blue all camp and I was told that he's doing it for two reasons: 1. Because, as the holder, he does so much with special teams, and 2. Because with Montel Cozart and Jordan Darling behind Jake Heaps and Michael Cummings, the reps at quarterback for Jablonski have become extremely limited. Makes sense.
• No Kevin Short sighting today. He's the only one from the incoming class who has yet to arrive. We get to talk with Coach Weis again on Tuesday and, as much as he won't want to discuss it, I'm sure we'll get an update. It's not that Weis is worried or that there's anything to hide, just that he'd rather talk about the guys who are here and who are working their butts off and not have the guys who aren't be the focus. Nature of the beast, I guess.
• It's another gorgeous day out in Lawrence, Kansas. If you're in town and you're reading this, do whatever you have to do to get outside and enjoy this sunshine.
More tomorrow, as the Jayhawks dive into their first day of two-a-days.