WKU Football: Hilltoppers hit the field for first practice of fall camp

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. WKU Football made its fall camp debut on Wednesday morning, with the 2019 Hilltoppers taking to the turf at Houchens-Smith Stadium for the first day of team practice.

“I thought the guys came out and were pumped up. They practiced well and were pretty smooth and as a whole I am happy with it how it went,” head coach Tyson Helton said. “Today was more of a first and second down day. We will get more into the third down and red zone stuff as we progress, but the guys handled everything we gave them.”

Junior center Seth Joest – who was named to the 2019 Rimington Trophy Watch List on July 19 and is set to anchor a WKU offensive line that returns eight lettermen all 60 starts from a year ago – echoed Helton’s sentiments.

“This was the hardest first day I have had yet but that’s a good thing,” the Versailles native said. “Not even so much the heat but we’re all just working really really hard, grinding every single rep, moving fast from station to station. We’re all really motivated.”

Joest ranked second among C-USA centers with a 16.9 overall cumulative rating by PFF College’s Signature Stats, which included +12.2 for run blocking and +8.1 for pass blocking. He ranked second among C-USA centers with a 73.4 rating by PFF College’s Premium Stats; his 85.6 run block rating and 85.6 pass block rating both led the league.

But with the Hilltoppers finishing 3-9 a season ago, Joest explained how hungry this group really is as only 30 days remain until the team’s season opener vs. Central Arkansas on Thursday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m.

“Everyone has a chip on their shoulder and it’s really good to see,” he said. “We’re working our tails off. We have a lot to prove this year and we’re working extra, extra hard for that.”

Sophomore quarterback Davis Shanley also sees a spark surrounding the WKU players and coaches: “We’re more motivated than we have ever been, you can feel that it’s different around here … The first day out had a lot of intensity from both sides of the ball, I know these guys out here are going to give it everything they’ve got on every single play.”