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August 21, 2012

Notebook: Spencer back at practice

Ty McKinney update

While players started fall classes this week, defensive tackle Ty McKinney is still not on campus because of issues from a summer junior college class.

McKinney isn't allowed to take the final until his professor grades his work. Once the grading is done, McKinney can immediately take the final and then head to Lawrence. Weis said they are working with the school in hopes that the grading will be done within the next few days.

Weis doesn't want McKinney falling behind in his fall classes.

"Forget about football for a second and let him get settled into a class schedule," Weis said.


Injury Update:

Right tackle Riley Spencer returned to practice today. Spencer has been out since close to the start of camp.

Linebacker Anthony McDonald and safety Brian Maura are still limited in practice with nagging injuries. Linebacker Ben Heeney has been working with the first team while McDonald has been out. Weis hopes to get McDonald healthy enough so the linebacker can be free to play physical.

"He only knows one way to play," Weis said. "He plays tackle to tackle and he will hit you as hard as he can possibly hit you. That's the only game he knows. There is no passive way he plays."

Four players receive scholarships

Weis announced that four walk-ons will receive scholarships. Long snapper Justin Carnes and defensive tackle Shane Smith earned them through their work on special teams.

Weis also extended scholarships to Ryan Burton and Brandon Hawks. Weis said those two earned their scholarships because of their excellent work in the classroom as well and their commitment on the field. Weis said when he announced their names they got the loudest reaction from the team.

"They are great students who bust their butts every single day for years," Weis said. "You want to know something, I think as the head coach and together with the administration watching the team's reaction to those guys was pretty good stuff."

Hawks has managed to pull off a 4.0 GPA while also working at a local grocery store and serving as a tutor for KU athletics. Hawks is studying to become a math teacher

Burton made the team's Dean's List and the Athletic Director's Honor Roll during spring semester.

"Everyone gets real excited when stuff like that happens," Tanner Hawkinson said. "It's just great to see those guys get rewarded for working their tails off."


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