Friday, May 17, 2013

Chiefs sign KU football’s Opurum as fullback

Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum (35) flexes his muscles next to linebacker Ben Heeney after sacking Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue and recovering a fumble on the play during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum (35) flexes his muscles next to linebacker Ben Heeney after sacking Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue and recovering a fumble on the play during the first quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


— The Kansas City Chiefs have signed former Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum as an undrafted free agent after trying him out as a fullback during rookie minicamp.

The Chiefs announced the move in a statement Friday.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Opurum began his career with the Jayhawks as a running back, gaining 554 yards and scoring nine touchdowns during the 2009 season. He moved to linebacker as a sophomore and played defensive end the past two seasons, making 109 tackles and 6½ sacks in his career.

Kansas City has turned over the fullback position this offseason, trading cornerback Javier Arenas to the Arizona Cardinals for Anthony Sherman and drafting Braden Wilson out of Kansas State.


Jeff Worthington 5 years ago

Call me a homer, but I think he's got a solid shot to make the team. Maybe he can be the next Moran Norris.

Jonathan Briles 5 years ago

I agree. I think he could make the team. He would make a great utility guy. He can run and catch and block and has the defensive mindset to be great on special teams.

Doug Cramer 5 years ago

Well if he does...then he should have been fullback for KU.

Fototherapist 5 years ago

Agreed. Gill should have never moved him to defense.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

And yet, if he hadn't, it might have been a 1:1 ratio of teams running plays and scoring touchdowns.

KGphoto 5 years ago

To be fair, he landed Darrian Miller, Brandon Bourbon and James Sims. Toben wouldn’t have been playing much.

Ryan Shelton 5 years ago

All the practice on defense will make him a special teams monster!

Cmill1221 5 years ago

I would love that. But Moran was a MONSTER benching 500lbs. I think he has a real shot considering how talented he was as a back his freshman year! Hope to see him once in a wile for the chiefs someday!

stahlin 5 years ago

how many fullbacks do the chiefs need, some teams don't even have 1, maybe they're running the wishbone

GabrielMichael 5 years ago

I always wanted to see Toben continue to run the ball... He showed amazing balance when he ran as a fresh...

Good luck Toben!

JayHawkFanToo 5 years ago

Good luck Toben, Never understood why Turner Gill switched him from a position in which he had shown so much potential..

VaJay 5 years ago

JHFT - we will NEVER understand why Turner Gill did a lot of things!! - at least I can laugh about this now - it wasn't so funny a couple years ago!

Jack Jones 5 years ago

This has been a terrific week ~ First, Dwayne by the Ravens and now Toben by the Chiefs. It will be fun to watch them as they work to make the most of these opportunities. Congratulations to you both and will wish for the best to come.

Chris Bruning 5 years ago

Dwayne Bowe went to the Ravens?????? lol jk

SaltLakeHawk 5 years ago

Dwayne Wade plays football???????????????

Ryan Shelton 5 years ago

Dwayne Wayne graduated from Hillman?

Kevin Studer 5 years ago

Dwayne Johnson is back in football????????????

Andy Godwin 5 years ago

Always thought he was a strong running back but took one for the team and moved to defense. He still is athletic and hopefully he can beat out the KSU player, because not all teams carry a full back let alone two. Best chance of sticking could be on special teams.

kellerman411 5 years ago

kellerman411 1 week, 1 day ago Opurum is the sleeper here. When you're a cusp guy, you gotta be versatile. Opurum will make the team, I guarantee it. They're gonna look at this kid and say they don't know what to do with him but they can't let him go. In a couple year's, don't be surprised to see him looking like back in his running days playing kick return or even kickoff. Kinda scary, Opurum on kickoff that is...

What did I tell you guys? Turner Gill almost ruined this kid's career. He would have been drafted as a bruiser if he would have kept carrying it.

Joseph Bullock 5 years ago

Gill moved Opurum because he recruited some great running backs, but people who hate, seem to only see, and say, what benefits them. And sometimes that hate is not based on coaching. Not that I think Gill was a good coach, but at least the team was competitive. I'm happy with Wileis and the staff he has, but I want to see him win at the College level. I think he will this year. I remember how many people were so happy we got Weis, and thought we would be so good, but I never heard the critism when we weren't. Building a football program takes time, and Gill did not get time. Pinkle was bad at m.u., but they gave him time1

Andy Smith 5 years ago

Gill was given plenty of time to prove he couldn't coach.

Cmill1221 5 years ago

Dude.... NDSU! Besides that horrible loss we never showed improvement. In fact we got worse. Gill beat GT his first year and then they dropped 70 on us a year later. We were one of the most penalized teams in the Big12, (if not the most) mistake free football is a sign of good coaching. I remember watching the Baylor game that we were winning. It was 3ed and 7 And we had a real shot to put the mail in them, I remember saying to my self that these are plays teams need to make when they want to turn the corner. What happened? DROPPED PASS!!! No discipline, no attention to detail, and zero improvement equals poor coaching. Even considering how bad our defense was last year it was still 100X better than the year before. Not to mention the recruiting under CW is far above TG already. It absolutely amazed me how bad we got in only two years. You can only blame the man in charge or maybe the man who hired him and skipped town when he recognized his mistake.

kckmedic 5 years ago

TRUBLUE: "Not that I think Gill was a good coach, but at least the team was competitive."

Wait..what? Competitive? What games were you watching? We lost at home to an FCS team. Yeah, they turned around and beat Georgia Tech, but it was obvious that we worked all pre-season for that game. We lost a lot of games last year, but Weis's team was way more competitive than Gill's. Granted, the running backs were really good, but that's about it.

GregStang 5 years ago

More frustrating than Gill moving him was Mangino not giving him carries over Jake Sharp playing hurt his senior season. I believe Opurum led the team in rushing his freshman year with a fraction of the carries. As far as Gill, Weis and company made the same decision that he did regarding Opurum, which was that we didn't have enough talent on defense to concentrate so much of it at running back. Congratulations to Toben Opurum, and to the Chiefs!

Lance Hobson 5 years ago

We should have kept Mangino. All he did was make us a winner - finally. Thanks for nothing Lew Perkins.

JakeBarnes 5 years ago

Of course you are right, but that's water under the bridge. We've lost so much I have grown accustom to listening to jokes about KU football and even laughing. It's the livin sheets. I'd support Beelzebub if we could win.

Randy Bombardier 5 years ago

I am happy to see TB get a shot with the Chiefs. Was shocked to see that it would be at fb, even though I sometimes wondered about moving him to the DE position. Personally I think he should have been part of a run first, option oriented offense that would have relied more upon a fullback. I have believed for the last four or five years that a run first, ball control offense was the antidote to the uptempo spread offense. Thought that is what we would see with Gill then hoped that Weiss saw what he had (and could do with what he had) and would adopt the same strategy but it was not to be. Opurum was not allowed to do what he seemed built and gifted to do. Maybe the Chiefs know what they are doing after all.

GregStang 5 years ago

I was not saying Gill didn't need to go, or that Mangino did need to go. Mangino was probably the best thing to happen to our program. Charlie Weis probably wouldn't have taken the job if Mangino hadn't shown that we can win around here. I'm just saying he made a mistake in that one aspect of dividing the carries at running back between the guy who was struggling and the guy who was dominating.

vd 5 years ago

The only reason Opurum came to Ku was MM promised to try him at RB. All the other schools wanted him to be a FB. He refused. Why didn't our current great coach make him into a FB? Gill made a mistake by recruiting better RBs. Miller, Sims, Bourbon, Pierson; all better RBs then Toben. Did Gill ask Toben to be a FB? Don't know.

Jeff Smith 5 years ago

Bourbon? Toben gave us more his freshman year at RB then Bourbon will his entire career

JakeBarnes 5 years ago

I hope Toby makes it. He was the best prospect KU had several years ago. The poor performance of the teams he played on surely hurt him. The switch from carrying the ball to defense didn't help either. Good Luck.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.