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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Sports Potpourri: Good news for Kansas and K-State football

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  • Last week Kansas football coach Charlie Weis singled out six players who have had encouraging starts during the Jayhawks' training camp. Running back Brandon Bourbon was one of the most highly rated.  Others on the list were defensive back Cassius Sendish, linebacker Ben Heeney, wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman, quarterback Jake Heaps and offensive tackle Aslam Sterling.  Weis was particularly high on Bourbon, saying, “If we asked everyone to rate the best six players in camp, he'd be on everyone's list.”  About Sendish, Weis said, “Sendish is a corner-type guy who can rush the passer, drop into zones and also play man coverage.  And at that position, you need to be able to do all those things.”  Weis has been pleased with Heaps' progress, saying, “If what we've seen so far is what we get, I think we're all going to be happy.  The whole tempo changes now. This isn't spring ball anymore.”  Starting left tackle Sterling has wasted away to almost nothing.  Last season, Weis said he was just a cheeseburger away from 400 pounds. He's lost 85 pounds since then.  “Aslam's the most changed player we have on our team,” Weis said. “Last year, whatever weight we had down was a lie. He was probably about 400.  He's 315 and has done a great job on and off the field.  He's a totally different person.”  With all the new players on the roster, it's a positive that the Jayhawks don't open their season until Sept.7 against South Dakota. Weis can put the extra week of practice to good use.  Kansas State opens their football season against North Dakota State on Aug. 30.  There's good news for college football fans in Kansas:  The Wildcats' opening game will be televised at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1, a new 24-hour sports channel.  Fox Sports 1 will be part of Cox Cable's programming and will be available to Cox viewers in Kansas on channel 60.  The Big 12 is receiving better and better TV coverage of almost all their games.  During the offseason, many pundits in the media have questioned Kansas State's ability to put a competitive Big 12 defense on the field this fall.  As the season draws near, those fears appear to be groundless.  Coach Bill Snyder has a number of promising prospects on the defensive line, led by sophomore Travis Britz.  Britz played in 11 games last season and showed terrific promise as a freshman.  JUCO transfer Chris Brown is a late arrival on campus.  Brown is a physical specimen who adds untapped potential for the defensive line.  Also in the battle for playing time are senior Chaquil Reed and two sophomores who redshirted, Demonte Hood and Matt Seiwert.  Two other recent JUCO transfers who could earn playing time are Valentino Coleman and DeAndre Roberts.  In addition to these mature players, K-State has four freshmen that are considered outstanding prospects on the defensive line.  The guess here is that opponents will have a hard time running up the middle against the 2013 Wildcats.  There's cause for worry concerning K-State's vaunted offensive line.  Preseason All-Big 12 pick Cornelius Lucas has been missing from practice with no explanation from Snyder.  If Lucas isn't on the offensive line at left tackle, that will be a major problem for the Wildcats. Mac Stevenson is a longtime columnist on collegiate and professional sports in Eastern Kansas.
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