For the first time since 2015, the Kansas football program will have multiple representatives at the NFL’s scouting combine.
Azur Kamara, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound athlete who played outside linebacker and defensive end during his two years at KU, found out this past weekend, during the latest round of invites, that coaches and personnel decision-makers in the NFL want to have a closer look at him.
Kamara will join former KU offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji at the pre-draft event at Indianapolis beginning later this month, from Feb. 23 through March 2.
“There’s nothing wrong with being rejected, it makes you turn to God and work harder,” Kamara tweeted out in response to becoming a combine invitee.
The NFL’s ultimate pre-draft showcase hadn’t extended combine invitations to more than one Jayhawk since 2015, when linebacker Ben Heeney, cornerback JaCorey Shepherd and punter Trevor Pardula attended.
During his senior season at KU in 2019, Kamara played the position defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot calls a “Jack,” and his responsibilities involved getting to the edge and rushing the passer, somewhat like a defensive end who plays standing up instead of getting into a stance.
A starter in all 12 games, Kamara finished sixth on the team in total tackles, with 51, and led the Jayhawks with 3.5 sacks. He was credited with six tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries.
Kamara’s college football career began at Arizona Western College, and he transferred to KU after two seasons at the junior college level. Kamara, in 2018, played defensive end for then-coordinator Clint Bowen, and started three games. That year Kamara had 16 total tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack.
Adeniji and Kamara will be among the 337 prospects attending the combine. The NFL’s official list of invitees lists Kamara as a linebacker.
The combine’s tentative workout schedule has O-linemen performing on Feb. 28, and linebackers going on Feb. 29.
This will mark the third consecutive year KU sends a player to the NFL’s scouting combine. Dorance Armstrong Jr. participated in 2018 and Daniel Wise did in 2019. Both Armstrong, who became a fourth-round pick, and Wise, who went undrafted, are now on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster.
As the XFL kicked off its season this past weekend, four former KU players appeared on rosters in the eight-team league.
Dwayne Wallace is an offensive tackle for the Los Angeles Wildcats and Heeney plays linebacker for the New York Guardians, while the Seattle Dragons have both tight end Ben Johnson and linebacker Steven Johnson.
Steven Johnson led the Dragons with eight total tackles in a loss to D.C., while Ben Johnson caught one pass for 18 yards.
Heeney made nine total tackles, and was also credited with a sack, two quarterback hurries, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in New York’s win over Tampa Bay.
Although he was in line to be the offensive coordinator for the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks, former KU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham has resurfaced in the Big 12.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson announced this past week that Meacham is rejoining the Horned Frogs’ staff as the inside receivers and tight ends coach.
Meacham was fired by then-KU head coach David Beaty midway through the 2018 season. He previously worked at TCU for Patterson, most recently as co-offensive coordinator, in 2016.