Thursday Practice Notes and Quotes

Thursday's practice is a short one, and only Head Coach Rick Neuheisel is available to comment, discussing the status of kicker Kai Forbath, quarterback Kevin Prince, and more...

Rick Neuheisel's post-practice comments:

Kai Forbath warmed up, but didn't kick today …

‘'He warmed up. He didn't kick. That was all the plan was, warm up. He said he felt good. My feeling is he'll make the trip. We'll wait and see on game day where he'll be. He may just be an emergency guy. I thought based on what I say today, he'll make the trip.''

How many guys are you taking on the trip?

‘'72, 73, something like that.''

So all of the scholarship kickers will go?

‘'I think that's right. I think that's what's on the list.''

How did you feel about Kevin Prince today?

‘'You know, he gets better and better every day. It'll be a game time decision but certainly he's in the mix.''

If he's ready, why not just name him the starter?

‘'Because I want to make sure that we're sharp. I just want to see how it goes. The good news is, I don't have to. There's no rule saying you have to name it until the offense actually goes out there on Saturday.''

Bill (Snyder) named his …

‘'Did he? Good for Bill …''

What have you seen from Kansas State? What do you think of Daniel Thomas?

‘'Very good back. Obviously, a 1,000-yard back in the Big 12 is an accomplished guy. I think he had 50-something yards against us last year, but it's going to be a bigger test this year because we're at their place and it's the first game of the year. The tackling is always a question mark because you haven't done a lot of it.''

Why did you have success against him last year?

‘'We swarmed to the football, and that's going to be the key again this year. Play field position and understand how to swarm to the football and gang tackle, and keep going.

What are the concerns you might have by the fact that you really haven't done a lot of tackling?

‘'It's a concern. There's no question. We had a good scrimmage. We didn't miss a lot of tackles in the scrimmage. So I feel good about that. But we'll have to see. We've certainly had a number of tackling drills, so I'm hoping we'll fly around. And I still think there's enough experience on the defensive side of the ball that we'll wrap and get guys down.''

How delicate a balance is that, between being live all the time and …

‘'Every coach in the country would love to play live all the time, but you can't afford to be losing guys, which is part of the casualties of that kind of scrimmage situation. It's just part of the deal. You need to get your guys to the dance, as the saying goes.''

The scrimmage is the last time you were live, isn't it?

‘'Yes, that's the last time we went live. But we've had a number of tackling drills since that time.''

Kai Forbath went through prepractice and kicked a few mid-range field goals. He hit 5 of 6, but did not participate in the special teams period.
Kai Maiava has the surgery on his left ankle scheduled for Friday. They are inserting a plate and two screws.
Brandon Willis took in the last half of practice.
Kevin Prince continued to progress, and threw a couple of nice deep balls.


After the surgery, how long is it going to take?

‘'They're saying six to eight weeks …''

That's before you can come back and start working out?

‘'Well, actually, I think I can put pressure (on it) in two or three weeks and as soon as I can do that I;m going to start doing the rehab and all that.''

Any chance you can play this year at all?

‘'They said, like, I should be ready by the last three games, but I don't know. I mean, I could be ready but not football ready, you know? I'm going to try my hardest to get back and hopefully it all works out and hopefully the surgery goes well.''

What are they putting in there?

‘'A plate on the side and two screws. That's about it.''

How realistic do you think it is that you will make it back?

‘'I always like to stay on the positive side, but I don't know. I've never had surgery before so I don't really know what's the difference between healing from that type of injury than just an injury you get. But I'm hopeful to come back and if I feel I'm ready to then I'll make that decision and hopefully still have a couple of games left on the schedule.''

Have you explored the medical redshirt avenue?

‘'Yeah, I've been looking at it. But I still have my head in where I want to come back. But when I get to the point where it's either now or never, that's when I'm going to make my decision.''

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