Sunday, August 22, 2010

RB Rell Lewis injures knee, could miss significant time


Kansas University running back Rell Lewis, a junior from Muskogee, Okla., injured his knee during Saturday morning’s scrimmage and could be sidelined for a significant period of time, KU officials confirmed to the Journal-World.

Lewis, 5-foot-9, 205 pounds, was listed as a third-string running back on the Jayhawks’ most recent depth chart, which was released Thursday. He appeared in five games in 2009, rushing for 72 yards on 13 carries, but appeared to be in the plans in the KU backfield with the new coaching staff.

With Lewis out, the Jayhawks would open the season with just one running back with game experience in uniform. Sixth-year senior Angus Quigley, listed No. 1 on the depth chart, is the only KU running back to have carried the ball during a game. Sophomore Toben Opurum, the team’s leading returning rusher, was moved to linebacker last week.

Second-stringer Deshaun Sands red-shirted as a freshman in 2009, and true freshmen James Sims and Brandon Bourbon just arrived on campus this summer.

As for Saturday’s scrimmage, the Jayhawks ran through 55 plays at Memorial Stadium around 11 a.m., their first time taking the field since sophomore Kale Pick was named the team’s starting quarterback.

According to a release from the university, Pick threw two touchdowns to senior Johnathan Wilson while splitting reps 50-50 with backup Jordan Webb. Webb also led two scoring drives, one of which was capped by a two-yard TD run from Sims.

Five KU foes crack poll

The Associated Press released its preseason college football poll Saturday, and five KU opponents were ranked or received votes.

Big 12 North favorite Nebraska was the highest-ranked Kansas foe at No. 8 in the poll.

Nonconference foe Georgia Tech, which comes to Lawrence on Sept. 11, is ranked No. 16.

Missouri, Texas A&M; and Oklahoma State all received votes, along with fellow Big 12 members Texas (fifth), Oklahoma (seventh) and Texas Tech (14 votes).

Kansas opens the 2010 season at 6 p.m. Sept. 4 at home against North Dakota State.

Fan Appreciation Day today

Jayhawk fans will get a chance to see the 2010 KU football team up close and personal at Fan Appreciation Day today.

The event will coincide with a KU practice, which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Gates will open at 4:30, and admission is free.

Following the workout, the entire team will be available for autographs. Fans are asked to limit autograph requests to one item per player or coach.


Bob Zielinski 7 years, 10 months ago

Why was Opurum moved to linebacker? He was a very solid running back. Gill and crew should recognize that he could be a starter for the next three seasons. Time to move him back to RB.

rastameta 7 years, 10 months ago

He was moved to LB because all of the other RB's on the roster were above him on the depth chart. Actually, he is needed more at LB then RB.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 10 months ago

Toben was moved to LB b/c Gill values speed, and moving him was the best way to increase team speed.

waywardJay 7 years, 10 months ago

He was moved to get him on the field, he was moved because Toben Opurum is too talented not to be out there, he was moved because we have 3 linebackers, and he was moved because we have sands, bourbon and sims after rell lewis goes down.

John Randall 7 years, 10 months ago

It really is sad how myopic those who only pay attention to offense make themselves appear.

Jayhawks have a pretty well established offense and, pending injuries, decent depth all around, especially at RB – two gone already, but no reason for panic.

On defense, however, we are already at the 'hopes and prayers' level, with more attrition bound to happen.

Toben Opurum is a smart young stud of a football player and has a real understanding of the needs of his team. Mark my words, if he stays healthy, his name will be among the all-BigXII LBs at the end of this year. Probably HM, but it will be there, and that will help our team more than a thousand yards rushing (which we'll have by committee anyway).

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 10 months ago

Geez, dude! I don't think the marketing arm of KU Athletics will be calling you any time soon!

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 10 months ago

It is a pre-season poll. No telling how good anyone is until they are games tested.

KU 7 years, 10 months ago

We don't play UT, OU, or TT this year. Two of our opponents are actually in the Top 25 poll and 3 received votes. That's a total of 5 opponents.

If we can win at Southern Miss, we should be 3-1 after the non-conference season. Then we need to beat an over-rated ISU team, KSU at home, and CU to get to 6 wins. There are certainly other winnable games on the schedule, like Baylor and MU.

Unless the injury bug keeps biting us, I expect somewhere around 6-6.

John Beck 7 years, 10 months ago

Mulaza We only play 2 ranked teams, three other opponents getting votes. Misleading in the article above as we do not play UT, OU, TT . How about a little faith in HCTG and staff or at least wait and see until after G-Tech, a ranked opponent, before trhrowing in the towel.

jlvlawrence 7 years, 10 months ago

sounds like you need a new team to root for negative nancy

jayhawkinATL 7 years, 10 months ago

Bad news out of the ATL...Kerry Meier is out for the season with a knee injury. Bummer!!!

Jeremy LeMaster 7 years, 10 months ago


Rell is listed as a second string RB on the depth chart released Thursday.

John Beck 7 years, 10 months ago

Mulaza- You must be operating on an assumption that this is a start up football team with no experienced players and high school level coaches. One starter, LB Tharp, injured, one eperienced player changes positions and the season is tanked. Try to enjoy the season but it appears you are hell bent on losing or planning on all losses. I think the majority of the Jayhawk nation has more confidence than that.

DevilHawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Bad news. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery to full health. In the meantime, at least running back is where we have some serious depth.

newjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

Sims got moved up to the number two spot. This is a fact. I don't believe that they can afford to redshirt "any" RBs. WR Omigie is battling injuries as well. Kansas is going to have a pretty good team that could possibly be 4-0 starting the season. James is not the "typical" Kansas RB.Injuries are starting to mount. I think that once the season starts, we will be okay. I see Kansas in one of the four Texas bowls[Cotton,Sun,Alamo,or the one in Houston] this year, led by some of the kids whose name does not always pop up in the headlines. We will be okay! Some kids will stand up and lead this team to victories.

John Randall 7 years, 10 months ago

Good question – nobody moved up when Opurum was moved because he wasn't on depth chart after missing spring ball. There will be changes all year in the RB depth chart, for many reasons, but Sims that high this early doesn't ring true to these septuagenarian ears.

newjayhawk 7 years, 10 months ago

from four or five players on the team...

JBurtin 7 years, 10 months ago

Sucks for Rell. I was looking forward to him finally getting a shot this year. I guess he'll just have to take a medical redshirt and be a even more patient. His time will come.

Luckily we have a couple of young studs that can be thrown into the rotation. In the long run I'd rather have Bourbon and Sims both take a redshirt, but I know that as a head coach you only get about three years to prove yourself or you're out the door, so it's probably best that at least one of these two guys gets a bit of experience now so that he can be ready for the next two years.

yovoy 7 years, 10 months ago

i'm going to wait to see how it all plays out before i start building a fire to burn anyone at the stake.

i don't really care that much how we end up this year. i'm wanting to watch overall "team" performance and dynamics as well as demeanor. i'm going to be interested in play-calling. will we be able to excute "easy" plays (sure, there are NO easy plays) or at least the plays we should execute? will we make some plays that we "shouldn't"? those things go a long way in making a season. they also go a long way in setting the foundation for the next season. if a team makes the biggest improvement between game x and game y, then why can't the same be said for season 1 and season 2?

i'd love to have a reason to go somewhere warm in december, so i'm hoping that things go well. if they don't i'm not going to be too dejected.

btw-i thought i was the ONLY buzzkill on the board that didn't use caps. i must be getting soft. azulum ISN'T against us. he's pessimistic. not everyone here has to march, lockstep, with everyone else on here.

mdfraz 7 years, 10 months ago

azalum is a troll. He tries to get a rise out of people on here, and he gets his jollies when it happens. Ignore him, and we will all enjoy the comments a whole lot more.

JBurtin 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, Rivet is pessimistic and it's perfectly fine to have pessimists on the board as it makes for interesting conversation. AZ is just a troll.

JBurtin 7 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, Rivet is pessimistic and it's perfectly fine to have pessimists on the board as it makes for interesting conversation. AZ is just a troll.

John Randall 7 years, 10 months ago

KU in the North this year –– not first, not last probabilities to finish 2nd – 0.20 3rd - 0.27 4th – 0.28 5th – 0.25 my prediction is tied 3-4 or 3-4-5, with head-to-head tiebreakers in our favor against KSt, Co and against us vs NU or MU.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm predicting an undefeated season with Kansas whipping Alabama for the National Championship!!!

Come on .it's preseason..everyone is undefeated...have some fun.

{ After the peyote wears off, I still think 6 and 6 is very attainable]

KCHawk81 7 years, 10 months ago

Why let a big, strong, fast, intelligent kid languish at third (or fourth, or fifth) string RB and not give him a chance to help the team at what has become a very thin position?

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