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Saturday, July 27, 2013

KU newcomer Sendish embraces challenge of turnaround

Kansas safety Cassius Sendish conducts an interview during a breakout session at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

Kansas safety Cassius Sendish conducts an interview during a breakout session at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days Monday, July 22, 2013 in Dallas.

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Kansas University defensive back Cassius Sendish had never been to a media days event before this week.

“I feel like I’m living a dream right now,” Sendish said Monday at Big 12 media days in Dallas. “It’s surreal. I’m just grateful for the opportunity. It’s a blessing to represent the University of Kansas and my family.”

Perhaps it’s fitting that Sendish was answering a variety of questions about KU even though he’s yet to play a down for the Jayhawks. More than 20 newcomers, including Sendish, have joined KU this season from the junior college ranks.

“I think the experience that we’ve had on the field will definitely help,” Sendish said, “because we’ve been in the situations that we’re probably going to be in again.”

KU coach Charlie Weis approached Sendish, a junior who played at Arizona Western College last season, about coming to media days because he believed the DB would be a good ambassador for the school.

“If (the juco guys) are all like that, sign me up,” Weis said.

The 6-foot, 187-pound Sendish said his transition has gone smoothly so far, mostly because the structure at Arizona Western closely mimics a Division I program. The weights, conditioning, practices and even class scheduling are set up to prepare athletes for their next stops.

“I didn’t really have any bumps in the road,” Sendish said, “or anything where I was like, ‘Wait, I didn’t know I couldn’t do that.’”

Because many media members didn’t know the players’ backgrounds, Sendish answered a lot of questions about last year’s 1-11 season even though he wasn’t a part of it.

The Waldorf, Md. native said the opportunity to help turn around a struggling program was one of the biggest draws to KU.

“We understand that we got picked 10th (in the Big 12) because of what we produced on the field the last few years,” Sendish said. “We understand that until we prove something on the field that they’re going to rate us how they rate us. We’re looking forward to producing.”

Sendish has been impressed by how much KU’s veterans have welcomed in the new arrivals this offseason. He also believes the team has bonded through tough workouts with strength coach Scott Holsopple.

“We have to do what it takes to go where we want to go,” Sendish said. “I feel like the team is buying in, and that’s what it takes.”

Comments

actorman 12 months ago

Sounds like a good guy. Hope he can play as well as he speaks.

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CrystalJones 12 months ago

He does speak well, and seems like a quality guy. The juco influx doesn't bother me at all. In fact, it's just what we need: experienced, high quality football players who can play immediately.

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JayDocMD 12 months ago

So what's the deal with Nick Harwell? The supposed deadline has come and gone for enrollment in the last summer session but then he tweeted this the other day:

"Kansas Aug 7th waddup doe!!!! #RockChalk"

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Chris Bailey 12 months ago

I think he'll be on campus whether he is cleared to play/graduate is still up in the air. If we have him, McCay and Pierson on the field with our runningbacks..... WOW!!! I think we can have big things happen! The offense keeping our defense off the field will be critical. Here's hoping he's cleared to play and these JUCO transfers pan out. Can't wait to see what we do this fall. Should be fun to watch. I keep thinking about all the games we could have won last year with a QB a kicker and D-line depth.

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Brett McCabe 12 months ago

Keeping the defense off the field and limiting opponent possessions is, indeed, critical for us.

One of the reasons I like the Weis hire is that he runs the pro offense (with creativity as needed). Most of the Big 12 defenses prepare week in and week out for spreads. When they play us, everything changes. In the first halves of most games last year, you could see that we could give people some trouble.

With weapons on board, this could be a real advantage. Though I really want Harwell this fall, I almost want him more for next year where a bowl game might be a real possibility.

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milehighhawk 12 months ago

Would you say we have a decided schematic advantage?

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Randy Bombardier 12 months ago

Heck, a bowl game is a real possibility this year.

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Randy Bombardier 12 months ago

It wasn't exactly a pro-offense but Snyder's scheme the last two years was what got them to where they were. It wasn't all Klein. In 2011 remember how many games they won close? It was because of this posession philosophy. We can do the same. I've been sayin it since the TG years. If you could see all my posts over the last 5 years I have consistently said the way to shut down the spread is to go to possession ball, which means strong run game, smash-mouth football. I look at it as a must if the conference is ever gonna turn out a national champ again. The spread will not get us there.

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Randy Bombardier 12 months ago

And, that means if we can win this conference guess who's playing for the Natty? Wouldn't that be sweet? So glad we have a coach who is not buying into the quick-tempo, pass every play game. Remember the OU game in '08? Several third and short situations and we are still in the shotgun. On several critical situations we did not get those first downs and OU went on to win an otherwise close game. I can't wait to see some games where we start jumping those quick screens and take em to the house. It is worth the risk in my opinion, especially if you are not stopping the drives and they are gonna score anyway.

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pizzashuttle 12 months ago

If Harwell can't play this season it might not be such a bad thing in the long run. We take a step forward this season and with Harwell a bigger step next season.

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jhawkrulz 12 months ago

In theory that sounds great, but the rumors are he'll go pro next year no matter what.

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