A man who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 360 pounds is going to draw interest from football coaches whether he plays the game or not.
In the case of Carlos Lozano, a mammoth offensive lineman at East Los Angeles College, it just so happens that football also is one of his passions, and that was enough to entice new Kansas University coach Charlie Weis to offer the lineman a scholarship.
Lozano has not released his official visit date yet, but could come to Lawrence as early as next week. This year’s annual signing day is set for Feb. 1, less than three weeks from today, and Lozano also has trips to Utah and Washington planned.
In addition to those three, Lozano, who originally hails from Monterey Park, Calif., has scholarship offers from Kansas State, UCLA and Utah State and is drawing interest from more than a dozen others.
While that list gives Lozano plenty of options, few of them can offer what KU can in terms of NFL experience. Between Weis and O-line coach Tim Grunhard, who played 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL experience is rich on KU’s staff, and that’s something that has caught Lozano’s eye.
“When I was looking up more about (Weis), it was cool to see he has been so successful in the NFL,” Lozano told JayhawkSlant.com. “He’s someone I could learn a lot from.”
As for Grunhard, Lozano also was impressed by his track record, professional and otherwise.
“I know he also has NFL experience,” Lozano said. “I could tell how intense he was talking with him on the phone.”
Groh staying put?
One of the hot names for KU’s defensive coordinator position throughout the past couple of weeks has been Georgia Tech DC Al Groh. However, it continues to look as if the Jayhawks may go elsewhere.
Groh, 67, just completed his second season in charge of the Yellow Jackets’ defense, and sources with knowledge of Groh told the Journal-World they expected the veteran coach’s contract with GT to be renewed.
Venables leaving OU?
The addition of Mike Stoops to the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff could mean the end of Brent Venables’ days in Norman, Okla.
Venables, a native of Salina, evidently is preparing to leave OU and is shopping around for the best offer he can get. Reports indicate that OU’s defensive coordinator — who will become a co-coordinator with Mike Stoops if he stays — has been offered the same position at West Virginia and also is rumored to be in the mix at Clemson, which just fired its DC, Kevin Steele, on Thursday.
No direct links between Venables and KU have surfaced, and it may stay that way. However, at this point in KU’s search for a defensive coordinator, all avenues are worth considering, and both Venables and Steele have experience in and ties to the Big 12.
During KU’s search for a head coach, sources with ties to OU said Venables was interested in the opening and wanted an interview. Whether that feeling holds true for KU’s defensive-coordinator job is another question.
WR Butler to SDSU
It’s been expected for a couple of weeks, but former USC wide receiver Brice Butler’s transfer to San Diego State became official this week.
Butler, a senior with one year of eligibility remaining like new KU quarterback Dayne Crist, had considered coming to Kansas to play with Crist, but elected to stay on the West Coast to finish his college career. Butler visited KU a couple of weeks ago, but saw SDSU as a better fit.
“I liked everything about it,” Butler told uscfootball.com. “I liked the staff at San Diego State, and the situation there was better for me for that one year I have. I only have that one year, I don’t have years.”