WKU concludes first week of spring practice


WKU Athletics

WKU head coach Tyson Helton speaks with the team during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. WKU defeated Arkansas 45-19.

Wyatt Sparkman, Sports Editor

WKU finished its first full week of spring practice Saturday afternoon. 

This was first-year WKU defensive coordinator Tyson Summers’ first week, and he said it has been positive with the players learning his system and improving fundamentals over the week. 

“We’re trying to find production, and we’re trying to find plays where we can eliminate explosive [plays] and have a good bit of habit plays where we’re getting a tackle for loss or creating an incomplete pass or getting a sack…” Summers said. “We’ve had guys at all three levels that were able to do that with both groups.” 

Summers has been impressed with the leadership on the defensive side early on in spring. Two of those leaders are redshirt seniors Jaden Hunter and Juwuan Jones. Both combined for 5.5 sacks and 111 tackles. They also have a combined 89 games under their belt. 

“You play for five, six years, you know the technique, you know the plays,” Jones said. “It’s just doing the right things on and off the field and being a leader for the young people.”

Hunter said he wants to step into the role of a “big brother” to the younger guys and transfers. 

“We have a lot of guys that can do a lot of things in the future,” Hunter said. “I want to see them make it to that level. My thing is I just want to stay on them, make sure they do their jobs.”   

Jones said the new defense has a lot of similaires, but “it’s kind of like relearning.” The technique is the same, it’s learning new terminology and knowing where to be on the field. 

“We’re an attacking defense,” Jones said. “That’s the same as we were last year. We’re going to go get after you.” 

However, the defensive line loses a key piece in two-time Conference Defensive Player of the Year DeAngelo Malone. The Hilltopper return redshirt seniors Mike Allen and Brodric Martin, both entering their second year on the Hill. Both seniors played more than 10 games last season. Jones is hoping to bring along some of the transfers and freshmen. 

“All those people, they’re going to add their unique physical characteristics and things of that nature where we’ll get a lot of tackles for loss and sacks and good stats and hopefully it can get wins,” Jones said.  

Summers hopes to build on the fronts and packages he’s put in place during the first week of practice.     

“We’re just going to keep trying to focus on fundamentals, technique, communication and start having an understanding of how we can keep up some things the offense is doing for us,” Summer said. 

Sports Editor Wyatt Sparkman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @wyattsparkman3.