Monday, August 22, 2022

Coaching, offense fuel ex-Louisville O-lineman Kobe Baynes’ transfer to Kansas

Kansas offensive tackle Kobe Baynes, who decided to transfer from Louisville, is seen in this photo from June 2022.

Kansas offensive tackle Kobe Baynes, who decided to transfer from Louisville, is seen in this photo from June 2022.


Former Louisville offensive lineman Kobe Baynes has found a new home at Kansas.

Baynes, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound right tackle from Jacksonville, Florida, committed to play for the Jayhawks on Monday, less than a week after deciding to leave the Cardinals and just four days after receiving a scholarship offer from coach Lance Leipold.

"I didn't want to wait until December and waste a year of eligibility," Baynes said. "I wanted to get somewhere now and get some tape. That was a big factor for me."

A redshirt sophomore, Baynes will seek a waiver that will allow him to play for Kansas this season. If he doesn't get it, he will still be able to enroll in classes and join the team for practice and meetings and would have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

If nothing else, his arrival in Lawrence will happen quickly. Baynes, who was still in Louisville on Monday evening, said he had an early morning flight to Kansas City scheduled for Tuesday and hopes to be able to be on campus by the afternoon.

Baynes also received scholarship offers from Illinois, Syracuse, Memphis, USF and Bowling Green shortly after entering the transfer portal and said he had heard from several other schools that wanted him to wait on a decision until after the season so they could try to add him.

He decided to transfer on Aug. 16, days after he was listed as the backup right tackle on Louisville's first depth chart of the season, and said the biggest reason he wanted to leave was for a "change of scenery."

He has had three offensive line coaches in three seasons and it resonated with him that Kansas' coaching staff has been mostly intact through the transitions from Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo.

Kansas, which has scholarships open, is set to begin its second year under Leipold when it hosts Tennessee Tech on Sept. 2.

"That showed me that there's loyalty in their ranks and they're committed to each other, and I think that was the biggest thing for me," Baynes said.

He also thinks the transition to Kansas will be easy because Louisville also uses an outside zone running scheme that Baynes thinks suits him particularly well.

A three-star prospect in the Class of 2020, he chose the Cardinals in December 2019 over Miami and South Carolina. Among the other schools that had offered him a chance to play football were Michigan, Florida State, Arkansas and Ole Miss.

Kansas will lose sixth-year senior left tackle Earl Bostick Jr. after this season and redshirt senior center Mike Novitsky will have to decide whether he wants to return. The Jayhawks' other expected Week 1 starters are redshirt sophomores in left guard Michael Ford Jr., right guard Armaj Reed-Adams and right tackle Bryce Cabeldue.

The Jayhawks have added 21 players via transfer since the end of last season, and Baynes is the third offensive lineman following Central Missouri's Dominick Puni and Buffalo's Dre Doiron.

Baynes, who said he enjoys PC gaming and watching movies, is studying communications and would like to get into journalism and broadcasting.

That he was able to quickly find a new school where he could pursue all of his interests came as a surprise.

"Honestly, when I entered the portal, I was praying with my family that whatever happened, I just get back on my feet, and honestly, I didn't expect the turnout that I had," Baynes said. "I didn't even know what I was going to do, honestly, but I was just praying and hoping that God had me, and he took care of me."


Dale Rogers 3 months ago

A welcome addition! Welcome to KU and to Lawrence!

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 3 months ago

A nice pickup in a position of need. Congratulations and welcome to The Hill!

Dirk Medema 3 months ago

More competition is great.

With Puni developing so well, it would seem that we are getting to the 8 deep the coaches said they were looking for - as long as everyone stays healthy. It starts to set things up for some decent continuity into the future as well.

Others have commented similarly, and I definitely agree, that even before the impact on Baynes’ commitment, the continuity of the staff was very encouraging. Such a change from previous revolving doors - fully realizing that most of the continuity from Miles staff left last winter.

Andy Godwin 3 months ago

Matt can you please clarify again? I thought there were specific deadlines to declare one's intent to entering the transfer portal and to be eligible to play in a Spring or Fall sport? "He decided to transfer on Aug. 16, days after he was listed as the backup right tackle on Louisville's first depth chart of the season and said the biggest reason he wanted to leave was for a "change of scenery." Being snub and transferring a few weeks before the first game seems like an issue. What again are the rules, if any that the worthless NCAA has created? Also, does KU have enough time to work with Louisville's administration to verify Mr. Baynes academic status before the start of the season? An apparently minor issue these days for student-athletes. Nevertheless, KU seems to have benefited from the transfer portal and the lack of NCAA oversight. Rock Chalk.

Dirk Medema 3 months ago

Andy - The deadline was months ago. I forget exactly, and it’s different for football vs basketball - fall vs winter vs spring sports. That essentially is why the article talks about him needing to petition to play this season. Essentially the same as when players use to have to sit out a year but would commonly petition for immediate eligibility.

You do bring up a legitimate concern also. It seems that Mr Baynes was upset about how the training camp competition ended. It would seem that a key to good competition within the program is having that mindset throughout the entire team. Trusting Coach Leipold’s ability to motivate for the challenge.

Brett McCabe 3 months ago

His comment suggest a good attitude, but the chain of events does cause some worry. As others have stated, trust in LL. If Kobe was on the two-deep at UL, then he should bring solid depth to our line.

Brett McCabe 3 months ago

*comments.....Need an edit button.

Edward Daub 3 months ago

Kobe will add Beef to the offensive line. Kobe's main Beef (being second string) with Louisville will be the basis for the petition.

The odds are slim or none that the waiver will be granted. Kobe will play in 2023, most likely. Still, another great addition to the roster.

Rock Chalk!

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