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Offensive tackle Antione Frazier making most of summer conditioning

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Kansas offensive lineman Antione Frazier (75) and the Jayhawks head out to the field through the smoke prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas offensive lineman Antione Frazier (75) and the Jayhawks head out to the field through the smoke prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Short cuts don’t work for losing college football programs, particularly in trying to build an offensive line via junior-college recruiting.

Kansas had slipped into that pattern and it was imperative that David Beaty not continue that cycle.

In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sports culture we live in it takes discipline for a coach to take the patient approach, but slow growth is real growth.

Beaty has given offensive line coach Zach Yenser final say in which linemen to recruit and in sophomore Antione Frazier, Yenser just might have found a good play for the future.

Yenser recruited the 6-foot-4, 250-pound native of Huffman, Texas, because he liked his feet and his frame. He was too light, too inexperienced to help as a freshman, had a solid spring, but showed in the spring game that he has a long way to go. Josh Ehambe blew by Franzier on his way to four sacks.

That rough day for Frazier might have been a factor in him rededicating himself to having a standout summer conditioning season.

“I really like his maturation process,” first-year strength and conditioning coach Zac Woodfin said. “He came to me at the beginning of the summer and we had a good one-on-one talk about wanting to take his work ethic to another level, wanting to take his film preparation to the next level, wanting to do whatever he needs to do to become a better football player. He’s really backed that up. He’s taking everything he’s doing to another level.

“It was great that he did that because we wanted him to mature quickly so we can truly count on him at tackle against some of the best players in the Big 12.”

Frazier has worked and eaten his way to 285 pounds.

“We’ve really been working with him on the nutritional front,” Woodfin said. “He and Hakeem (Adeniji) are getting closer and closer to 300 pounds. They’re both so lean and athletic for offensive linemen. They don’t carry a lot of body fat. We want to continue that trend and get them there the right way so they don’t lack that ability to move and use their quick feet.”

Frazier said the added weight has not slowed him down a step.

“I can feel my body getting more agile, even with this weight I’ve put on,” he said. “I feel like I can still run the same speed and for the same amount of time.”

Frazier said he broke his arm at the end of his junior season in high school, which prevented him from playing in elite camps to which he had received invitations.

“Coach Yenser was the first one to recruit me and he stayed with me throughout the whole process,” Frazier said. “He felt like a father to me. He was always there for me. He never really talked about football, just always school, making sure I was going to class.

After Kansas offered, Frazier said, interest in him picked up. He heard from Houston and Texas A&M and received an offer from Texas State.

“My mom, as soon as she met coach Yenser, she really didn’t want me to go to any other schools,” Frazier said.

Frazier likely will end training camp working on the second team at left tackle, behind Adeniji. “I feel like if I stick to the program, keep on adding weight and getting better, I’ll put myself in the right position,” he said.

Comments

Chris DeWeese 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I really like hearing about players taking the initiative to get better and become a factor on this team. It's another indication that Beaty and Co have created the right climate, one that breeds competitiveness as well as support. As far as the OL is concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if KU ends up having the best in the B12 within 2-3 years. With all the playing time earned by these freshman and sophomores, it will surely translate into success in the near future.

Randy Bombardier 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Enjoy hearing about this group. Sounds like strides are being made. Next year and year after we should have some really solid line play., agree with you, Zorro.

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