WKU begins fourth week of spring practice

Senior punter John Haggerty punting during spring practice on April 6, 2021. 

Wyatt Sparkman

WKU Football finished their ninth practice of the spring Tuesday afternoon with 11 days remaining until the spring game on April 17. 

Special teams coordinator and safeties coach Andy Larussa is going into his fourth season with the Hilttoppers. Larussa shared his thoughts on what going through the 2020 season has taught him. 

“I think that the beauty of COVID last year really taught me that you can’t teach enough players enough things,” Larussa said. “You got to have multiple players that can step in and fill in depth wise, and I think the more we can teach guys the base scheme of things then the better off we’re going to be throughout the course of the season.” 

Being in charge of the safeties Larussa has been challenging his position groups lately in the spring practices. 

“We really got to test these guys as much as we can mentally and as much physically, but we got to see what they can check and how fast they can process information,” Larussa said. 

Larussa also oversees senior punter John Haggerty who is coming off two consecutive seasons being named to a Conference USA All-Conference teams. 

Haggerty said he’s not been home in three years and he is looking forward to going back to Sydney, Australia either after Christmas or after his pro day. 

“I feel probably the best I’ve felt since I’ve been here,” Haggerty said. “I didn’t punt from the bowl [game] up until the first spring practice, so I came out, I felt really good. The body feels really good. Balls seem like they are flying better, flying further, and flying higher.”      

Haggerty said his goal before the season is to fix his body and get his knees healthy. 

For redshirt sophomore kicker Brayden Narveson, this is his first spring as a Hilltopper after transferring from Iowa State in 2020. He is coming off a season were went 13-for-14 on field goals. 

Narveson is battling for the starting kicking spot with WKU’s starter from the 2019 season sophomore Cory Munson. 

“You can either embrace it and run at it head on, or you can shy away from it,” Narveson said of the kicking competition. “And I have a lot of aspirations to go play in the National Football League, so if I think I can escape here and not compete well, there’s going to be some news when I get to the next level.” 

Narveson said he felt comfortable from 60-62 yards at the end of the last season and his goal is to maintain that for the 2021 season. 

Munson was the kickoff specialist last season for the Hilltoppers. He wants to work on being more consistent getting touchbacks on kickoffs. 

“I took it and went with it. I love running down there to try and make a tackle with the team,” Munson said. “That was my job last year, so I stepped up and had to complete that one and we’ll see what this next season brings.”  

Sports reporter Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected] Follow Wyatt on Twitter at @WyattSparkman3