Friday, September 10, 2010

Matt Tait’s KU football notebook

Kansas University’s Toben Opurum has made the switch from running back to linebacker in 2010. Coach Turner Gill announced Thursday night that Opurum had sprained an ankle, making him questionable for the game against Georgia Tech.

Kansas University’s Toben Opurum has made the switch from running back to linebacker in 2010. Coach Turner Gill announced Thursday night that Opurum had sprained an ankle, making him questionable for the game against Georgia Tech.


Opurum questionable

Kansas University football coach Turner Gill said on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show Thursday night that sophomore linebacker Toben Opurum sprained his ankle in practice, making him questionable for Saturday’s game against No. 15 Georgia Tech.

Opurum, KU’s leading rusher in 2009, missed most of spring ball with an injury and was slow to catch up during preseason camp.

With senior Angus Quigley, junior Rell Lewis — since lost for the season because of injury — red-shirt freshman Deshaun Sands and true freshmen James Sims and Brandon Bourbon ahead of him on the depth chart, the KU coaching staff moved Opurum to linebacker in August.

Expected to play between 10-20 snaps in the opener, Opurum did not play at all during last week’s 6-3 loss to North Dakota State. Gill said Sunday that the close nature of the contest made it difficult for him to get Opurum into the game.

In addition to questions about the quarterback position — red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb will start in place of sophomore Kale Pick — and the team’s new white shoes, Gill fielded a couple of inquiries about why Opurum was not on offense.

“Everybody has a right to their opinion,” Gill said. “And I’m OK with everybody’s opinion based on what they’ve seen in the past. All we can do is base it on what we saw in practice and what we saw from the guys.”

Gill quiet on NDSU coach’s comments

Also during Thursday’s radio show, Gill was asked if he had any reaction to North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl’s critical comments about the Jayhawks and the Memorial Stadium crowd.

“I haven’t read the comment he made, so I can’t comment on what you’re talking about,” Gill told the caller. “I don’t know what you’re referring to.”


Robert Brock 10 years ago

Opurum hasn't played linebacker since middle school. Why stick him into a situation like this?

KU_FanSince75 10 years ago

Great ---- sprained ankle ---- questionable for this Saturday ----- I keep telling myself to stay positive, stay positive!

KirkwoodHawk 10 years ago

Because that is what the coaching staff believes is best for him and the team. Happens all the time in college football. How many games had Hawkinson played at LT in his life before 1st game of season last year? Or Kerry Meier at WR?

Robert Brock 10 years ago

Wow. Hawkinson was a good-blocking tight end who gained a few pounds and moved over one space.

With Opurum, he would be leaving offense altogether and playing a critical spot on defense without any time to learn how to read how to defend against complicated blocking schemes as well as how to defend against the pass. He could get lit up like a Christmas tree.

Redshirt him.

Eric Williams 10 years ago

Is anyone else getting that sinking feeling that Opurum is going to transfer?

Dirk Medema 10 years ago

No, but good job with the encouraging post.

youowethehawks 10 years ago

No, do you have any evidence other than a position change and an ankle injury to go on? Toben is a competitor, you know that he wants to be on the feild and he will get there, but he needs to be healthy first, which he also knows.

Kirkwood, brings up a very vaild point (above)... Marcus Herford at WR would be another example.

rolo2383 10 years ago

I've heard he's embraced the change to LB.

Ed Brown 10 years ago

I don't know if it is the same ankle that has plagued him for many months now but if it is, he should red shirt to at least save a season of elligibility for him. If he doesn't play against NDSU I don't think Gill will ever play him. Being a KU graduate with 2 kids from Plano East I think Opurum is a great blocking fullback and a great running back as well. Maybe Gill knew Opurum's ankle was still not well in Spring and in the fall but it appears from the outside he doesn't have a lot of confidence in Opurum or he would have played him. Why would Opurum stay? Gill is scrambling to fill holes and ended up with a stable of running backs and holes everywhere. I suppose Opurum should learn how to play offensive line if he really wants to play.

TJWhatleyLives 10 years ago

Ankle injuries can be tricky. I hurt mine in January. Even with rehab it's still not 100%.

hawk316 10 years ago

Toben is a gifted athlete who also appears to have a great attitude. Those players have a way of eventually finding the field. I don't think he'll be leaving KU.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.