Quarterback battle continues into WKU’s third week of spring practice


Credit: WKU Athletics

WKU Head Coach Tyson Helton and the Hilltoppers retake the field after the first half. The game was tied 10-10 at the half.

Cassady Lamb, Sports Reporter

WKU Football concluded its third week of spring practice Saturday morning with coaches praising the team’s performance overall. 

WKU head Coach Tyson Helton said post-practice that the team had a good day on Saturday with both offense and defense performing well, including explosive plays from the offense and good stops from the defense. 

Helton felt good about graduate quarterback Jarret Doege’s performance in practice but is still waiting on a decision to announce the starting quarterback. 

“We’re going to let guys compete all the way through fall camp, our guys know that,” Helton said. “I think there’s really good talent in the room with all our quarterbacks [and] want to give all those guys an opportunity to continue to compete.”

Helton said that every quarterback has performed well, but freshman Caden Veltkamp specifically has taken the field in impressive ways. 

“[Veltkamp is] a guy that’s very serious about his craft and wants to be a good quarterback and he’s dived right into it,” Helton said. “I’ve been very, very impressed with what he’s done so far.”

Veltkamp is a local quarterback hailing from South Warren High School. 

“It’s tough sometimes when you’re the youngest guy, and you don’t get a ton of reps,” Helton said. “But he’s making the most of his reps right now.”

Helton highlighted the importance of players getting as many repetitions in as possible during practices. 

“There are some young players that can help us next season that need to get more reps, and we threw a couple of those guys in today just to see what they can do,” Helton said. “There’s a couple spots that we got some decisions to make probably coming out of spring and that’s why I want to get as many people reps as we can.”

Helton said he likes what the team is doing defensively and that the defense is putting a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks. 

“There’s a lot of guys that you haven’t heard before that are starting to show up a little bit,” Helton said. “We just got to keep them going and keep them sharp, and I think we’ll have what we need.”

When asked about the changes in the defense since new defensive coordinator Tyson Summers joined the team, Helton said that it was the “perfect storm,” and that the team was transitioning to his style of defense. Helton said Summers came into the program knowing what they were wanting.

“It was kind of a mixed bag of ‘we knew this was the direction we were heading in’ and coach Summers had a background in it, a lot of experience, a lot of success with it.” Helton said. “I think we have the right personnel for it. We have a lot of good linebackers, secondary players that can run.”

Sports Reporter Cassady Lamb can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @lambp0p.