WKU football – practice observations

6 08 2011

A few quick notes picked up from Western Kentucky’s first day of fall camp Saturday (Note – media is only allowed to watch the final 15-20 minutes of practice and true freshmen are not available):

Sized up

When WKU updated its roster last month with new heights and weights, it was easy to see a significant change across the board.

Several players added weight along the offensive and defensive lines, but those weren’t the only position groups that looked more mature physically.

One notable that stood out to me, from a size and look standpoint, was sophomore outside linebacker Xavius Boyd.

Boyd is listed at 6-2, 215 entering this season – but honestly looked larger than that.

He ran with the first-team defensive unit today, and seemed much more comfortable than he did last season – when he was forced into action as a true freshman.

Also, junior receiver Marcus Vasquez was back in full workout mode after missing the final portion of last season and all of spring practice with a collarbone injury.

And not only is Vasquez healthy, but he also finally seems to look like a legitimate college receiver. The former quarterback convert now comes in at a solid 6-1, 193 – and appears to have filled out his frame this summer, giving himself a chance to be more of a physical threat on the outside than he has been in the past.

He’ll need to be – because the Hilltopper receiving group is still severely undermanned.

Helmet cams

Quarterbacks Kawaun Jakes and Brandon Doughty each had miniature cameras attached to their helmets during live scrimmage drills Saturday.

The concept there is to allow the quarterbacks to watch practice film from a different angle, giving themselves a chance to see what they saw on the field in a much more controlled manner.

“This is the first day we’ve used these,” Jakes said. “I’m about to go watch what we got out of it on film, so I’m excited about that. We’ll be able to see what we saw on the field and see what we were looking at.”

Smith works with the twos

WKU’s first-string defensive line Saturday appeared to be Bo Adebayo, Jared Clendenin, Rammell Lewis and Jamarcus Allen – a group that did not include defensive end Quanterus Smith.

The junior defensive end and leading sack-man from a season ago finished spring practice as a backup on the team’s two-deep depth chart, and for the first day of fall camp, appeared to be in the same position.

WKU’s first-team linebackers Saturday were Tye Golden (ILB), Ben Duvall (OLB) and Xavius Boyd (OLB).

In the defensive backfield, it was Tyree Robinson and Arius Wright at corner, with Ryan Beard and Kareem Peterson at safety.

For a full report on WKU’s first day of fall camp, see Sunday’s Daily News

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9 08 2011

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