WKU football: Padding up

10 08 2011

The Western Kentucky football team was scheduled to practice in pads for the first time this afternoon.

The practice was only open to media during the first 15 minutes, so while coach Willie Taggart couldn’t give a full reaction to how the group looked – he said he was excited to see his group hit for the first time since spring.

“It’s exciting to get out here and see what guys are all about,” Taggart said. “We’ll have some time to see what these young guys can do – in pads and helmets they look the part, but we’ll find out with everything on.

“One linebacker, (sophomore) Andrew Jackson has looked great in just shorts and helmets – so I’m really excited to see him. I told our team last night after they had a great practice that now we have to put two together, and we have to do it with pads on. I’m excited.”

Freshmen showing their stuff

Taggart noted several true freshmen that have already caught the coaching staff’s eye during the first week of practice.

Taggart said that receiver Boe Brand has been solid during his work with fellow freshmen and veterans.

He also noted that freshmen defensive backs Cam Thomas (safety) and Champ Lewis have been playing ahead of the curve early – remember, Taggart routinely pointed out Arius Wright and Tyree Robinson at this point last season, and both ended up as fixtures in the starting lineup.

Taggart also touched on the talent of freshmen running backs Marquis Sumler, Quartterrio Morgan and John Evans –saying that all have been exciting early, and all have serious potential moving forward.

“They’re almost playing a little too fast right now,” he said. “They’re a little antsy – I want them to calm down a little bit, but there’s a lot of potential right there.”

O-line stays quiet

Prior to the start of last season, the WKU offensive line made a pact to boycott any media requests until the team’s losing streak was snapped.

The group stayed true to its promise – not uttering a word to anyone (not even WKU sports information) until the Hilltoppers ended their skid against Louisiana-Lafayette.

This season, the group is at it again – as senior offensive tackle Wes Jeffries informed WKU sports information that he and his fellow linemen would be denying any media request until the Hilltoppers win a home game.

The last home football game WKU won was Sept. 20, 2008 against Murray State – and currently, the group’s home losing streak stands at 15 games.

On Thursday

The Hilltoppers will host their annual media day at Houchens-Smith Stadium on Thursday – but the team will not unveil its new uniforms.

WKU sports information said that the team is expected to unveil the new design of its uniforms on Aug. 19.

Also, in Thursday’s Daily News, we catch up with WKU tight ends coach Stu Holt – a former staff member during the David Elson era that has returned to the Hilltopper sidelines this season.

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