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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.

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— 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.

Comments

JakeBarnes 11 months 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.

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Ralster Jayhawk 11 months ago

I wish TOporum all the best! Regarding KU football, that ship has sailed off now under Charlie Weis's flag...or Charlie Weis is steering his ship under KU's flag (whichever you think is more applicable...)

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vd 11 months 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.

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GregStang 11 months 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.

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Randy Bombardier 11 months 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.

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Lance Hobson 11 months ago

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

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Ralster Jayhawk 11 months ago

Nothing was more frustrating that watching Turner Gill no-coach the Jayhawks. My Jayhawks. Players come and go, but a good coach builds a system & a pipeline to feed that system. Look at Self. Look at Stoops at OU. The KU Jayhawks were NOT the laughingstock of the BigXII under Mangino-ToddReesing that they oh-so-quickly became under Gill. Now we got a major rebuild in progress about to show us what can improve in Year2...At least we have coaching continuity and system continuity and a continuity of scheme that underclassmen and 2nd stringers will all be taught in, so when gametime comes, or players get their big chance, they are able to maybe meet reasonable expectations, eh? RockChalkCharlieWeis'sJayhawks!

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GregStang 11 months 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!

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kckmedic 11 months 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.

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Joseph Bullock 11 months 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

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Jason Keller 11 months 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.

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akgjenkintown 11 months 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.

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Jack Jones 11 months 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.

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JayHawkFanToo 11 months ago

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

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GabrielMichael 11 months 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!

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stahlin 11 months ago

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

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Jeff Worthington 11 months 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.

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