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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Memorable lessons from forgettable debut season have Kansas WR Daylon Charlot confident

Kansas receiver Daylon Charlot

Kansas receiver Daylon Charlot

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Ask Daylon Charlot to name one Kansas football receiver he thinks is ready to have a breakthrough season and he won’t vacillate.

“I would pick myself,” the junior from Patterson, La., will respond, “because I’ve been working hard.”

Charlot recently answered that question with the conviction of a man who didn’t abruptly get expelled to the secondary just 10 months ago.

The 6-foot, 209-pound wideout who transferred to KU from Alabama has not forgotten that was in fact his reality as a sophomore with the Jayhawks in 2017. It’s just that his cameo at safety is far enough in Charlot’s past that he currently possesses nothing but trust in his abilities at his natural position.

After failing to crack the two-deep at receiver and totaling just one catch for no yardage seven games into his debut season at Kansas, Charlot closed out the final five weeks somewhat similarly, by watching from the bench — except now he was a defensive back.

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The demotion of sorts for the receiver, who signed with national powerhouse Alabama as a four-star prospect following a standout prep career, actually brings a smile to Charlot’s face when he reflects upon it.

“I enjoyed it,” he said of the switch. “It was real fun, because I was going against (in practices) receivers that I became close with that I see as my brothers. I was ready to get in the game whenever for safety. It was a great experience.”

Instead, Charlot, one of the most hyped players to join the program in recent years, played sparingly, mostly on special teams.

He was informed ahead of spring football earlier this year that his stint as a defensive back wouldn’t last. Head coach David Beaty and his staff wanted him back at receiver.

“It was very refreshing,” Charlot said, “because that’s what I do and that’s what I’ve been doing since I was younger.”

Since then, he has invested extra time in learning the playbook “in and out,” absorbing the concepts of coordinator Doug Meacham’s offense and seeking out help from KU’s quarterbacks.

With the guidance of position coach Justin “Juice” Johnson, Charlot now feels comfortable lining up at various spots within the offense.

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Kansas wide receiver Daylon Charlot (2) gets past Kansas linebacker Denzel Feaster (18) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

“It’s everywhere,” he said. “Inside, outside. Our coach teaches us to know the whole offense, so whenever anybody gets in you can just know what to do.”

A man who is better acquainted with the once-ballyhooed passing target than most, Meacham, who coached receivers in 2017, before switching to QBs this year, discerned a change in Charlot since the conclusion of a forgettable sophomore year.

“I think he’s learned to take care of his body and just study and practice habits and all that kind of stuff. He’s matured,” Meacham said.

That wisdom didn’t come easily for Charlot. Looking back now on what stopped him from contributing to the offense a year ago, the receiver pointed to a preseason knee injury that stunted his progress. What’s more, he failed to manage the situation properly from a number of angles.

“It was just bothering me mentally,” he said. “Everything now is great. I’m back healthy and ready to go.”

With a chance at redemption swiftly approaching, Charlot feels more convinced than ever that 2018 won’t resemble his first season in a KU uniform.

The unperturbed junior thinks he will enter the upcoming opener against Nicholls State having done everything he could to secure a starting spot at receiver, which was the plan all along when he arrived in Lawrence as a transfer two years ago.

But is it feasible for Charlot to become a factor for the offense this fall, when that didn’t even come close to happening in 2017?

“Yeah,” Meacham said. “He’s a big body. Strong hands. He’ll help us.”

Comments

Owens Smithson 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah? Maybe you should just stfu and give some of this a rest, as 'your AD' and "your QB' nonsense hasn't worked out so well thus far.

I'm not so sure Charlot should have gone from 195lbs last year, to nearly 210lbs this season. I don't know if that will end up being beneficial, especially with the many coaching comments regarding him 'needing to learn to take care of his body'.. If that hasn't effected his speed too much, I see him contributing this season.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh my Smithson with the body blow has Stricker on the ropes. Lmao. Keep it up.

Yeah Bryson loves to call everything so if it works out it makes him look smart in his own mind. Just waiting for him to get booted from here as well.

Michael Leiker 1 year, 2 months ago

I’ve tried so hard to not talk about how it looks like they’re gonna be better and how maybe there are finally some pieces in place because we always talk about it, but maybe they’re gonna be a lot bettter. Lot of pieces in place...1 week.

Edward Daub 1 year, 2 months ago

I will be in a Festive Mood if Charlot comes out on Fire in 2018! Let's make a Toast that his Productivity between 2017 and 2018 are like Night and Day.

I agreed with Bryson when he predicted that Miles Kendrick would be named the starting QB. I now Move that the Comment be "Stricken from the Record".

However, I just read about Arizona QB Khalil Tate, he is now a Heisman Candidate. In 2017, he was the Backup until an Injury gave him a chance. In his first start, Tate rushed for 327 Yards! I predict that Miles will get his opportunity sooner than later. Rock Chalk!

Dane Pratt 1 year, 2 months ago

Do we know Miles is the backup or is it Carter Stanley? I haven't seen any mention of the depth chart yet. But to your point, I also expect to see Miles behind center this year, probably inserted from time to time in a wildcat formation.

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