Thursday, November 29, 2018

KU football has plenty of redshirt candidates from 2018 season

Kansas quarterback Miles Kendrick attempts to run through the Central Michigan defense on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

Kansas quarterback Miles Kendrick attempts to run through the Central Michigan defense on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Kelly/Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Mich.


During his final weeks as the football coach at the University of Kansas, David Beaty hesitated to reveal much publicly about the program’s plans for redshirting certain players this season.

As of Thursday, seven days since the Jayhawks’ finale, the team, now coached by Les Miles, has yet to make any official decisions on which players will use 2018 as a redshirt year.

Any member of the team who played in four or fewer games and hasn’t taken a redshirt in a previous season would be eligible to do so.

However, that doesn’t automatically mean Miles and members of his coaching staff, once assembled, will want to implement the strategy and give a certain player another year of eligibility with KU.

Here is a list of KU’s likely scholarship players who could be awarded redshirts, with the number of games in which each appeared this year listed in parentheses.

• Kenny Bastida, fr. LB (4) — A three-star linebacker from Deerfield Beach High (Fla.), KU used him a little this season on special teams.

• Julian Chandler, jr. CB (4) — In his third season at KU, the corner from Houston played on special teams the first four games of the year.

• Evan Fairs, jr. WR (4) — After making a limited impact in the season’s first four weeks, with two catches for 26 yards, Fairs suffered an undisclosed injury and sat out the rest of the season.


Ernesto Garcia/Waco Tribune-Herald

Kansas wide receiver Evan Fairs (3) drops a pass covered by Baylor cornerback Harrison Hand (31) and Baylor safety Verkedric Vaughns (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Waco, Texas.

• Davon Ferguson, soph. S (4) — A first-year transfer from Hartnell College (Calif.), Ferguson played here and there during the first half of the season, and even recorded an interception at West Virginia, in what proved to be his final appearance of the year.

• Quan Hampton, soph. WR (4) — Much like Fairs, Hampton entered the year as a promising target in KU’s passing game. And, like Fairs, it never materialized for Hampton as he battled a nagging injury. Hampton caught five passes for 59 yards, with his last appearance coming against Oklahoma State.

• Elijah Jones, jr. CB (4) — Another junior college transfer, Jones played sparingly in his first year at KU, making two tackles and breaking up a pass.

• Miles Kendrick, soph. QB (4) — Kendrick’s usage went from every game to non-existent after he suffered a shoulder injury Week 4 at Baylor. Beaty stated before the season began that Kendrick would play every week, but that plan changed mid-season, even though the backup QB was deemed healthy enough to play. In four appearances, the transfer from College of San Mateo (Calif.) completed 11 of 19 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown and rushed 16 times for 47 yards and a TD.

• Reuben Lewis, jr. OL (1) — In his first season at KU after transferring from Coffeyville Community College, Lewis only played on special teams in Week 2 versus Rutgers.

• Jacobi Lott, fr. OL (0) — During preseason camp, the true freshman lineman from Amarillo, Texas, suffered a season-ending injury.

• Ryan Malbrough, fr. RB (1) — A true freshman from Cecilia, La., Malbrough’s only appearance came in the late stages of KU’s Week 2 dismantling of lowly Rutgers. Malbrough ran the ball three times for 10 yards.

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• Api Mane, jr. OL (3) — During the non-conference portion of the schedule, Mane picked up steady in-game reps at guard and on special teams. But Kendrick’s one-time San Mateo teammate didn’t play in KU’s final nine games.

• Kyle Mayberry, jr. CB (3) — A three-star prospect in the Class of 2016 from Tulsa, Okla., Mayberry started five games for KU in 2017, as a sophomore. But he only played in three this year. Mayberry suffered an injury in September and would only go on to play in the opener and the season’s final two games. He recorded three tackles and broke up a pass at Oklahoma.

• Jalan Robinson, fr. OL (0) — The hometown freshman from Lawrence’s Free State High did not play during his first year as a college athlete.

• Nick Williams, fr. OL (0) — After enrolling at KU early, for the spring semester, Williams, a 6-foot-8 freshman offensive lineman from Overland, Mo., didn’t appear in any games.

Miles reportedly looked into reviving football elsewhere

According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, KU’s new football coach, months before taking the job, was involved in discussions about reviving the defunct football program at UT Arlington.

Per the report, Miles, who hadn’t coached since LSU fired him four games into the 2016 season, met with an Austin-based construction and design company this past March to discuss plans for a UTA football facility. The university hasn’t fielded a football team since 1985.

KU introduced Miles as its head coach on Nov. 18.


Buck Bukaty 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks, Benton.

How about the gray shirts, etc.. Because of their on-boarding strategy I don't believe they would have received the typical acclaim one would receive on signing day.

Matthew Roesner 3 years, 7 months ago

Based upon your earlier article "...will continue to lag in scholarship numbers" there doesn't appear to be any downside. The lack of playing time has already occurred so there isn't a hit next year. With normal attrition, transfers, unknowns, and the limit on 2019 scholarships, your article indicated it would be year four before KU may be able to get to 85. Is there some missing reason why one would not use the redshirt?

Brett McCabe 3 years, 7 months ago

Not an expert, but if they don't deem the player as a future contributor, they may want his scholarship to expire sooner rather than later. This could potentially open up more scholarships to offer in future years to players they may think might be bigger contributors. If this is the case, I would think that the older players might not get redshirted as readily as younger ones, who may have more developmental potential.

I don't think the article indicated when the decision would have to be made, so Coach Miles might have time to see these guys in spring practice before making a decision.

Matthew Roesner 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks Brett. In looking at the individuals, only the five freshmen would potentially hold a spot in year four...and the risk would be minimal although still a risk to a class of 25. Three of those are OL and fifth year offensive linemen are highly valued.

John Strayer 3 years, 7 months ago

Exactly my original thought...why is this even a decision?...especially since we've had articles that it could be north of 3 yrs before KU has a full complement of 85 scholarship players. If one of these players has any inkling of talent/potential...redshirt by default.

Brian Wilson 3 years, 7 months ago

Mathew, very few teams ever get to 85 scholarships. If you give 25 per every year in year four you can only give 9. Schools are careful and don't give more than 21 unless they are planning on redshirts or needing a transfer or two to replace players that have moved on.

That being said, most schools have between 75 and 85 in any given year. But, some schools intentionally keep their numbers even lower.

If we can reshirt 12 to 16 players, hopefully get six seniors to do it, then by ear two under Miles KU will have over 70 scholarship players and by year threeover 75. Miles is not worried, KU is in good shape.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 7 months ago

Isnt it the players' option to red-shirt? Also, scholarships are on annual basis, so why wouldn't you always redshirt. With the graduate transfer rules, always taking the red-shirt seems like a non- brainer.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 7 months ago

Like Brett said, coaches may want lower ceiling players who don't appear likely to ever contribute significantly to have their scholarships run out as soon as possible to fill that scholarship with a player more likely to contribute eventually.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 7 months ago

Then revoke the scholarship...they are annual...they don't get them for all 4 years when signed. The signature only guarantees one year, after that they continually have to earn the scholarship.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 7 months ago

The difference between having scholarships run out (Sort like running off a player as we have benefited from.) and our situation is that having those players in the program won't prevent us from recruiting 25 per year because we're no where near the limit.

The good news is is that this means we could be really close to a balanced roster. A little short on the freshman sophomore classes but at least not greater than 25 Jrs. 5 JCs and 20 freshman next year plus 5 blueshirts will basically fix it. Funny but that's exactly the same as when TK did the analysis in the spring - though he too needed help getting there and the article is now removed from the archives.

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