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KU football MVP Countdown: No. 17, Bryce Torneden

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Kansas safety Bryce Torneden (1) shows his excitement after a defensive stop during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas safety Bryce Torneden (1) shows his excitement after a defensive stop during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

On a defense that welcomes so many new faces into the mix to battle for spots on the depth chart, there is an increased value to a smart player who has played in 22 games in the program and started 11 last season. The value becomes greater when considering that he brings a team-first attitude that will make him not only willing but eager to share his knowledge with players battling to supplant him from his starting spot.

Bryce Torneden, a junior nickelback/safety out of Lawrence Free State High, has demonstrated steady improvement since his early days of biting on play-action fakes. He's not the fastest player in the Kansas secondary, but aside from safety Mike Lee he just might hit the hardest.

Torneden earned a slew of scholar awards last season, including first team Academic All-Big 12, and was named to the third team of Phil Steele's All-Big 12, a prestigious on-field honor.

Torneden was bound for North Dakota State, which recruited him as a running back, until Kansas decided to use one of its last scholarships on him. He has turned that into a wise decision by the coaching staff.

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