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Kansas football top 25 difference-makers: No. 19, S Bryce Torneden

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Kansas safety Bryce Torneden slaps hands with quarterback Carter Stanley as the two run through the warmup line during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Kansas safety Bryce Torneden slaps hands with quarterback Carter Stanley as the two run through the warmup line during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017. by Nick Krug

For as many as three starters on this season’s Kansas football team, their high school and college home football fields are just 3.8 miles apart.

Joe Dineen has one starting linebacker spot locked up. Keith Loneker Jr. stands a good chance of securing the other. And Bryce Torneden is battling Tyrone Miller for the starting safety job opposite Mike Lee.

A sophomore, Torneden played quarterback and defensive back at Free State High and originally committed to North Dakota State as a running back. Kansas offered him a scholarship somewhat late in the process and he proved worthy of that by gaining playing time as a true freshman.

Torneden started at nickelback against West Virginia last season and knows enough about that position to play there again this season if needed, but has been used as a safety during fall camp. Derrick Neal and Kyle Mayberry are competing at the nickel spot.

The coaching staff gives him high grades for smarts and he knows how to use his muscular, 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame efficiently.

I asked Lee to name other hard hitters on the team and Torneden was the first name he mentioned. A Lee-Torneden safety tandem would leave opposing ballcarriers and receivers reaching for ice bags after the game.

If Torneden can prove he can cover as capably as Miller he’ll win the starting nod because of his strong play against the run. If he’s second on the depth chart, he’ll play plenty and maintain the positive attitude he brings to the practice field on a daily basis.

He’s not one who is playing football simply because he has the physical traits to be good at it. Torneden loves the game and it shows in the way he plays it as both a defensive back and special-teams contributor.

Comments

Brett McCabe 4 months ago

Love this kid. He's going to be special.

Ray Winger 4 months ago

Love the safeties safe hits history. The dangerous hit is when the brain changes direction suddenly...soooo...when the Lee/Torneden hits continue in the same direction after a hit... and the tacklee is driven backward....safe hit for our boys and consequences for ball carriers.

Michael Bennett 4 months ago

Look, I know everybody loves the local kid(s). I get it. I really do. I even love the local kids. However, if he's a major factor in this team's success then we will be lucky to win 2 games. This would tell me we have no D-backs. He was a last minute addition to the class when another kid backed out. I think he was going to North Dakota or NDSU prior to the last minute offer. Not only did he not receive offer from another Power 5 team, he didn't receive any from a single FCS school. He's not 5'10. He's not overly fast-4.7-4.8 depending on the scouting agency you look at. And, he may hit hard for a little guy, but he's not going to be playing against little guys. If he spends much time on the field then we have a big problem.

Randy Bombardier 4 months ago

Wyman misses 2 field goals which would have given us a TCU win. We were in position to win against Iowa State. We've been losing some close ones. Easily could have had 4 wins last year and that was with a weak offense. Get a good offense going and we will win these games and more.

Torneden is not playing because he's local. He's playing because the coaches like what they see and their in a much better position to make that call.

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