Wednesday, October 27, 2010


KU defensive coordinator Carl Torbush describes ideal defensive end


Carl Torbush, coordinator of a Kansas University defense that has had trouble hassling the quarterback, described the ideal physical characteristics of a defensive end.

“The best ones I’ve had have been 6-3, 6-4 guys,” Torbush said. “I go back to Julius Peppers, who coming out of high school was a 6-5, 210-pound tailback who grew into what he is today.”

Peppers, a two-time All-Pro defensive end with the Carolina Panthers now playing for the Chicago Bears, also was a basketball player at North Carolina.

“The are not a lot of those out there, and if there are, everybody is trying to get them,” Torbush said of the long defensive end prototypes. “Regardless of height, we’d like to have a guy who’s got some wingspan, got some quickness and acceleration off the ball and has got some flexibility in his hips so he can turn and run.”

In other words, a basketball player.

“I’m probably going to get myself in trouble,” said Torbush, a former assistant and head football coach at North Carolina. “I’ve been around basketball. I let Julius Peppers play basketball at Carolina and Ronald Curry, and Julius Peppers was just another guy on that basketball court. He was a big guy, but on that basketball court, he was just another guy. That tells you the size and athleticism of those forwards in basketball. Yeah, you’d like to have you a couple of those guys.”

Next, I really tried to get Torbush in trouble and asked him if he would like to name some KU players he’d like to steal from basketball coach Bill Self to put in shoulder pads and line up on his defense.

“How about the starting lineup,” Torbush said, laughing and enjoying the momentary fantasy. “I think we can find some cornerbacks and defensive ends, and a little bit of everything from among that group.”

Instead of stealing the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson to set loose on the quarterback and robbing Tyshawn Taylor and Josh Selby to intercept passes, Torbush stole from his own roster and side of the ball in an attempt to turn up the heat on the quarterback. Initial returns were encouraging.

Toben Opurum looked active in his first start at defensive end in last Saturday’s 45-10 loss to Texas A&M.;

“Toben’s doing well,” Torbush said. “He’s handled that move extremely well to go from running back to linebacker to defensive end. I think he’s got a chance to be a really good player at that position.”

Opurum gave himself a grade of incomplete.

“I think from where I started to where I am now, I think I’ve improved a lot,” Opurum said. “But I still have a lot of work to do.”

Senior defensive end Jake Laptad weighed in on Opurum’s performance.

“He had a couple of plays where he was getting upfield a little too much, but he did a great job last game and if he just keeps improving every week, he’ll be good,” Laptad said.

Opurum’s best quality?

“Definitely speed off the ball,” Laptad said. “He’s got good speed.”

Opurum’s not basketball-player fast, but it’s difficult to convince high school basketball stars their best path to a professional career just might require putting on a helmet.


100 7 years, 8 months ago


[Four star recruit] Darrian Miller will be enrolling at Kansas this spring, allowing him to participate in spring ball. However, before he arrives, Miller has a message for Jayhawk Nation. ”We’re bringing the program back.”

Lone_salina_kufan 7 years, 8 months ago

I was one at the beginning of the year who felt that this team was underacheiving based on the talent it had. After watching the A&M game, I feel that maybe we can explain this away somewhat by the cupboard being bare. After watching every time our players lower their shoulder and get knocked backwards, it is clearly evident this team simply doesn't have the athletes to complete in the Big 12. While I am not totally convinced Gill can coach, I am at least now willing to entertain the idea that he should be given the opportunity to recruit and see if he can alter that.

Lone_salina_kufan 7 years, 8 months ago

That being said, I think Darrian Miller is a huge get for the program. All appearances is this kid is the real deal.

Jason Sinclair 7 years, 8 months ago

One guy that I always thought should've tried football was Bryant Nash. Who knows if he had a "football mentality", but he had the build, speed, and athleticism to be an NFL tight-end or D-End. Again, there's a lot more to it than just the measureables, but he had those.

KGphoto 7 years, 8 months ago

Alonzo Jamison would've beasted at DE!

Paul Pierce at TE.

Tyrel Reed at WR.

And of course, Sherron at RB.

100 7 years, 7 months ago

Greg Ostertag @ place kicker

TJ Whatley @ holder

Tony Guy @ slotback

David Magley @ Quarterback

Jo Jo White @ kickoff return specialist

Wilt Chamberlain @ leaper to block opposing team's extra points

Paul Endacott @ leaper off of Wilt's back if Wilt can't block it

Phog Allen @ linebacker

Kirk Hinrich @ safety

Kelly Knight @ backup double secret safety camping out on goaline

Tad Boyle @ guy climbing up field goal post to block field goal

Mark Turgeon @ guy propping up Tad Boyle to help him grab field goal post (it's ten feet Tad!!!)

Darnell Valentine @ 12th man on the field rolling on the ground laughing at Tad & Mark

Charlie Black @ wildcat quarterback, for 3rd & long situations

Drew Gooden @ the fake punt specialist

Danny Manning @ the fly pattern specialtist. Every play!!!!

BH Born @ tipper to wide receiver in end zone on last second touchdown play

Clyde Lovellete @ automatic all time Center/longsnapper

Dean Smith @ waterboy

Adolph Rupp @ dirty towel guy

Doc Naismith @ inventor of the forward pass & football helmet, replacement Center if Clyde goes down

John Wooden @ concrete pourer

Bill Self: Coach/Beer & Peanut vendor

number1jayhawker 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually Collins was a stud at WR in high school and had FB offers as well.

Pbbut 7 years, 7 months ago

All these guys and no one named Richard Scott? There was a warrior.

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 7 months ago

We had a couple two-way players on the national championship team in '88. Clint Normore was a safety and point guard and Marvin Maddox was a forward on the basketball team, but I can't for the life of me remember what position he played on the football team, I think either lineback or defensive end.

waywardJay 7 years, 7 months ago

So which is it Tommy..... Gill's an idiot for not playing Opurum at Runningback or Gill's a genius for thinking outside the box ?

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