Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Notebook: KU football veterans regard atypical spring as a success

Kansas cornerback Julian Chandler (25) breaks up a pass to Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs (19) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas cornerback Julian Chandler (25) breaks up a pass to Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs (19) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


Although numerous injuries among offensive linemen inhibited the Kansas football team’s ability to scrimmage as it typically would throughout the past several weeks, veterans of the program deemed the spring portion of the offseason a success.

Redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen has experienced every spring in head coach David Beaty’s four years in charge.

“I think we had, since I’ve been here, one of the best springs that we’ve had as a team,” Dineen remarked. “I think we’ve taken strides. I think everyone got stronger.”

While gains in the weight room should enhance the ability of KU’s defensive players on the field, some vital steps in improving a unit that finished 117th among 129 FBS teams in total defense (468.3 yards allowed per game) and 128th in scoring defense (43.4 points allowed) occurred during the 15-practice schedule, too.

According to Dineen, the spring sessions helped KU’s defense become more functional as a unit.

“It was getting guys in the right spot at the right time. Just get the details of the defense ironed out. I feel like we did that,” Dineen said. “I feel like everyone now has a strong grasp of what we’re trying to do. Spring’s about putting in stuff and fall’s about refining it and getting ready to go. I think where we are now we’re in a good spot and we’ve obviously got to keep it up, keep moving forward in the summer with player-run stuff, but I think we’ve got a good base.”

Another redshirt senior and defensive leader, tackle Daniel Wise, felt encouraged by the unit’s consistency and advancements through the spring.

“Obviously if you’re not growing, you’re going backwards. You can’t stay the same,” Wise said. “But overall I thought we did a good job of moving forward and staying together and growing, communicating well and all those things we need to be a good defense.”

Obviously KU’s offense had its issues, as well, during a 1-11 2017 season. The Jayhawks finished 117th in total offense (329.0 yards per game) and 119th in scoring (18.7 points per game).

Senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. said KU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham didn’t completely overhaul the system or playbook as a result, though.

“He didn’t tweak it that much. We’re kind of really still running our basics,” Sims said. “We haven’t really put in extra plays, game-plan plays, things like that. We changed up a couple signals and things like that but nothing major changed to the offense.”

Former players stay involved

This past weekend, which was scheduled to revolve around the program’s spring game before Beaty decided the Jayhawks would have to make do with an open practice in front of their fans, a number of former KU players came through Anderson Family Football Complex and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium to show their support.


Former Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney walks along the sidelines during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

The festivities included a golf outing and party at The Jayhawk Club, as well as opportunities for NFL players Chris Harris, Bradley McDougald, Ben Heeney, Fish Smithson and Dexter McDonald to interact with current Jayhawks.

“I think it's important for those guys to see inside of their program, number one, and see what we are doing,” Beaty said, “because it's real easy just to kind of not be involved in it and kind of draw your own conclusion. But when you're inside, I think you might be able to draw a little bit more of an educated conclusion. That could still be bad, it could be good, but at least you get to see it.”

Furthermore, Beaty savors having NFL players come through as often as possible to remind his college pupils of what’s possible and all that goes into making it at the highest level.

“And then they watch (Seattle safety McDougald) come up here and Chris (Harris, star cornerback with Denver) and go get a workout in before they come out and watch them practice. They're in the weight room with them, and that's what pros do, right,” Beaty said. “They don't come in and jack around. They come in and get their work done. That's how they last in the league. If you're jacking around, you're not going to last. They're going to cut you.”

KU offers hometown O-lineman

This past weekend, Turner Corcoran, a standout offensive lineman at Free State High, picked up a scholarship offer from KU.

Earlier in April, Corcoran, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound rising junior, visited Notre Dame and received an offer from the Irish. He has since added offers from Ohio State and Nebraska, as well.

Back in March, both Iowa State and Kansas State extended an offer to Corcoran.


Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

What else are the veteran players supposed to say?

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

After 3 years Dineen says, "I feel like everyone (defense) now has a strong grasp of what we’re trying to do. You mean that they didn't know before. Aside from letting teams score at will what else are they trying to grasp after 3 years?

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Hopefully they will figure it out in time to prepare for the CMich and Ohio's of college football.( I know we don't play Ohio this year. )

[''] 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Is KU just NOW offering the FS kid? KU should be the FIRST to offer ANY Kansas player in the entire state considered a "standout" -- heck any kid above a 1 star. He should have been offered months ago even before KSU and ISU right? They waited until Notre dame offered first? Did they think they had better players to offer? Reason # 6543 why we are 3-33.

Chris DeWeese 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Might be one of the reasons we have a new O line coach.

[''] 10 months, 3 weeks ago

You put Dineen & D Wise in a confession booth and administer some truth serum and ask them if they want to play their final seasons with a 3-33 HC. I dare you.

John Brazelton 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Most starters are now juniors and seniors and they want to win this season. When you recruit high school players, it takes a redshirt year, plus another two years in the weight room gaining strength and weight, then working technique and gaining on-the-field playing experience. Rarely can a downtrodden program recruit a 4-star athlete like Mike Lee or a Corine Harris to start as freshmen.

Bryson Stricker 10 months, 3 weeks ago

We offered the FS kid months ago and he just wasn’t completely aware it was a legitimate offer. We were his first school and he knows it.

[''] 10 months, 3 weeks ago

THAT'S your excuse???? That he didn't realize we'd offered?? If that is the case you made my point. The recruiter clearly did a horsesh-- job of talking to the kid -- if he did at all.

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh my God you guys who gives a shi* hes not coming here. If hes as talented as they are saying other schools will offer. He will have plenty of choices and I doubt Kansas will be one of them regardless if we were 1st 15th 20th or last to offer. Look at most of the talented recruits from the state of Kansas over the Beaty years how many of them went to KU very few maybe KST got some but the most talented of them are going to other schools in other conferences far away from KU. Give it a rest even if KU was at Orange Bowl year level doesn't guarantee a recruit from Kansas or from any other place would come to KU they're 17 and 18 year old kids. Jesus if ND offered l don't care that's a place very few can say they played honestly what would you pick? Playing USC Stanford on NBC very week gold helmets history or lows St to a 90% empty stadium?

[''] 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Breathe Kevin. The point of the whole thing isn't whether he's coming to KU -- its the fact that Beaty said in his initial press conf that no one was going to recruit the state of KS better than him. Yet a kid, not just from KS but from LAWRENCE, got a scholly offer weeks after many other top tier programs offered proves we got folks asleep at the wheel. This is a symptom of the disease.

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

KU also only offered a olineman a walkon spot before offering a schorship after other schools did. And he a lineman from Kansas and offensive line is our worst position and Beaty only offer to walk on position nothing surprises me anymore. Beaty has said alot of things since he got here. This is a surprise to you (") the coaching staff hasn't been awake since they got here. Lol. Except for Coach Hull. Not for him bringing in the LA kids our recruiting classes would be even worse. The next coach better keep him if he knows what's good for him. Beaty has been a fraud from the beginning. Recruit Texas with his Texas ties...nope

John Fitzgerald 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Not sure if he's considered a "veteran" as a junior but I think James Sosinski is going to have a strong year. I wrote about it here:

We'll definitely miss Ben Johnson but James could fill that roll nicely.

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The problem with BJ @ KU was he was very under utilized. Maybe had a few targets a game. Reliable pass catcher and route runner good hands. I always wondered why they didn't use him more. Free agent signing here in LA w Chargers obviously has talent. Like most things wasted at KU football.

Kevin Robert Fest 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The fact that LA wanted him after limited production (NOT HIS FAULT) at KU shows that Beaty wasted a valuable resource. Should have gone the Sternberger route. What a waste of talent. Beaty has no one to blame but himself.

Skyler Owen 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Is Dominic Williams leaving the program or transferring?

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