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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

David Beaty identifies KU football’s under-the-radar spring contributors

Kansas wide receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. (14) hangs on to a deep catch on his shoulder pad as cornerback Corione Harris reaches for him during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. (14) hangs on to a deep catch on his shoulder pad as cornerback Corione Harris reaches for him during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

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While anybody who follows the program knows how valuable veterans such as Daniel Wise, Steven Sims Jr. and Joe Dineen are for Kansas football, the significance of dozens of their teammates easily goes unnoticed, especially this time of year, with the season still months away.

Accordingly, following his team’s 15th and final spring practice, head coach David Beaty took a few minutes to commend some of the less heralded players who impressed him in one way or another over the past several weeks.

The fourth-year KU coach said the development of such under-the-radar players is crucial to the program’s growth.

Below is a rundown of the Jayhawks Beaty mentioned (with their class, position, height and weight), along with any comments the coach provided about an individual.

Nick Williams, fr., OL, 6-foot-3, 290 pounds: Beaty began by describing the true freshman from Overland, Mo., who graduated high school early to enroll at KU this spring “a giant” who is going to become a good player. “We certainly hope we can keep the (red) shirt on him, but he is a big kid. He's just got a long way to go, but he's got a bright future.”

Andru Tovi, jr., C, 6-3, 320: “Tovi stuck out to me with his versatility this spring,” Beaty said. “He's tough.”

James Sosinski, jr., TE, 6-7, 260: “He's rounding out his game,” Beaty assessed of the KU basketball walk-on and scholarship tight end. “We got him the ball a few more times again (Saturday, at KU’s open practice).”

Caperton Humphrey, jr., FB, 6-2, 225: “A guy none of you know about,” the coach claimed, “is just quietly doing everything we ask him to do and making plays.”

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Kansas running back Kezelee Flomo (30) makes his way up the field after a catch during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kezelee Flomo, jr., RB, 5-10, 215: Beaty related coaches can see the light coming on for Flomo, a transfer from the North Dakota School of Science, who sat out 2017 per NCAA rules. “It's a different thing playing on the scout team where you put a card up there and you just take off running, and when you call a play and you actually have to react. He's doing a good job.”

Kerr Johnson Jr., sr., WR, 5-11, 193: The second-year junior college transfer “has been a consistent player for us.”

Evan Fairs, jr., WR, 6-3, 210: After making 15 of his 24 receptions in 2017’s final three weeks, Fairs is “emerging.”

Clyde McCauley III, R-jr., OL, 6-5, 305: After starting four games late in 2017, the tackle is “becoming more versatile. That is helping us.”

Malik Clark, R-soph., OL, 6-4, 320: A redshirt this past season, Clark “is developing, as well.”

Kyle Mayberry, jr., CB, 5-10, 180; and Bryce Torneden, jr., S, 5-10, 197: Beaty grouped the defensive backs together, saying they are “better in coverage, better in leadership.”

Willie McCaleb, R-jr., DE, 6-2, 240; and Najee Stevens-McKenzie, jr, DE, 6-3, 225: “Those guys are flashing and they're gaining weight, which is good.”

KeyShaun Simmons, sr., DL, 6-2, 295: After making 19 total tackles in 12 appearances in 2017, his first at KU, Simmons, Beaty said, continues “to be a steady guy, living under that radar, which we kind of like that.”

Codey Cole, jr., DT, 6-3, 287: A spring enrollee, the former junior college defensive lineman “ is going to provide us a lot of depth, and I like his demeanor.”

Stephon Robinson Jr., soph., WR, 5-10, 170: Another new juco transfer who arrived this semester, Robinson “is going to be a good player. He's got a lot of speed. He can help us.”

Jeremiah McCullough, jr., S, 6-0, 200; and Davon Ferguson, sop., S, 5-10, 197: The former teammates at Hartnell College (Calif.), KU’s coach offered, both project as “really good” players.

Upon referencing Cole, Robinson, McCullough and Ferguson, Beaty grouped them with the aforementioned Williams and true freshman corner Corione Harris as the “brand-new” players this spring and have shown coaches they can help this program.

“A lot of them will challenge to play next year,” Beaty added. “Some of them won’t, but a lot of them will.”

KU’s coach reiterated his positive evaluations didn’t mean the players are “anything special yet,” but he thinks they have a chance at living up to his expectations.

Comments

John Fitzgerald 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I like these updates, Benton. It's nice to see how things are rounding out through the Spring and it'll be interesting to see how these same guys are doing come August. I've also created (still creating actually) a list of my own of new comers that I think could play right away. I'm sure I won't be right on all of them but in my opinion they have the most potential.

10-Jacobi Lott - https://hawkjock.com/2018/03/19/new-incoming-impact-player-10-jacobi-lott/

9-Charles "Codey" Cole - https://hawkjock.com/2018/03/26/new-incoming-impact-player-9-charles-cole/

8-Kenny Bastida - https://hawkjock.com/2018/04/03/new-incoming-impact-player-8-kenny-bastida/

7-Elijah Jones - https://hawkjock.com/2018/04/09/new-incoming-impact-player-7-elijah-jones/

6-Miles Emery - https://hawkjock.com/2018/04/18/new-incoming-impact-player-6-miles-emery/

5-Miles Kendrick - https://hawkjock.com/2018/05/01/new-incoming-impact-player-5-miles-kendrick/

*1-4 are still in progress as I'm only doing one per week. I'm guessing anyone can name the top two though.

I'll be curious to see if any of these guys get some significant playing time this year. I'm definitely hoping Miles Kendrick gets a shot at QB. He reminds me of a more polished Michael Cummings, who I thought has been our best QB since Reesing.

Bryson Stricker 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I think youre quite a bit off with Lott & Emery (especially emery) but keep up work. Producing better content than most right now.

Shafqat Mallah 2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Kevin Robert Fest 2 weeks, 5 days ago

What do these evaluations matter? We heard the same thing last year and we couldn't stay on the field with Ohio or C Mich lets just get to the season and see how they do. You read these articles then the season starts and it's the same ole thing. Proof is in the pudding. I don't want to hear that they are improving l want to see that they are improving by not being down 28 in the first quarter, making plays, completing with the other team,.

Kevin Robert Fest 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Oh so and so is improving this so and so looks good then our o line is getting pancaked the qbs are running for their lives and dbs are 10 yards behind any receiver. When the season starts you'll see the improvement or progress or lack there of if they improved we'll see it. These evaluations are pointless if the season starts and we are not competitive.

[''] 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Evan Fairs should be a sophomore after Beaty wasted his freshman year for 1 catch for 7 yards.

Last year, Kyron Johnson was an undersized OLB, now he's a DE?

Jim Stauffer 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Hey, quotation mark, get your facts straight. The No. 9 you saw at DE was NOT Kyron Johnson. Quit reading Tom for info and use his articles for your bird cage.

[''] 2 weeks, 4 days ago

My bad. Whoever it is will be led by a DC who was 129/130 in defensive scoring. 45 points/game. Tom may get the names wrong but this dumpster fire remains the same. 45 points given up to CMU & 38 points to winless Baylor. Did I get that right?

Jeff Coffman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Wouldn't there have to be some coaching in order for these players to meet his expectations...oh wait earn it was lost when Beaty signed an extension.

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 4 days ago

" - Haven't you noticed that DEs and OLBs are almost interchangeable these days. The former tend to be a bit bigger but also tend to excel when they have great speed. Kyron has great speed. Apparently you also missed that HS players can get significantly bigger when they get in a collegiate training program, especially players that arrive a semester early like Kyron.

Bryson Stricker 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Kyron is still at LB, he is not at DE.

They are interchangeable in formations, not actual position.

[''] 2 weeks, 4 days ago

These players will all be ghosts come Fall from lack of being coached properly...

Mike Bennett 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Does anything Beaty say even matter anymore to anyone? I mean the guy has to say something to try and keep his $2M a year. We all know he can't coach and can't evaluate.

Jim Stauffer 2 weeks, 4 days ago

While I realize as many have already posted, these kids have to be molded into a unit to be successful. At the same time, only those who are determined to avoid saying anything positive about the program would deny the talent level on this team is leaps and bounds ahead of when Beaty came. Point is, whoever coaches this team in '19 will be in much better shape than anyone has been since the departure of MM.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 4 days ago

^Probably the best argument for retaining a coach who deserves to be fired. If we do get rid of Beaty the bigger issue is who do we replace him with. We’ve struck out 3 times and each time it has set the program back even further.

Brad Sherp 2 weeks, 4 days ago

^This rationale is a joke. As long as there are only 65 power five conference teams, and KU is still one of those teams, there will be coaches wanting this job.

You could try to say the same thing about Cleveland in the NFL, but they always find coaches with solid resumes to take the job, because there are only 32 jobs there.

KU has nothing to lose by replacing an incompetent coach with a coach who may/may not be incompetent. Worst case scenario, a new coach will probably have a better record than Beaty. If Beaty was half of the coach that he is a hype man/cheerleader, KU would be showing some on the field progress by now.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I don’t like Beaty any more than you but if you think there is nothing to lose you have not been paying attention.

[''] 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Throw $4-$5 M per at Doeren. He just got a raise to $3M at NC State. KC native. Very well respected in the Midwest after successful stops at Wisc, Northern IL. Worst he can say is NO right?

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I'm okay with that. Take the money we were going to spend on the stadium and throw it at Doeren instead.

[''] 2 weeks, 4 days ago

"....the talent level on this team is leaps and bounds ahead of when Beaty came." Yet he is 3-33 Thanks for proving that this comes down to not being able to coach talented kids. You realize you just made this argument for many of us right Jim?

Kevin Robert Fest 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Yes it may be leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a few years ago but we are still getting blown out and embarrassed so what is your point? We have better talent but nothing to show for it. Is that a coaching problem system problem player problem what?

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