3 reactions to Kansas football’s physical spring practices, with fall camp approaching

The story of JB Brown’s first spring ball with Kansas football earlier this year, as told by Rich Miller, might be as good of an example as any about how physical the Jayhawks wanted those practices to be.
Kansas sees improved physicality as a key part of being able to sustain its emergence in the Big 12 Conference during head coach Lance Leipold’s rebuild. That’s especially true defensively, which comes into play here because Brown and Miller are both linebackers. And when Miller saw Brown delivering hits at a level Miller admitted not even he could deliver, he said no one told Brown to ease up because of how physical the team wanted that spring to be.
Brown, a junior who transferred in from Bowling Green, was there to prove himself — in Miller’s mind. That was a part of it, of course. But Miller, a returning senior, went as far as to say Brown’s play helped drive him to be better because he wanted to match Brown’s energy.
Time will tell how much that emphasis on physicality will show up during the 2023 season. But, during Big 12 media days earlier this month, Leipold and Miller were among those who said they have noticed a change. Senior safety Kenny Logan Jr. did, too.
And before fall camp starts up in August, here are a few reactions to the Jayhawks’ physical spring.
Miller wouldn’t go as far as to say the physical spring was difficult to get through, but did allow that it was probably hard on their bodies. He added that it was what they needed, and they understand that. In the fall, he envisions everyone seeing that they got a lot better because people will have more confidence.
“They see what they can do if they, like, go their hardest, like, every play,” Miller said. “We only know one speed. It’s no taking any plays off and we know how to bring everything we got every single play.”
Even if someone wasn’t participating, there was an effort to see them improve
Logan wasn’t able to fully participate in spring ball — like so many of his teammates — because he was recovering from shoulder surgery. But Leipold said he thinks they have a fresher and hungrier Logan because of how they sought out other ways for Logan to improve.
“The thing is, I think we’ve tried to do and I think guys have embraced, is when they’re injured there’s other ways to get better, OK?” Leipold said. “Most of it’s mental and understanding, and I think Kenny was able to do that.”
Kansas’ strength staff didn’t overhaul the summer because of it
Leipold admits that was the most physical spring he’s put a defense through, considering the coaching staff’s approach. He described it as challenging for that side of the ball. But while he’ll look to find a way this fall to balance making more strides there and keeping everyone healthy, it’s not after a summer the strength staff approached much differently.
Leipold said there were a few changes with conditioning and the timeframes in which they went about some things. He added they’re trying to ensure everyone is able to hit the ground running. But he didn’t go much further.
“I can’t say there’s been any huge changes with the strength program part of it,” Leipold said.

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