Toppers wrap second week of spring practice

WKU’s redshirt senior offensive lineman Cameron Clemmons (52) stretches with the rest of the team during spring practice Tuesday at Smith Stadium. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Kyle Williams

The WKU football team concluded its second week of spring practice with a two-hour scrimmage in preparation for the annual Red and White game April 19 at 1:00 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

Although the offense was scarce to begin with in the scrimmage, the WKU quarterbacks filled up the stat sheet before it was all said and done.

Senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, redshirt sophomore Demarcus Smith, sophomore quarterback Todd Porter and junior college transfer Troy Jones all saw action and scored at least once while behind center.

Junior quarterback Nelson Fishback was sidelined due to an upper-body injury, but is expected to start practicing again next week.

Brohm said he was pleased with the quarterback play and the fact that playmakers were identified during the scrimmage.

“You have to have everybody ready to go,” Brohm said. “You can’t just have one guy and those guys need a lot of work. Each of them kind of has different talents. Some are throwers, some are runners, some can do both, so you have to make sure we have the stuff in that they can utilize and execute effectively.” 

Allen expecting increased role

After being the No. 2 option behind All-American Antonio Andrews for two seasons, junior running back Leon Allen will finally step into the spotlight under new running backs coach Greg Nord, who has over 20 years of coaching experience in the state of Kentucky.

Despite his No. 2 status, the six-foot, 235 pound back has recorded 674 rushing yards and seven touchdowns during his two seasons at WKU.

“Any time you’re trying to replace NFL backs and draft choice backs, then they’re big shoes to fill,” Nord said. “Certainly I would expect him to be able to fill those and we’re working to try to get him to be that kind of back.”

Defensive line has “a long way to go”

The Toppers return three of the five starters on the defensive line this season, but production will be limited without graduated seniors Bar’ee Boyd and Calvin Washington.

Second-year defensive tackles coach Don Dunn said he and first-year defensive line coach Ken Delgado are working to solidify a productive depth chart.

“We lost some kids that played a lot for us through graduation,” Dunn said. “But they’re working hard. We have a good rotation going; really don’t have any starters yet — which is good. Each day the depth chart changes and that’s healthy.

Toppers return experienced receiving core

The receiving core will arguably be the deepest offensive position this upcoming season thanks to returners such as seniors Willie McNeal and Joel German and sophomores Taywan Taylor and Nicholas Norris, who started a combined 12 games in their freshman seasons.

In addition to the returners, junior college transfers Antwane Grant and Jared Dangerfield have been impressive thus far as well, according to wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard.

“Those guys are a veteran group,” Shephard said. “They know what’s going on. They know their expectations. And then, we picked up a couple of junior college guys…those guys are coming along very quickly. They seem to be quick learners.”