Safety Sam Skwarlo leaves KU football after redshirt season

Former FSHS standout switching back to RB

Free State senior running back Sam Skwarlo (5) outruns Wichita Northwest senior defensive back Justin Onwugbufor (14) on his way to a touchdown during their game Friday night in Wichita.

Free State senior running back Sam Skwarlo (5) outruns Wichita Northwest senior defensive back Justin Onwugbufor (14) on his way to a touchdown during their game Friday night in Wichita.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

After a year of Division I college football in his hometown, former Free State High standout Sam Skwarlo decided to leave the University of Kansas behind in search of a more prominent role.

Now 5-foot-11 and 209 pounds after a redshirt season with the Jayhawks, during which he practiced as a safety, Skwarlo determined in the midst of spring football he missed his days as a running back.

“I wanted to switch to the offensive side and ultimately wanted to play,” Skwarlo told the Journal-World of what inspired him to move on. “I knew KU just wasn’t the right fit for me.”

As a prep senior with the Firebirds, Skwarlo rushed for 1,492 yards and 21 touchdowns. He hopes to revive that type of offensive productivity by transferring to Coffeyville Community College for at least the 2017 season.

Skwarlo said he hopes to use that opportunity to get back to the Division I level — as soon as 2018, if possible — as a running back, H-back or fullback, depending on how his development goes.

The former KU safety plans to get to Coffeyville in June to start training with his new program, after just one season with the Jayhawks.

“I appreciated the opportunity Coach (David) Beaty gave me,” Skwarlo said. “But in the end, it just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.”