April 2, 2007

Wildcats making progress this spring

Kansas State's first week of spring practice left head coach Ron Prince pleased with what he saw. The Wildcats have had plenty on their plate to deal with as they adjust to some scheme changes and a collection of new faces on the coaching staff, but enough positives have been on display through two open practices to leave K-State fans smiling.

***Sophomore quarterback Josh Freeman is noticeably more comfortable and consistent in a practice setting than he was last spring/fall. That development is hardly a surprise after the experience the 6-foot-6 signal caller gained throughout the 2006 season, but Wildcat fans should still be happy to see that steady development is being made. Freeman is still turning the ball over a bit more often than one would like, but it's not stunning that the defense would be a bit ahead of the offense early on. Still, it does appear as if Freeman is more accurate and has made some improvement as far as decision making goes.

***Freshman quarterback Carson Coffman has added some mass and appears to be more physically ready to play at this level, although both Coffman and the coaching staff would still prefer that he adds a bit more bulk to his frame. As expected, Coffman has been up and down at times in practice, but he seems far from overwhelmed with what's being asked of him.

***Running back James Johnson has added approximately 10 pounds thanks to some hard work in the weight room, but it should be mentioned that fellow tailback Leon Patton also appears to be in better shape than he was a season ago. Patton was by no means out of shape as a true freshman but looks fantastic this spring. Johnson and Patton have worked some in a split-back set early on, which could be a great way for K-State to take advantage of the duo's talents. Patton does need to continue working on his ability to catch the ball, however, as he's had some problems with drops early on in practice after struggling with consistency in the passing game a year ago.

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