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April 27, 2011

Football Notebook: Players prepare for Spring Game

As Kansas prepares for its spring game on Saturday, several players this week took the time to reflect on how their second spring under Head Coach Turner Gill has been different than last year.

"There is less chatter on the sideline," cornerback Greg Brown said. "People are more focused. If someone messes up you see more emotion out of them. Everyone is giving their all and trying to see the field."

Players say a big reason for the increased attention is in part due to having a better understanding of what the coaches expect, and also in hopes to avoid another 3-9 season. For players like Keeston Terry, who missed most of last year with an injury, the spring has been helpful in getting back into the flow of things.

"It was really tough not being able to go out there and perform--especially having the opportunity to maybe start because there were injuries at our position," Terry said. "It was definitely tough to watch them struggle all year."

Linebacker Huldon Tharp is another player who missed last season and his hoping his return and can help Kansas turn things around.

"It was definitely tough watching that," Tharp said. "It gives you a drive. You don't want to sit through a 3-9 season. I'm planning on making it to a bowl game the last three years I have. I know the rest of the team has the same kind of goal. Ultimately we want to win a Big 12 Championship."

Surprise Spring Players

Coaches and players have said there have been a few players that have dramatically raised their stock during spring practices.

"Pat Lewandowski is someone that has been a surprise and has stepped up and made some good things happen as far as a pass rusher more from the inside than the outside," Turner Gill said. "Keba Agostinho has been very steady and has made some progress, so I would say those two guys from a pass rushing standpoint stood out from the D-Line."

Cornerback Greg Brown also mentioned Lewandowski but added Darrian Miller and wide receiver Christian Matthews to the list of players that have impressed him during the last month.

"Last year Christian was just learning the basics at wide receiver," Brown said. "Now that he has a year under his belt he knows the position that much more."

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