LAWRENCE (KSNT)- KU head football coach Lance Leipold spoke to the media on Thursday after the team’s first practice of the season.
“All we’re asking our guys to do is be coachable. One thing we say to them is ‘We’re not going to coach effort here.’ That’s a given,” said Leipold. “If you’re not going to strain and give great effort it’s going to be tough to get on the field in this program.”
Leipold was hired at the end of April, making it a quick turnaround to prepare for the 2021 season. One way he’s handling this is with a two huddle approach in practice, in hopes of getting players as many reps as possible.
“Sometimes in practice, we’ll just have two different huddles on each hash and we’re going to rapid fire plays one after another. So one huddle should be breaking while the other one’s finishing so the defense is going to go on a three or four play rotation, but it’s coming fast,” said Leipold. “We should be able to get a boatload of plays in a short period of time.”
Leipold also commented on the quarterback room. The Jayhawks have seven quarterbacks on their roster, including returners Jalon Daniels and Miles Kendrick, and North Texas transfer Jason Bean. The Jayhawks also welcome two true freshman quarterbacks, Conrad Hawley and Ben Easters.
“It’s talented. Everybody’s got stuff they got to work on. It’s going to be competitive,” said Leipold. “Finding ways to get them all reps is going to be another great challenge in this thing but I’m confident we will.”
When asked about the recent news of Texas and Oklahoma planning to leave the Big 12, Leipold said he was surprised.
“Obviously it caught us all by surprise. There’s going to be a lot of things to talk about,” said Leipold. “Honestly where we’re at and of course the timeline that we’re under, we are in the Big 12 and I’m preparing this team to get ready for a Big 12 season and that’s where all our focus needs to be.”
“All we’re asking them, again, embrace what we’re doing. And if you do it not just on the field but diet, sleep and the other things you’re going to give yourself the best opportunity to give yourself the best player you can be,” said Leipold.
The Jayhawks are now less than one month away from their season opener against South Dakota on September 3.