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KU football MVP Countdown: No. 7, Hakeem Adeniji

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Kansas offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji runs through warmups on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the grass fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark.

Kansas offensive lineman Hakeem Adeniji runs through warmups on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017 at the grass fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark. by Nick Krug

An allergy to cashews denied Hakeem Adeniji his medical waiver at the Air Force Academy so he had to find a new school at the last minute.

That little stroke of luck for Kansas landed the Jayhawks an offensive lineman who has started all 24 games of his career, most of them at left tackle.

A torn labrum in each shoulder didn’t keep Adeniji from playing last season and he had both injuries addressed in offseason surgery. He didn’t participate in spring practice but was at full speed for fall camp.

He’s smart and he cares about becoming as good a football player as possible. The next steps for him will be to continue to get stronger, to use that strength aggressively and to use his intelligence to communicate more aggressively.

Adeniji has a better stable of veteran leaders to model as a junior than he did during his freshman season, thanks to a slew of graduate transfers beefing up the KU O-line.

It’s difficult to say whether a player who doesn’t bring a nasty streak onto the field can develop one, but even if Adeniji doesn’t, his ability to play through pain and move his feet make him KU’s best option at left tackle. He has a shot to leave Kansas after the 2019 season having started all 48 games of his career, which would be quite an accomplishment.

Comments

Mike Bennett 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I like Hakeem a lot as a player, but he'd be a much better player at guard than at tackle. He's too light in the pants a little on the small side to be a starting left tackle in this league. He gets over powered and driven back into the QB when trying to get out to speed rushers. IMO, he gives up too many pressures to be elite. Unfortunately, he's forced to play out of position due to a lack of options.

Dirk Medema 3 weeks, 4 days ago

He was an injured sophomore. Really can't draw any reasonable conclusions about his position at this point.

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