One day into practice, and it appears increasingly likely that true freshman safety Tevin Shaw will get an opportunity to contribute in his first season on campus. Will that be in a crucial role in the secondary? Or perhaps on special teams? Those answers will have to come later.
But one day after KU coach Charlie Weis spoke of Shaw’s talent and potential, defensive coordinator Dave Campo echoed the sentiment. Campo cautions that Shaw will have to prove he can translate his skills to the field, but the veteran coach has been impressed with Shaw’s ability to learn things quickly.
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“He’s a very talented athlete, and the thing that I’ve noticed is that he’s smart,” Campo said. “From a standpoint that, after really one day of meetings, at the end of the meetings, he was fine. I asked him a few questions, and it looks like he picks it up relatively quickly.”
Reporters were allowed to watch the first 20 minutes of practice, which included some stretching, warm-ups, some quick team offense and team defense reps and a few minutes of work in position groups.
As one might expect, it’s tough to draw many conclusions from 20 minutes. But we did get our first sight of a handful of newcomers. Tight end Mike Ragone, a transfer from Notre Dame, made his first public appearance in a KU practice jersey. As did juco transfer running back Taylor Cox, Shaw and a long list of other newcomers.
As expected, senior quarterback Dayne Crist led the first-team offense, with Tony Pierson at halfback and Kale Pick, Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears at receiver.
There didn’t appear to be any instant casualties from the Jayhawks’ 5 a.m. conditioning test on Thursday morning. Senior defensive captain Toben Opurum said the team performed well. When asked what the toughest part was, Opurum answered simply. “Waking up for it,” he said.
Video of the day
On Wednesday, KU coach Charlie Weis said he could hardly believe the physical transformation of some of his players during the summer. Here's
Opurum on the work
KU players put in during the program's summer strength and conditioning program.
** Junior college transfer Aslam Sterling, an offensive tackle, arrived on campus on Thursday but sat out the opening practice. Sterling, who is listed at 6 feet 5, 360 pounds (and appears to be all of that) watched practice in a jersey and shorts.
** Count senior quarterback Dayne Crist among those who benefitted from the Jayhawks’ offseason strength and conditioning program. Crist, who is listed at 6-feet-4, 235 pounds, said he lowered his body fat from 13 percent to 10 percent.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org.