Zappe's adjustment at WKU 'has been great' so far
When Houston Baptist quarterback Bailey Zappe made the decision to transfer to Western Kentucky last December, the Hilltoppers didn't just receive a prolific offensive pilot. They also received someone who has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to quarterbacking teams and brings a ton of key experience to the table.
The fifth-year senior went through numerous fall camps and seasons while at HBU, so his first fall camp – and overall adjustment – at WKU has been pretty smooth.
"It's been great," Zappe said. "This is my fifth and final fall camp. I've been trying to cherish every day and try to savor the memories and try to get everyone in sync for game one. It's been a great fall camp; it's probably the best one I've been a part of. I'm really excited."
WKU has now held 13 fall camp practices in preparation for its 2021 season opener on Thursday, September 2 against Tennessee-Martin, and all throughout camp Zappe has been making strong connections with numerous teammates – from both sides of the ball.
"I hangout with a bunch of guys," Zappe said. "Offensive wise, Mitchell Tinsley, Daewood Davis, Craig Burt, and of course the HBU guys, I've had chemistry with them – Jerreth (Sterns), Josh (Sterns) and Ben (Ratzlaff). On the defensive side, (Antwon) Kincade, DeAngelo (Malone), Juwuan (Jones). I'm good friends with all those guys.
"This team is real tight-knit, it's a big brotherhood, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
As Zappe, under the direction of first-year WKU offensive coordinator Zach Kittley and alongside the Sterns brothers, bring a high-powered, up-tempo offensive system to the Hilltoppers' program from HBU, the quarterback said the entire team has bought into it.
"Everybody's been open to our system and everybody loves it," Zappe said. "Everyone loves scoring points, and that's what we're going to do this year. Everybody's taken the initiative of learning the offense, studying it and coming out every day and getting better. That's all you can ask for."
After it wraps up fall camp practice No. 14 on Thursday, WKU will then go into a mock game week beginning Friday so that it can get adjusted to a consistent schedule leading up to the September 2 opener at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
Leading up to that game, Zappe and the Hilltoppers will continue to prepare while maintaining a calm, composed attitude.
"Just dialing everything in and getting everybody ready" Zappe said of what the team will be doing for the next two weeks. "Just getting everybody in sync. Trying to keep everybody at ease right now – don't get too amped up. It's two weeks away ... we've still got a long way to go. Two weeks is going to go by real slow now."