Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jon Dowling having good spring at WKU

Word out of Western Kentucky spring football practice is that Jon Dowling is looking good in all aspects of the game catching kickoff and punt returns.

Unfortunately, the Southeast High product, who played for Florida last year, will likely have to sit out next season because of transfer rules.

Palmetto High defensive back Ty Scott, has moved to number two on the depth chart for the Hilltoppers at safety and his also having a good spring.

Braden River High product Tevin Bryant could earn himself a scholarship in the not too distant future. A walk-on who sat out last year, the 5-9 freshman has bulked up to 230 pounds and has looked good at fullback and running back.

In his senior year at Braden River, Bryant rushed for 1,650 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns going against defenses that knew he was going to get the ball nearly all the time.

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  1. Bryant steals the show at WKU scrimmage

    By ANDREW ROBINSON, The Daily News,
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 11:48 PM CDT

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    Alex Slitz/Daily News
    Western Kentucky running back Tevin Bryant breaks through the line Saturday during the Hilltoppers’ first spring scrimmage at Houchens-Smith Stadium.


    Bobby Rainey and his infamous yellow jersey sat out Saturday’s first full-contact scrimmage of the spring for Western Kentucky, giving an opportunity for others to take the spotlight.

    And one of them was redshirt freshman Tevin Bryant.

    Bryant rushed for 108 yards and scored two touchdowns of 10 and 25 yards.

    Rainey remains healthy, but WKU coach Willie Taggart is protective of the star running back.

    “Tevin is a guy that is coming around for a guy to be a walk-on that doesn’t say much at all,” Taggart said. “But he comes out and gives 110 percent every time and he had a good scrimmage.”

    But it wasn’t all splendid for Bryant on Saturday. Running backs coach Terry Obee spent a few minutes after the scrimmage with Bryant reviewing some fundamentals of carrying the football.

    “We’ve got to work with Tevin on holding onto the ball,” Taggart said. “He’s put it on the ground quite a bit this spring.

    “If you can take those away, he’s having a really good spring other than those fumbles.”

    Taggart has stressed this spring the need for young guys to step up.

    Bryant said he “kind of” felt like he was a young guy that was shining and he’s felt improvement from the fall.

    “I felt like I stepped it up,” Bryant said. “I’m just trying to work hard for the time and make us improve.

    “They say the spring is where you show what you can do. When it comes to the fall, (the spring) determines if you’re going to get to play or not.”

    Much of the work the Hilltoppers did inside Houchens-Smith stadium Saturday was centered around various situations.

    “Sometimes I think these kids just get out and play football and not really understand the situation we’re in,” Taggart said.

    Coaches had the offense start at its own 4-yard line, as well as pressuring the defense by starting a drive in the offense’s red zone.