Outgoing defensive end Damani Mosby sounds strong, bullish voice on Kansas football future
The date was Nov. 8 and three games remained on the Kansas football schedule when I interviewed defensive end Damani Mosby for his thoughts on the future of the program, intending to save the material for an offseason story.
Mosby spent three years in the program, the first as a redshirt, after transferring from junior college. He never was one to exaggerate, so his upbeat words during the interview had staying power.
“I think this thing is going to catch fire and it’s going to catch fire quick,” Mosby said. “A lot of people might not see that right now from the outside looking in. but people like me, Fish (Smithson), anybody who’s here every day, can see how hard we work and how much better people are getting every day can see it.”
Kansas finished the season 1-2 with a seven-point loss to Iowa State, the school’s first victory against Texas since 1938, and a 15-point loss to Kansas State.
The Jayhawks lost to the same three schools the previous season by an average margin of 31.7 points.
The three-touchdown-per-game improvement against those three opponents from the previous season lent credibility to Mosby’s prediction. His analysis of the future, by the way, was delivered with a voice ideally suited for broadcasting, so he might want to consider that path after he’s done playing football.
“I know it’s a business, but if they’re able to keep this staff together it’s just going to compound the success that we’ve had because we have great teachers,” Mosby said. “The young guys we have I think it’s necessary to have good teachers.”
Head coach David Beaty, heading into his third season, didn’t lose any defensive assistant coaches and other than in the secondary, the majority of starters return.
Mosby and Anthony Olobia will be missed up front, but KU still projects to have a terrific pass rush. Dorance Armstrong was KU’s first unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection. Tackles Daniel Wise and DeeIsaac Davis had terrific seasons, and slender Isaiah Bean showed a quick burst that lends itself to harassing quarterbacks.
It all adds up to newcomers in the secondary having a shot to look good right off the bat.
“This is going to keep developing from here and is going to be even better,” Mosby said of the defensive front. “I’m excited for what the line is going to look like in coming years based on the guys playing now.”
Obviously, Armstrong is the source of much of the excitement.
Mosby said when he watches Armstrong he thinks about all the edge rushers he watches on Sunday.
“I call him ‘Prototype’ because he just looks like those type of guys. He plays like those type of guys, being able to bend the corner, get back there. It’s really cool being able to see how much he’s gotten better since he first came here and how much more he has to go until his senior year. I’m really, really excited to see how good he’s going to be when it’s all said and done.”
It is exciting to think that if KU makes a bowl game within the next two years, Armstrong and Wise have more games left to play than they already have played.
Mosby makes a strong case that Kansas football will catch fire soon.