WKU Football got back out on the Feix Field turf on Monday morning for the fifth team practice of fall camp. With only 24 days remaining until the Hilltoppers’ season opener vs. Central Arkansas on Thursday, August 29 at 6:30 p.m., head coach Tyson Helton is challenging his eager players with new situations every time they step on the field.

“Today was more of a red-zone emphasis day and it was our third day of working on third-down situations,” he said. “Our young guys are getting a lot of reps and picking up things quickly and our veterans are doing a great job of being leaders and coming to work every day. It’s really about developing the whole team.”

One of those veteran leaders is junior safety Devon Key, who leads WKU returners with 24 career starts and 165 tackles. He was a Conference USA Honorable Mention selection last year after earning an All-Freshman Team nod in 2017. In 2018, Key tied for the lead among Hilltopper defensive backs with 71 tackles and three interceptions, while also adding three tackles for loss and six pass breakups.

“Everybody has been coming out with energy every single day and it’s [the upperclassmen’s] job to keep them excited throughout camp about the upcoming year,” the Lexington native said. “We go out there and work every day, no one has a solidified spot so every day is a grind and trying to take that number one spot. It’s good competition.”

With the offense’s grasp of new offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis’ scheme coming along nicely, Key and his teammates on defense continue to make even bigger strides in defensive coordinator Clayton White’s system.

“The experience that I’ve gotten from the past two years is big going into year three,” Key said. “I feel like everybody can play and everybody knows exactly what Coach White wants from us.”

With a two-game personal interception streak going into the 2019 campaign, Key’s main goal is to help the WKU defense produce more turnovers. The Hilltoppers were plus-two in the turnover battle in 2018, edging their opponents by an 18-to-16 overall margin. In terms of points off turnovers, WKU was plus-21 on the season with a 69-to-48 overall advantage. How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football, follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and Facebook-@WKUSports-_____________________________
Bryan Fyalkowski
Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics

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