Chuck Jones appears to be making the most of a new opportunity.
"He did well in school and did well in spring football," Portland State football coach Tim Walsh said of Jones, a defensive tackle who transferred from Kansas University last winter. "We'd like to see him work a little harder in the weight room, but he'll be a good player for us. I'd be shocked if he didn't start."
Jones, an Altadena, Calif., native, was an All-American at Pasadena City College in 2002 before transferring to KU.
Jones (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) started three games in 2003 and made 23 tackles, but he struggled with injuries and was in coach Mark Mangino's doghouse late in the season. He did not play in five regular-season games, including the final four. He and fellow defensive lineman Monroe Weekley -- who also left the team -- were both left off the team's travel roster for the Tangerine Bowl.
Jones transferred to Portland State and made a good impression on his new team during the spring.
"Chuck's a different guy, but it's been in a positive way," Walsh said. "We hope good things happen for him, and we hope good things happen for us."
Portland State was 4-7 last season, ending a streak of five consecutive winning seasons. Jones, a senior who is one of three Division One transfers who joined PSU for 2004, won't have to sit out after transferring to the Division II program.
Another former Jayhawk defensive lineman, sophomore Kyle Knighton, appears to be headed to Missouri Western.
Knighton (6-3, 250) was limited to three games by an injury as a freshman in 2002 and was granted a medical red-shirt. He played in nine games last season but made just two tackles.
Knighton, who could not be reached for comment, set Missouri prep records for single-season tackles (222) and career tackles (547) at West Platte High in Weston, Mo., where he was a teammate of KU quarterback Adam Barmann.
Missouri Western coaches could not be reached for comment, but several sources -- including Knighton's brother Cole -- said the lineman planned to transfer to Missouri Western for the fall semester after attending summer school at Maple Woods.