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Most Crucial Jayhawks: No. 15 - DB Dexter McDonald

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Another weekday brings another installment in our summer series of the Kansas University football players who stand to have the biggest impact for the Jayhawks this fall. Check back each day this week as we unveil Nos. 15-11 on the list.

Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald celebrates his interception during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald celebrates his interception during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. by Nick Krug

No. 15: Dexter McDonald, Senior DB —

Talent never was the issue for McDonald. Maturing to the point he could get out of the way of that talent and enhance it with a serious attitude no longer appears to be an issue.

Coaches were impressed with his improved focus throughout spring camp. He brought the sort of urgency coaches love to see in seniors who smell the finish line and want to extend it by continuing their careers professionally.

McDonald came to Kansas out of Rockhurst High, spent 2010 as a redshirt and showed promise in 2011, but was suspended by then coach Turner Gill for the final few games for off-field issues. He needed a year of maturing at Butler Community College for Charlie Weis to want him back in the program.

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound cornerback, McDonald has faster football speed than stopwatch speed and he’s not slow on the watch. He has excellent cover skills and worked hard at honing them during the spring. With Kevin Short playing opposite him, the Jayhawks have the talent to play more man coverage and have their best cornerback tandem since current Denver Broncos Chris Harris and Aqib Talib played together for Mark Mangino.

McDonald has the sort of body and talent to attract the attention of NFL scouts. He has come to know that the harder he works at refining his technique the better the reports that scouts turn in will look.

A healthy, focused year out of McDonald will enable Clint Bowen to leave him alone on an island and employ bodies elsewhere. McDonald’s an exciting talent primed for a big senior season.

“I’m happy with how Dexter has matured and is working on his game,” defensive coordinator Clint Bowen said during the spring. “He’s taking the small things into consideration a lot better than he did at this time a year ago. You can see a bigger emphasis from him on being a better fundamental player.” “I’m happy with how Dexter has matured and is working on his game,” Bowen said. “He’s taking the small things into consideration a lot better than he did at this time a year ago. You can see a bigger emphasis from him on being a better fundamental player.”

Top 25 Most Crucial Jayhawks for 2014:

No. 25 - LB Jake Love

No. 24 - DB Greg Allen

No. 23 - DB Cassius Sendish

No. 22 - OL Zach Fondal

No. 21 - WR Justin McCay

No. 20 - DL Ben Goodman

No. 19 - K John Duvic

No. 18 - DB JaCorey Shepherd

No. 17 - DB Isaiah Johnson

No. 16 - TE Jimmay Mundine

Comments

Jay Beakum 8 years, 4 months ago

I’m gonna have to disagree a little with the theory that our depth in the secondary waters down the impact of these individual players. The reason we have depth in the secondary is because these players are individually impactful.

I guess it’s just how the goal of the list is interpreted. Is it that they will BE the most impactful players, or is it that it’s most IMPORTANT for these players to be impactful?

If it’s that latter, I could see the DB’s clogging the back of the line, but if it’s based on whether or not the individual will impact the game, Dexter, Sendish, Shepherd and Johnson should all be much higher.

Jay Beakum 8 years, 4 months ago

...continued...

I’m assuming that Short is going to make the list in light of the fact that he ousted Shepherd who came in at #18. So that means he must be considered to have more potential impact this fall than his counterpart, #15 Dexter McDonald, yet Short hasn’t even played a game yet. Or it could mean he doesn’t make the list at all, which then means two second string players will have made the list ahead of him.

If it’s not obvious, I’m a little confused. Not complaining at all. I still get to talk about football, so...

Jim Jackson 8 years, 4 months ago

Hearing that Short may have issues qualifying due to grades. Tait? Also, is Fondal still on the team?

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