Practice Notes: Aug. 7

Monday brought the arrival of fully-padded workouts to fall camp for the Kansas Jayhawks, and Tuesday welcomed another team favorite – two-a-days. Head Coach Charlie Weis and his squad were out on the field bright and early to get things going. Phog.net was there to get another glimpse at the first few minutes, and is here with a few notes.

* Aslam Sterling looks even bigger in full pads, which…one guesses is to be expected. Brilliant insight there. Anyway, his listed weight remains 360 pounds, but he really does carry it well. He's got a bit more of a belly than the other players in contention for starting spots on the O-Line, but he also didn't have the benefit of two months with Kansas strength coach Scott Holsopple due to his late-finishing JUCO classes. Such is life.

Even so, he still showed his surprisingly light feet when his turn came at the front of the line during drills, but one could see he was getting winded more quickly than his teammates. It will take him a while to get up to game speed.

* As we get the running backs this afternoon for media access, we decided to hop on over to their station and get a quick look at the stable during individual drills.

* It's nice to see Brandon Bourbon healthy again. His combination of raw power and straight-line speed has always been so tantalizing, and he was quick and confident in and out of his cuts. It's hard to say how the running back situation will shake out this year, but if he can stay healthy he brings a skill set to the table none of the other backs can and could make himself a factor.

* Taylor Cox is a thick dude. At 5-foot-11 and 211 pounds, he's built like a solid block of muscle. He looked very quick out of his breaks though, and a look at his film shows that holds true during game play as well. He may not have the straight-line speed of Bourbon or Tony Pierson but he's so solidly built that he's tough to bring down. He's the wildcard at running back this year.

* Speaking of Tony, he looks as one would expect him to. He's added some muscle to his frame, but he's still the blazing fast speed back everyone remembers as one of the few bright spots of the 2011 season. With James Sims out for the first three games of the season, Pierson sits atop the depth chart and it will be fun to see what he can do with 10+ touches a game.

* James, of course, is still practicing with the team in preparation for that Week Four game. To his credit, he looks like he took the summer seriously as well, trimming up his waist and packing on what looks like some added muscle weight. He's a known commodity at this point - a solid running back with great vision who is tough to bring down even if he's not necessarily a home run threat on any play.

* We don't know how often they'll be used, but Nick Sizemore and Ed Fink are big dudes. Especially Fink. Easy to envision him blowing a hole open at the goal line for Bourbon or one of the other backs.

* Marquis Jackson had a huge spring game and looked good from what we could tell. He was always built like a running back, even as a wide receiver, and appears to have taken to the position naturally. He didn't look quick while cutting so much as he does smooth - more of a slalom runner. Whether or not that's how he plays in games remains to be seen. It was just one drill after all.

More to come this afternoon!


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