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Kansas football's top 25 difference-makers: No. 24, Ryan Schadler

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Kansas receiver Ryan Schadler pulls in a pass during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Kansas receiver Ryan Schadler pulls in a pass during spring football practice on Thursday, March 30, 2017. by Nick Krug

Tom Keegan and I collaborated on a list of 25 potential difference-makers for the Kansas football team in 2017 and will release one each weekday leading up to the Sept. 2 season-opener vs. SEMO, at Memorial Stadium. We will list them in reverse order of how indispensable/potentially impactful they are for KU's hopes of having a more competitive season.

After a rare health-scare involving an organ disorder sidelined him for the entire 2016 season, Ryan Schadler is back with the Jayhawks ready to make a bigger impact than ever.

A former running back and kick-returner with a 104-yard touchdown return on his KU résumé, Schadler left a potentially crowded backfield before spring practices began to become a receiver.

At an early-morning offseason run this past spring, new offensive coordinator Doug Meacham walked over to Schadler and told him, ““Hey, we’re going to put you at slot.”

Schadler’s response?

“Yes,” he recalled. “Finally.”

Back in his hometown of Hesston, Schadler’s friends and family members often saw who the called “little receivers” playing on Sundays. Think 5-foot-10 Patriots standout Julian Edelman. “You should be doing that,” they would tell Schadler, listed at 5-11 and 191 pounds.

He mostly played running back in high school so Schadler had to learn all the Air Raid plays from a different position. What he had already picked up from KU’s system made that part easy.

“It’s the same offense,” Schadler said of Meacham’s approach, “so I kind of knew the gist of everything.”

Through the spring, he proved effective in the slot, paving the way for him to possibly start with Steven Sims Jr. and Daylon Charlot this fall in KU’s revamped passing attack.

A three-time high school state track champion (Class 4A) inspired to do something special with his second chance after surgery repaired a malrotation of his small and large intestines, Schadler also is in the mix as a punt- or kick-returner in 2017.

KU football's top 25 difference-makers

25 - Quan Hampton

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I think that Schadler and Torneden are the two guys who are going to surprise this year. Schadler is a Big 12 talent. He'll be reliable and dangerous in the slot, plus his running back experience will make him highly effective in YAC. Really looking forward to seeing the new offense this year.

John Fitzgerald 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree. I'd also like to see Kyle Mayberry step up. We'll definitely need it.

Brock Wells 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I hope your correct about Torneden. He's one of a handful of guys that Beaty and staff have been able to develop even with our scholarship numbers.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Lots of unrealized potential at WR.

In fact on O, there's all kinds of potential improvement in each position group with losing very few players, adding several potential impact players, and continuing to develop the young players.

Michael Maris 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Really excited to see what Schadler will bring to the playing field this 2017 season. Based on his responding comment to Coach Meacham, this is the positional move that Schadler's been waiting for.

Randy Bombardier 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Why is he not at running back when he averaged 242 yards per game, 14 yards per carry. Why, cause it's Kansas high school football? A guy by the name of Nolan Cromwell from tiny Ransom didnt do so bad. How about KSU's walk on receiver? He hasnt been too shabby in the NFL. Time for some respect for home grown talent. You do that and just maybe we will get the next Barry Sanders instead of him defecting to the Pokes. I watched Schadlers high school highlights. He can ball.

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