The Kansas football team took a break from its spring schedule on Saturday, holding a clinic for participants from the Special Olympics and Inclusion Connections organizations.
It was the second straight year that KU held the clinic in the springtime, and its a personal project for Kansas coach Charlie Weis, whose daughter, Hannah, is afflicted with a rare epilepsy syndrome electrical status epilepticus during slow wave sleep.
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The event was held in conjunction with the Weis familys Hannah and Friends organization, which has branched off into Hannah and Jayhawk Friends, a student organization at KU.
This gives us an opportunity to teach our players how to get involved with community service, Weis said. When we did it last year, there was only a handful that (were) involved in community service. Now a lot more of them have gotten integrated into community service.
Kansas players took the field at the Jayhawks indoor practice facility and ran through drills with the participants for more than an hour. By the end, Weis believed his players had gained more from the experience than the Special Olympians.
I think they were intimidated by the special needs community, and I think that, as we described to them, you just got to go with the flow, Weis said. Theres a wide range of abilities that all the participants have and you have to figure out how to go with it.
Just to see to the smiles on the all the kids faces, senior safety Cassius Sendish added, how much fun theyre having, and how were just all vibing together, its great.
Kansas held its only open spring football practice on Saturday, just one week before the annual spring game at Memorial Stadium. A couple notes from practice:
Senior Jake Heaps and sophomore Montell Cozart split the quarterback reps with the first-team offense. Weis previously said there was some separation in the quarterback competition, which was also thought to include sophomore transfer T.J. Millweard.
The offensive line was a major question mark heading into the spring. For now, the first-team unit appears to be senior Pat Lewandowski at left tackle, senior Ngalu Fusimalohi at left guard, junior college transfer Keyon Haughton at center, senior Mike Smithburg at right guard and junior Damon Martin at right tackle.
Seniors Nick Harwell and Tony Pierson and junior Rodriguez Coleman held down the first-string receiver positions, while senior tight end Jimmay Mundine was split out wide during most offensive drills.