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Monday, April 27, 2015

Keegan

Column: Here’s a look at seven KU football newbies to watch

Blue Team running back Ryan Schadler is tacked by White Team safety Bazie Bates IV during the Spring Game on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

Blue Team running back Ryan Schadler is tacked by White Team safety Bazie Bates IV during the Spring Game on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Memorial Stadium.

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As many as 40 new players, including walk-ons, could join the Kansas University football program in June, when summer school and summer conditioning start. Once practices resume, coaches hope a number of them will surprise with their level of maturity, game-readiness and talent.

Others who haven’t yet played in a game for Kansas had a chance to show their stuff to the new coaching staff in 15 spring practices, including Saturday’s spring intrasquad game.

A look at seven such players who helped their bids for fall playing time during the spring, listed in alphabetical order:

Bazie Bates, Jr., S: The junior-college transfer had a game-high six tackles, five of the solo variety, Saturday. Bates arrived as an undersized safety but said he has put on 20 pounds. “In juco, you don’t really lift like this, nor eat like this,” he said. “It’s a blessing.”

For the moment, Bates is behind Fish Smithson on the depth chart.

“He comes downhill, and he will hit you,” head coach David Beaty said. “He can get you on the ground. He runs all over that field, and he will strike you. ... Fish ain’t going to give up that spot easy. It’s not going to be overnight for Bazie. He’s going to have to earn it.”

Ke’aun Kinner, Jr., RB: For a little guy, he can get yards up the middle and has plenty of speed to turn the corner for big gains.

Damani Mosby, Jr., DE: Has the quickness to get to the quarterback and to running backs trying to break to the outside. Created quite the buzz early in camp.

Anthony Olobia, Jr., DE: Gets off the line of scrimmage quickly and brings high ceiling as a pass-rusher.

Tyler Patrick, Fr., WR: Made good use of red-shirt season and has impressed staff with toughness. He’s not a big target or especially fluid, but he’s a big-play threat catching it deep or short because of his speed and determination.

Brandon Stewart, Jr., CB: He ranks as team’s top corner, one of the thinnest positions. Juco teammate of Bates, he originally committed to Cal. Asked why he changed his mind, he answered with two words: “David Beaty.”

Kent Taylor, Jr., TE: Big and and fast, he has a high ceiling. If he can find a way to bring the same focus level every day, and then every play, big things could happen with Florida transfer.

As important as any spring development, Beaty showed he doesn’t play favorites regarding team rules. Running back Corey Avery and wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman, as talented as anyone on the roster, are serving indefinite suspensions.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Avery comes from Dallas Carter HS, which has a long running tradition of producing elite football players and criminal records. The famed '88 team was featured in "Friday Night Lights' and will soon have a dedicated movie released (http://popcultureblog.dallasnews.com/2014/07/storied-1988-carter-high-school-football-team-will-soon-hit-the-big-screen.html/#).

The Dallas ISD reflects the overwhelming failures, in-spite huge sums of federal money, of shown in nearly every major US city educating inner-city kids. Many of the inner-city districts regularly overrule or fight efforts, such as the UIL and TEA in Carter's case, to improve the situation.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas needs to find more guys like Patrick that were largely over looked. Patrick probably would have been more heavily recruited out of HS had it not been for some key defensive injuries his junior year, which required him to play several new positions in the defensive backfield. He had a nice senior year playing offense/defense/specialty teams for a top 10 6A team. Fortunately Kansas got in with an offer and acceptance before his senior year and Patrick honored that commitment, although several other high D-1 offers developed. Throughout his HS career he did whatever it took to help his team even when it hurt his own exposure.

Tom Keegan 7 years, 2 months ago

As soon as we find out what the status of his injury is we will post it on KUsports.com.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 2 months ago

The more I read the more I think Zenger hit a home run with this hire. It remains to be seen whether that ball eventually makes it over the fence but it sure looks good coming off the bat.

Michael Sillman 7 years, 2 months ago

I agree. The Shadler kid had some impressive acceleration. He also showed some toughness up the middle.

In view of the Avery and Mann situations, we may need another running back right now.

Adam McEwen 7 years, 2 months ago

we need to recruit louisiana, maybe one of those kids has some mojo that can lift the curse of the Mangino off of us.

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