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Most Crucial Jayhawks: No. 19 - K John Duvic

Here's the latest installment in our series that examines the Jayhawks who stand to have the biggest impact for KU football this fall.

No. 19: John Duvic, Freshman, K

It’s a lot to ask of an offense that has trouble passing and blocking to take a touchdown-or-bust approach to scoring, but that’s what Kansas did too often during the first two years of Charlie Weis’ tenure as head coach.

There is reason to believe that could change now that Duvic is on board as a walk-on kicker. Duvic, from Benet Academy in suburban Chicago, broke his namesake father’s school record by a yard with a 54-yard field goal. He also had a two-week midseason stretch in which he made 9 of 10 field goals.

The younger Duvic has put a lot of time into his leg and has developed a reputation as one of the top kickers his age in the country.

“I travel all over working with some of the most talented kids and (John’s) someone you’ll see playing on Saturdays,” said national kicking guru Chris Sailer during an October interview with the Chicago-based Post-Tribune. “As far as field goals, he’s one of the top 15 kickers nationally, and I’ve trained 3,000 kids.”

If Duvic can bring the sort of consistency he showed in high school into college, the days of KU field goal kickers repeatedly missing chip shots that render meaningless long, productive drives could be over and that could inject the offense with the confidence it has lacked in recent seasons.

Top 25 Most Crucial Jayhawks for 2014:

No. 25 - LB Jake Love

No. 24 - DB Greg Allen

No. 23 - DB Cassius Sendish

No. 22 - OL Zach Fondal

No. 21 - WR Justin McCay

No. 20 - DL Ben Goodman

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Comments

Jay Beakum 3 weeks ago

File immediately into the “See it before I believe it” folder.

This math doesn’t cut it. He’s a top 15 kicker, and still won’t get a scholarship at one of the nations worst football programs? Why aren’t the top 25 teams handing this kid a schollie? Only Army offered.

ESPN has Duvic listed as a 3 star, and the 66th best kicker in the nation. So then, something tells me Chris Sailer is FOS.

I’m pulling for him, but I’m not holding my breath either. Good luck, John.

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Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Or maybe ESPN knows less about kickers than Sailer?

Hmmmm

B B B B B B B B B

Schollies and stars are also a function of the position. P/K just don't get top ratings regardless of their ability. It's just the reality of ratings. If he or any other kicker comes in and produces, then he'll get a schollie.

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Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 6 days ago

It is still amazing to me that the starting S is considered less significant than a potential walk-on kicker and back-up WR that has been largely unproductive.

It would definitely be nice to have an impact kicker.

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Joe Ross 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Agree with Jay Beakum, above. But I would caution that players who fly under the national radar are not necessarily non-producers. Todd Reesing anyone? I'll say this. The kid doesn't have to be Martin Grammatica or Quinn Sharp on the college level to have a major impact for the Jayhawks. If he can be relied on inside of 40 then Tom has him right where he deserves to be. But tip of the cap to Beakum...I'll believe it when I see it.

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Jim Stauffer 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Dirk, These articles were not advertised as articles on the best players on the team. They are articles on guys who are somewhat overshadowed who can greatly impact the team by having great years.

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Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 5 days ago

"the Jayhawks who stand to have the biggest impact for KU football this fall."

No mention of overshadowed. Opening article mentioned not necessarily the best in order, but most impactful. That's why it still seems relevant that players who might not even see the field would seem to have less potential impact than a starter. Especially a walk-on freshmen.

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Tom Zimmerman 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Doubt all you want but this young man is the real thing. I'm and alum of Benet and. KU and saw him kill it in high school. His whole family were great kickers and he'll make an impact. We're lucky to have him.

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Jay Beakum 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I’m glad to have him too. The problem is that kickers who kill it in high school don’t always do so in college. I believe it has to do with the added pressure. If he can focus and handle the pressure, I bet he’ll be fine. But that’s easier said than done when you have a million eyes on you, standing alone waiting on the snap.

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