WKU football blog

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With the highly anticipated 2008 Western Kentucky football season officially underway, I figured it was time to try something I’ve wanted to take a stab at for a while – blogging.

As the Hilltoppers venture into their second full season as a legitimate NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision member, I’ll be using this blog space to try and give readers extra insight on practices, games and any other tidbits that I simply can’t fit into a daily story for the print edition. 

I hope it’s something that’s enjoyable to you. Feel free to comment when necessary. 

Quarterback overload

One thing that stood out the most on Monday’s first official practice was the abundance of black practice jerseys on the field. For those who don’t know, WKU – like many schools – dresses their quarterbacks in different color practice jerseys in an effort to avoid live contact whenever possible. With the addition of four freshman quarterback recruits, the Hilltoppers opened the season with a hearty stable of signal callers: eight in total.

Sophomore quarterback K.J. Black – currently No. 1 on the depth chart – said that having that many quarterbacks in camp made things interesting when it came to getting in reps. He said he’s never been in a camp with so many players needing time at quarterback.

“I’m not complaining right now, though,” Black laughed. “It just means I don’t have to go as much. Last year we had the problem where we only had like four quarterbacks and 10 running backs to work with, and now we’ve got eight quarterbacks shifting in.”

Black said the running backs might be annoyed by the shuffling of players who are handing them the ball, but it’s something he figured they would live with.

“They’ll get used to it,” he said. 

Both Black and coach David Elson hinted that some of the incoming freshman might change positions in the upcoming weeks, but Elson maintained Monday that all the quarterbacks on the roster will be given a chance at that position.

Ryan’s return

The start of practice marked an extra special day for senior offensive tackle Greg Ryan. One of the team’s best linemen throughout his career, Ryan – who voluntarily sat out last season with redshirt status in preparation for this year – was officially back in fall camp Monday, readying himself for his senior year. 

He said he couldn’t be more excited about being back.

“It feels great, to tell you the truth,” Ryan said. “It’s been a long time coming, and like I told the team this morning, I’ve been waiting for this for a year now. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines, and I’m ready to go.”

With Ryan likely holding things down at left tackle this season, the plethora of Hilltopper quarterbacks are most assuredly ready to see him in action as well.

Whole new feel

After the first official practice with the newly renovated side of Houchens-Smith Stadium upright and standing, Elson said the stadium feels more like a college football atmosphere.

“I’ll tell you what, it’s louder in here,” Elson said. “You can already tell that it’s going to be a great game day experience … just with us yelling and screaming and hooting and hollering gave us some noise issues.

“And that’s going to help us with some of the places we’ll be playing on the road, and it just feels a heck of a lot more like college football when you’ve got both sides of the stadium.”

 


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3 Responses to “WKU football blog”

  1. gary Says:

    look forward to reading….. 1a football is going to be great

  2. Marc Says:

    As much as I appreciate your blog about my beloved Hilltoppers, there was a gleaming error that must be addressed. WKU is not in its second full season as a member of the FCS. WKU is in its second TRANSITIONAL season into FCS – next season will be WKU’s first season as a full-fledged member of the SBC and FCS – becoming bowl-eligible then. Then, and only then, will the clock start on us as 1-A/FCS. Sorry to have to correct you on that but I thought it was worthy of being addressed. Thank you for your blog – it helps keep out of town Toppers know what is happening on The Hill.

  3. Nick Baumgardner Says:

    Marc,
    Sorry for sounding confusing there. You’re right that WKU has been in a transitional period into the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly 1-A). I guess I was basically getting at the fact that while it has still been in a transitional period before entering the Sun Belt next season, WKU will be competing as an independent FBS team (along with Notre Dame, Army and Navy) for the second season. Sorry for the mix-up.
    Thanks for the comment and be sure to keep them coming.
    -Nick Baumgardner

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