Friday, July 7, 2017

Key returning starters to represent KU football at Big 12 media days

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) looks to bring down Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson (32) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas defensive tackle Daniel Wise (96) looks to bring down Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson (32) during the second quarter on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.


When David Beaty heads to Frisco, Texas, later this month for the Big 12’s annual football media days extravaganza, the Kansas football coach plans to bring four players with him to pose for photos and answer questions about the upcoming season.

The conference announced Thursday the representatives for all 10 schools, and revealed defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., defensive tackle Daniel Wise, linebacker Joe Dineen and left tackle Hakeem Adeniji will head south to talk all things KU football on July 17, Day 1 of the two-day affair.

It will mark the first trip to Big 12 media days for three of the four returning starters, with the exception being redshirt junior Dineen, who also made the trip a year ago.

Dineen, a Lawrence native who served as one of the team captains in 2016, said during spring football earlier this offseason he expected to take on an expanded role with the team heading into his fourth year in the program — Dineen received a medical redshirt after playing in just three games this past fall due to a hamstring injury.


Team KU receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. (14) is taken to the turf by Team Jayhawk linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) during the first quarter of the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

“I feel like my leadership in the past was kind of more of a like lead by example,” Dineen explained in the spring. “And I’m trying to be more vocal this year. I’m trying to speak more and get people lined up, help our middle linebackers with this front set and just be more of an emotional leader in the locker room and stuff like that.”

Armstrong and Wise, KU’s pair of stalwart junior defensive linemen, are expected to anchor the defense and disrupt opposing offenses this fall. Armstrong was a consensus first-team All-Big 12 end as a sophomore, while Wise was named second-team all-conference by the Associated Press. Their unique combinations of size, speed and power have quickly made them two of KU’s most prominent players.

“We just come out here to play the best that we can and hopefully to get the team better,” Armstrong said of the duo becoming the primary faces of the program, during a recent interview on KLWN’s Rock Chalk Sports Talk, “and I feel like that’s what we have done so far, so a lot of people will lean on us — me and (Wise) — to keep that going.”

Adeniji went from an unknown offensive lineman in preseason camp nearly a year ago to a 12-game starter as a true freshman.


Kansas offensive tackle Hakeem Adeniji is congratulated by head coach David Beaty after being selected third overall during a spring game player draft on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Football 101 upcoming

For the third straight summer, the KU football staff is inviting women interested in learning more about the game to its “Football 101” clinic, on July 27 at Anderson Family Football Complex.

Beaty, as well as his assistant coaches and current KU players, will interact with those in attendance through teaching various aspects of football.

The clinic, which benefits Jayhawks For A Cure, costs $75 per person, and includes food, drinks and a T-shirt.

Early registration for the event is available online, through the KU Athletics website.


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