“Everything is going great. I am excited about the group of guys that I have. They are all working hard, challenging each other and competing with each other to be the best.” - WKU running backs coach Kolby Smith
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The WKU football team returned to the practice field bright and early on Thursday, beginning the second week of spring ball with a 5:45 AM practice inside Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. The Hilltoppers continued to go heavy on repetitions, as both the offense and the defense continued to install schemes on both sides of the ball.
WKU running backs coach Kolby Smith, along with running backs Keshawn Simpson and Anthony Wales met members of the media on Thursday, discussing the intriguing depth at the position in 2013, led by All-American senior running back Antonio Andrews.
“Everything is going great," Smith said of the running back group. "I am excited about the group of guys that I have. They are all working hard, challenging each other and competing with each other to be the best.”
Andrews rushed for a school record 1,728 yards in 2012, while racking up 3,161 all-purpose yards, which ended up second only to Barry Sanders for the NCAA record for all-purpose yards in a single season. Sanders went on to win the Heisman Trophy that season.
Andrews and the WKU running backs will have the luxury of learning from a former running back that has not only been in the Bobby Petrino system, but has flourished and excelled at the NFL level, as Kolby Smith was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft after a successful collegiate career at the University of Louisville.
“I think they can see that the dream is possible if they go out and work hard and practice hard and pay attention to the details of the game plan and of each play," Smith said. "That is half the battle. Knowing the details of the play and then just going out there to execute the play.”
Other backs such as Keshawn Simpson and Anthony Wales understand the benefit of having a former player in this offensive system teaching them on a daily basis.
“I like working under him," Simpson said. "He is a player’s coach and he knows what he is talking about and has been in the same position we have been in. I look up to him and listen to everything he says.”
“It is nice playing under him," Wales, the Louisville, Ky., native said. "Being from Louisville I watched him as I grew up, so now I see him coaching me. I know to listen to him. He has been to the league, so he knows what to do.”