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WKU Spring Ball Week 2 Roundup

The Tops football team has a new addition in basketball player Justin Johnson and a few surprise performances on pro day.

NCAA Basketball: Western Kentucky at Southern Mississippi
Western Kentucky basketball standout Justin Johnson joined the football team this week and will practice as a tight end.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Western Kentucky started to put the pieces of Mike Sanford Jr.’s offense together. This week that process continued while a new face took the field for the first time and some old ones worked out at The Houch for the final time.

Early in the week, the team announced that WKU basketball forward Justin Johnson would be joining the team and working out as a tight end for the remainder of spring practice. The Bowling Green Daily News snagged some pictures of him going through drills. Johnson’s path is reminiscent of former WKU basketball and football player George Fant, who now plays right tackle for the Seattle Seahawks.

Johnson led the basketball team in scoring and rebounds each of the past two seasons. He’ll be a senior this upcoming season. Coach Mike Sanford Jr. made it clear in interviews on Friday that basketball is still Johnson’s number one priority.

Johnson apparently hasn’t played competitive football since his middle school days. From practice reports though, sounds like the six foot seven, 240 pounder is fitting in just fine.

The pads got busted out on Friday for the first full contact practice of the year on Friday. Without much contact prior to that, it’s tough to judge the ongoing position battles, especially on defense. That being said, we’re still getting some great looks at some of the receivers like Xavier Lane and Nacarius Fant, who don’t seem to be having much of an issue adjusting to the new offense.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at North Texas
Senior wideout Nacarius Fant will be a big weapon for QB Mike White this year.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Tops also hosted their pro day on Monday, March 27th. 21 former WKU players worked out for NFL scouts from 26 different clubs. As expected, Forrest Lamp and Taywan Taylor turned in solid performances. The shocker was the abundance of other Tops that put up numbers that rival what we saw from players invited to this year’s NFL combine. The most notable of these was center Max Halpin who cranked out 35 reps on the bench press, which would have ranked first among all positions at the combine.

Halpin now reportedly has private workouts scheduled with the LA Rams, Baltimore Ravens, and Atlanta Falcons, per ESPN. Safety Branden Leston also has a workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming up.

In not so good news, the man who was allegedly assaulted by a group of WKU football players at a fraternity house in early March plans to file charges. Bowling Green’s WBKO has the full story.

Finally, if you’re a WKU student, think you’re fast, and want free rent for a semester, here’s your chance. One male student and one female student will win just that in a 40 yard dash race at halftime of the spring game on April 22.

To register for the prelims, click here.

Practice picks back up for Western on Tuesday, April 4th.