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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Kansas D-tackle to bring ‘nasty’

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For a player who is supposed to be so mean on the field, new Kansas University defensive tackle Keon Stowers sure seems awfully nice off of it.

And you can bet that Stowers has heard about that more than once.

Blessed with the size and strength to play defensive tackle and the smile to play a starring role in a children’s play, the Georgia Military College transfer has spent much of his career trying to overcome his good-guy image.

“My coaches always joke around with me saying I’m too nice and all of this,” Stowers said before reporting to campus in early June. “But once I get on the field and show people what I can do, that quiets up people pretty quick.”

Originally from Northwestern High in Rock Hill, S.C., Stowers spent the past two seasons at Georgia Military adjusting to the college game. While that included obvious tasks such as endless hours in the weight room, studying film at all times of day and lots of practices, Stowers said he also tried hard to keep himself from smiling so much.

“I try to be a good guy off the field, and I try to smile all the time,” Stowers said. “But once you step onto the gridiron, it’s all a different story. You try to be the best player possible first, and then you bring the nasty after that.”

There has been nothing nasty about Stowers’ life since signing with Georgia Military out of high school. After earning all-region honors after a 95-tackle senior season at NHS, Stowers went on to help GMC rank as the 14th best defense in the country last season, when he recorded 26 tackles, three for loss, and two interceptions.

Now he has his sights set on bringing that type of production to Lawrence, where early playing time figures to be within reach.

“That was really one of my deciding points when choosing Kansas — the opportunity to play and the lack of depth at that position,” Stowers said. “That was their selling point, too. (This offseason, defensive coordinator Dave) Campo was reminding me that they’re really thin there, and they’re really counting on me to be one of the guys to come in and help fill that void there.”

Talks such as those inspired Stowers to work as hard in the weight room as he did on developing a mean face, and the efforts appeared to pay off. When Stowers signed with KU, he was listed at 272 pounds.

A few weeks after graduation, back home in South Carolina, he was up to 283. And by the time he left for KU, he was just six pounds shy of his goal of 295.

“I’ve put on a good little bit of weight,” he said.

Stowers will room with fellow defensive lineman Ty McKinney, a transfer from Trinity Valley CC in Texas, and in addition to competing for playing time, the two will look to build on a friendship that began during the offseason.

“We’ve gotten to know each other a lot,” Stowers said. “He’s decided to bring the TV, and I’m bringing the Xbox, so we’ll take the friendship from there.”

Comments

pizzashuttle 1 year, 9 months ago

Weis immediately addressed our D line issues with juco players. He gets that we need a well staffed D line and he's a good recruiter. And I'm sure Campo gets it too. Personally, I'd figure out who the best 2 recruiting assistant coaches are and let them help recruit the OL and DL, plus whatever positions they coach. IMO it starts with the line and builds out from there. If you don't have a good O & D line then forget about having a good season in the B12.

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phogphan2000 1 year, 9 months ago

I love reading more reasons to believe that the d-line will improve greatly over last season. Sounds like he's working hard to bulk up for big time play in the Big12. These guys have a great opportunity to turn things around at KU.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm hoping for an increase in talent, but I hope even more for an increase in coaching abilities on the D-line. I believe Dave Campo will get the defense going and will do some impressive things. I'm not saying that our defense will be top 25, I'm guessing it will be Top 75, but that is a lot better than last year (dead last or maybe it was second to last, but it was horrible). If we are top 75, it'll at least allow us to be in some games and maybe...just maybe pull off a couple more victories.

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bville_hawk 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks for the football article, Matt. Keep em coming!

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KGphoto 1 year, 9 months ago

Warren Sapp, Osi Umenyiora, Michael Strahan, Dan Saleamua...

Killers on the field, killer smiles off it. He's in good company.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 9 months ago

After seeing how our d-line has performed since the graduation of James McClinton...I'll believe it when I see it.

I think our d-line is still thin...and lacks overall talent.

What's bothersome...what happens in the future ?

We only signed ONE d-linemen in last years class...and so far in the class of 2013...we have committed zero.

We also thought Gill's class of 2011...which brought in a ton of talent on the O-line...would create some additional guys on the d-line...by moving some over to defense. Well that didn't happen either.

Buddy Wyatt and Campo - lets break this pattern of not giving ourself a chance to win games...and let's really focus on getting some help in this VERY IMPoRTANT position group for the class of 2013.

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KUFan90 1 year, 9 months ago

I like it. Bring the nasty Keon!

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