Chat with KU football four-star signee Toben Opurum

February 4, 2009

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

The four-star running back/fullback will join KUSports.com to talk about signing to play football with KU coach Mark Mangino and the Jayhawk football team. Opurum will be here Wednesday at 6 p.m. to take your questions.

Moderator:

Hey, this is Jesse Newell, KUsports.com online editor. I'm happy to have KU four-star running back Toben Opurum with us today. Toben, thanks for joining us. What has the last day been like for you?

Toben Opurum:

Man, today has been so exciting. Everyone has been in such a good mood. I've been waiting for a couple of weeks to do this. My recruiting process has been finalized for a while to me because I have never looked back on my decision, but to have things down on paper and being able to look ahead to my future is nice. I'm definitely excited to be a Jayhawk.

Moderator:

Let's get right to some fan questions.

bigjaybabyjay:

What NFL RB, past or present, would you compare your style to?

Toben Opurum:

Edited because of technical error.

Moderator:

Minor technical difficulties. Expect to be rocking again in a minute. Thanks for your patience.

Toben Opurum:

Hmm, thats a tough one. Probably Jim Brown. Don't take that as me saying I plan on being the best NFL runningback ever, but I've seen how he played and how he never gave on a single play. We run with the same body tilt and same "never back down" attitude.

darnelljackson32:

What is one thing that the average fan might be surprised to know about yourself?

Toben Opurum:

With all of the attention thrown my way, publicity and media, many might take it the wrong way and not realize I am a very humble and grounded individual. It takes alot more than camera and shine to take my focus away.

CaramelMacchMan:

What nick name do you want Kansas fans to call you?

Toben Opurum:

Haha that's up to the fans isn't it? I've kept it simple and people have called me T.O. forever.

swishymcjayhawk:

Glad to have you on board Toben. Have you had any discussion with coaches on what number you'll wear at Kansas?

Toben Opurum:

Thank you for the welcome. I've worn #35 football and basketball since I was in the 7th grade. If I can't wear it next year I'll go to #25 hopefully.

treidy:

What led you to choose Kansas over Notre Dame? Was it that at KU you will have the opportunity to be a feature back and ball carrier rather than a blocking fullback?

Toben Opurum:

Couple reasons. Coaching instability at Notre Dame. No disrespect to the program but I couldn't do it with the runningback/Offensive Coordinator left to another school. That's a big part of a program. I also wasn't sure how much I could trust everything that was being told me. And when I took my visit, it just was not a good fit. I didn't feel like I fit in well with the environment, the team, or even the student body.

Moderator:

This one's from hawk1420:

What aspirations do you have for yourself and the team in your first year as a hawk?

Toben Opurum:

As for myself, I am really pushing for some early playing time and hopefully start before the year is over. Anyway I can contribute would be a positive right? As for team, I know the players and coaches are equally hungry for a Big 12 North Title. That and do some damage that OU and UT powerhouses down in the South.

James2080:

If given a chance, are you willing to play other positions or special teams?

Toben Opurum:

That's tough to move out of position. I'm definitely more comfortable in my runningback position than anywhere else. Special teams, to me, is an option to any player. I think the only thing that would make me play another position would be if it were a neccesity on our team and the way the recruiting class has gone, I don't see that happening in the near future.

Toben Opurum:

That's tough to move out of position. I'm definitely more comfortable in my runningback position than anywhere else. Special teams, to me, is an option to any player. I think the only thing that would make me play another position would be if it were a neccesity on our team and the way the recruiting class has gone, I don't see that happening in the near future.

JBurtin:

I've seen your videos on Rivals and you seem to have a great many strengths. Among them you have great hands, break tackles well, and you are quicker than most backs of your size.

From your perspective, what do you consider to be your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.

Toben Opurum:

Greatest strength to me is the fact I am not a one tool back. I do have many ways to get around a defender and I think that makes it tougher for a defense to stop. As for weaknesses, I always feel I can polish up my acceleration out of breaks and overall speed/quickness.

kranny:

As earlier posters have submitted, beating Missouri and Kansas State and Nebraska are necessities. What do know about these rivalries? Yes, folks I put Nebraska in there!

Toben Opurum:

Growing up in Texas, I've grown up seeing the rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas and it seems that the Kansas/Missouri rivalry is up there with it. I watched all of those games this season and seen the passion the guys played with against these teams. I'd love to learn more about the past history of these rivalries.

youowethehawks:

Which do you enjoy more: a bruising 1 yard TD run, or laying out an unsuspecting linebacker on a block?

Toben Opurum:

Definitely laying out a linebacker. It's intimidation. It really takes them out of their game. In fact, I bet that bruising 1 yard TD run will be easier to make when you've got a linebacker scared to make a hit on you.

Moderator:

OK, we've only got time for two more questions for Toben.

FreddyD:

How does playing high school football in Texas and the pressure that comes with it prepare you mentally for making the jump to Division One College Football?

Toben Opurum:

I'm very proud to let people know that I play football in Texas, arguably the best state in the country at football. I feel that playing at that level in high school will only help the transition from high school to D1 College football easier.

kingpin:

Can you describe your passion for football? What drives you?

Toben Opurum:

That's really not something that should be able to be put in words. I can't begin to explain what the game does for me or how serious I take this sport.

Moderator:

Thanks again, Toben, for joining us for this chat, and thanks to all the KUsports.com readers for posting your questions. Sorry we couldn't get to them all, as we had quite a response for this chat.

Toben, thanks again for joining us, and good luck next year as a Jayhawk.

Toben Opurum:

Not a problem, wish I could stay longer. Definitely excited to be a Jayhawk though...fan support is unreal. Thanks again and hopefully we can do it again.

Rock Chalk!

Feels good to say that as an official member of this school...

Comments

63BC 6 years, 6 months ago

Man, that was great. Get this guy a uniform!

djwilliams35 5 years, 11 months ago

wassup toben man i been reading all dis stuff about you...you doin good up der buh if yu dnt remember me dis debranton da boy dat asked you for some advise on playing at running back poistion..hit me up sometimes man 4695561966

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