Thursday, September 19, 2019
Daylon Charlot’s mood doesn’t match the one you might envision for a receiver who has only caught one pass in the past two games.
When the Kansas football team completed its emphatic victory at Boston College this past week, it was a smiling Charlot who grabbed a KU flag from the spirit squad, carried it onto the field and then ran it over to one corner of Alumni Stadium, so he could wave it right in front of where most of the Kansas faithful in attendance had congregated.
Charlot, a senior wideout who caught the game-winning touchdown in KU’s Week 1 home win over Indiana State, hasn’t seemed to mind doing more dirty work than stat-chasing since then.
And that’s even after head coach Les Miles approached Charlot and Andrew Parchment ahead of the Jayhawks’ trip to BC to let the receivers know the game plan would involve more of a passing flavor than the previous week.
Miles, Charlot related, wanted them to be ready when their number was called.
“We know we’ve got to make a play,” Charlot said of the mindset both receivers needed to have when a Carter Stanley pass came their direction.
As it turned out, it was Parchment who shined in a 48-24 victory, with eight catches, 100 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets.
Charlot provided one catch, in the second quarter for 10 yards — on 1st and 15 of what proved be a go-ahead scoring drive.
The ball only came his direction twice, and the second was an incompletion on 3rd and goal early in the third quarter. Stanley purposefully threw it out of the back of the end zone instead of forcing a pass that could be intercepted. Liam Jones connected on a 24-yard field goal on the next play to push KU’s lead to 31-24.
According to the Pro Football Focus numbers provided to Jayhawk Slant, Charlot played 45 snaps at BC. Even if he spent most of those just running routes and/or blocking, Charlot wasn’t complaining.
Receivers coach Emmett Jones, Charlot said, stays on the group about the importance of blocking “until you hear the whistle” every day. Charlot explained doing so can be well worth it when the ball is in the hands of rushers Pooka Williams or Khalil Herbert — “You never know with those guys.”
Asked to identify the best blocker among the receivers, Charlot played coy, grinning and clapping his hands while formulating his response.
“I don’t know,” he initially offered.
Assured by a small group of reporters it was OK to say he was the best blocker, Charlot laughed.
“I didn’t want to be conceited,” he said. “I’m just trying to get the other guys on the right track about blocking and taking care of their guy, because we have some great backs in the backfield.”
Junior receiver Kwamie Lassiter II, whose career-best night at BC featured five receptions for 67 yards, said Charlot is “up there for sure,” as a top blocking receiver on the team, along with junior Stephon Robinson.
Charlot said he was “a little banged up” before the Aug. 31 opener. That didn’t stop him from making six catches for 79 yards against Indiana State. He went without a reception in a loss to Coastal Carolina before recording one at BC. Importantly, the 6-foot, 193-pound receiver from Patterson, La., said he’s healthy now after his undisclosed preseason setback.
Although he would love to contribute more statistically, Charlot voiced the words of a receiver willing to remain patient.
“The next step for me is continuing to be a leader and just waiting for my time to come,” he said, “and just executing whatever coach has got in the game plan for me.”
If KU needs a secondary receiver to emerge and complement Parchment (19 receptions, 235 yards, two TDs), Charlot downplayed that notion, too.
“Nah, I mean everyone on the team is a weapon,” he said.
Entering KU’s Big 12 opener against West Virginia on Saturday (3:30 p.m., ESPN+), Charlot’s seven catches (89 yards) tie him with Robinson (90 yards) for the second-best total on the team. Lassiter (67 yards) and tight end James Sosinski (61 yards) each have five receptions.
Regardless of who is making the catches, Charlot said he was excited to see the Jayhawks line up with three or four receivers, show some RPO plays and use tempo to their advantage in Week 3.
“The 10 personnel,” Charlot said of the play calls with one running back and no tight ends, “I thought it was great that we spread Boston College out and attacked their weakness and executed.”