HEAT WILL NOT DEFEAT THE HILLTOPPERS!

You can be sure players' legs are getting tired and their bodies are feeling the intense practices long after their day is done. The dog days of preseason camp separates the men from the boys. It is also, where champions are forged. (photo gallery inside)

This week the team has continued to work on position drills, individual skills, special teams, and game situation scrimmaging. The heat has been suffocating but the players have shown excellent mental toughness and endurance. This photo gallery consists of pictures from the past three practices.


Offensive line versus defensive line


SR WR #85 Jamar Jones pursued by JR #2 Marcus Minor


Life is tough down in the trenches


Offensive line versus defensive line in another drill


SO RB #1 Tyrell Hayden fights for yards


Great play made by FR WR #86 Quinterrance Cooper


Defensive line Coach Eric Mathies watches closely during a drill.
If there is anyone that feels they cannot accomplish their dreams or goals in life; I have great news for you. Standing behind Coach Mathies is JR DT #99 Munir Muwwakkil and he is hearing impaired. Standing to the bottom right of the players is Candaaes Williams, his interpreter. This young man is living proof that if you work hard, believe in yourself, and never quit, you can do anything you put your heart in.

Up to this point in fall camp I have not really focused any coverage on the depth chart. I have a good reason for that. The depth chart is not relevant at this point in camp. Everyday players are battling for a seat on the plane with a destination to Gainesville, FL. The coaches will determine much by how well players perform during upcoming scrimmages. I am sure Head Coach David Elson and his staff will be looking for players, during the scrimmages, to separate themselves from the pack and solidify their position on the depth chart. At this time in camp, coaches are making sure all players get as many reps as possible to prove what they can do.

During situation scrimmages this week, the offense and defense made several big plays. For Hilltopper fans, this may seem like double-edged sword because when the offense does well your defense does not and vice versa. However, coaches are experimenting with different personnel packages while installing offensively and defensively so as the old saying goes nothing is as bad or good as it seems. It is usually somewhere in the middle.

With WKU running a spread option offense, the potential for big plays has been evident all camp long.

QB David Wolke made several completions to WRs Quinterrance Cooper, Ronnie Letcher, Jessie Quinn, and Jamar Jones. Running backs Tyrell Hayden, Andrew McCloud and Bobby Rainey have run hard and broke long runs during camp.

Nothing on offense can work without a good offensive line. Offensive Line Coach Walter Wells has the line playing hard. Offensive linemen, Terrance Houston, Chris "Big Sash" McConnell, Cody Hughes, Derrick Elder, and Andrew Campbell along with the rest of the offensive linemen have been working hard.

The defense has been very aggressive during camp. If the offense makes a big play, the defense regroups and changes momentum back to the defense. Blake Boyd has had a good camp thus far. He has made several plays with big hits, causing fumbles and interceptions. Dusty Bear, Andre Lewis, Rashad Etheridge, Marcus Minor, Chris Walker and Robert Dark have had a good camp as well.

Coach Elson is focused and determined with what he wants the team to accomplish this preseason. The team works hard everyday to increase consistency in performance, maintain focus and get better with every opportunity.

Are the Hilltoppers ready for opening day right now? The answer is no but we are not supposed to be either. With the attitude and work ethic I have witnessed all camp long, by September 1, I have no doubt we will be.



WKU Insider Top Stories