Bragg’s progress pleases Beaty

Kansas offensive linemen Junior Visinia (75) and Jacob Bragg (55) take off as the ball is snapped to quarterback Michael Cummings during spring practice on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.

While spring practices in April gave Kansas University football coach David Beaty and his new team an opportunity to say hello and work through some of the growing pains associated starting from scratch, it’s preseason camp where the most serious work will be done.

Beaty illustrated that last week at Big 12 media days in Dallas when he was asked about the progress and development of red-shirt freshman Jacob Bragg, who arrived in Lawrence as one of the top centers in the 2015 class.

“He’s a good player,” Beaty said of the 6-foot-4, 284-pound Nacogdoches, Texas, product. “I think he’s definitely gonna develop. The thing I like in him is I’ve seen him get tougher over the last seven months and he certainly needed that. Once he gets that, that guy could definitely help us.”

With more experienced players ahead of him on KU’s offensive line and at least three other Jayhawks vying for spots on the depth chart at Bragg’s position, Beaty was asked if he thought the former four-star prospect was still a year away from contributing and his answer emphasized the importance of the next five weeks.

“I don’t know,” Beaty said. “He may be ready here in a month. But I wanna see more toughness out of him.”

Beaty said he had been impressed by Bragg’s versatility thus far. Although he came to Kansas as a true center, Beaty said Bragg had shown enough ability and maturity to handle playing guard should the need arise.

Beaty, who actually temporarily recruited Bragg to Texas A&M while still on the Aggies’ staff, cautioned against people forgetting about Bragg just because he did not play during his first year in Lawrence.

“The thing about him is he’s a great example of perception versus reality,” Beaty said. “Was he good? You’re dang straight he was. But, man, it’s hard to play as a freshman on the offensive line. It’s difficult. Very few of ’em do it. (Former A&M standouts) Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel were the only two I’ve ever seen and both of those guys were top-five picks.”

Key August dates

With preseason camp right around the corner, it’s time to circle a couple of key KU football dates for the upcoming month.

The Jayhawks will report for camp on Aug. 5 and begin practice on Aug. 6. Two-a-day practices will begin Aug. 12.

In addition, Fan Appreciation Day is set for 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, when fans will be allowed to attend an open practice and collect autographs from and pictures with their favorite KU players following the practice.

KU opens the 2015 season at 11 a.m. on Sept. 5 against South Dakota State at Memorial Stadium.

Ex-Jayhawk honored

Kyle Moore-Brown, who played defensive tackle at KU from 1990-92, will be recognized as an Arena Football League Hall of Famer on Friday during the Arizona Rattlers’ game against the San Jose SaberCats.

Moore-Brown, who helped the Jayhawks win the 1992 Aloha Bowl, enjoyed 15 seasons in the AFL, playing on both the offensive and defensive lines, winning two AFL championships and being named to the All-Ironman team three times. He also set an AFL record by starting 236 consecutive games.

“I never wanted to be average,” said Moore-Brown in a news release. “I wanted to be the best and through hard work and overcoming adversity, God saw it fit for me to be placed in the Hall of Fame.”