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Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2007

Keegan: Kansas rookie ‘talented’

August 25, 2007

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Listen closely and you might hear freshman running back Carmon Boyd-Anderson's footsteps growing louder by the day.

Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino already has indicated that Boyd-Anderson likely will play as a freshman, just as current first-team back Jake Sharp did a year ago.

That plan indicates just how loud a talent the 6-foot-1, 200-pound back from Jacksonville, Texas is.

"An outstanding player and a better person," said Randy Copeland, who coached Boyd-Anderson for four years at Jacksonville High, in a telephone interview. "Very, very talented. The last two years he put us on his shoulders and carried us."

Boyd-Anderson rushed for 308 yards on 28 carries in a game against Marshall High.

"And Marshall was coming off a state final season two years in a row," Copeland said. "He went for 280 or 290 the week before against another great program."

Asked to describe Boyd-Anderson's running style, Copeland paused: "Oh, man, maybe Eric Dickerson-like. He's a downhill cutter. He's not a dancer. He keeps his pads square, but he still has that burst that he can run away from people. He's not a scatback. He's a combination between a slasher and a power runner."

Copeland said Nebraska offered Boyd-Anderson a scholarship in the spring of his junior year.

"He waited and waited before he made a decision," Copeland said. "Carmon had never been outside of Texas. He wanted to see these schools. He wanted to take visits. When the season was over, a lot of the offers were gone, even though he had a great season. The spots just weren't there anymore. He chose Kansas, and he's glad he did. He's happy it worked out that way."

One of the exciting aspects of Kansas recruiting so many football players from the state of Texas is that they come so ready for the college game, having faced such stiff competition in high school. For example, Copeland coached against former Oklahoma University great Adrian Peterson during the Minnesota Vikings rookie's senior year in high school.

"They were undefeated when they came to our place, and we beat them for the district championship," Copeland said. "He rushed for about 160 yards, and 70 yards came on one run."

Asked to compare Boyd-Anderson to Peterson, Copeland said: "They run a lot alike. Carmon's not as fast as Adrian. Carmon's not as physical as Adrian. As far as what they did in high school, they rushed for probably about the same amount of yards and touchdowns, but Adrian's one of those one-in-a-million kids."

Boyd-Anderson has something in common with every other running back in the nation in that he's no Adrian Peterson. Boyd-Anderson also has something in common with KU backs Sharp, Brandon McAnderson and Angus Quigley. He, too, is a talented receiver.

"He's got some monstrous hands," Copeland said. "His hands are huge, and he can catch the football."

The coach said his former player visited him a few weeks ago when he returned home.

"He said they'd been working him pretty hard," Copeland said. "That's good. It's just going to make him better. That's what it's about, getting better each day."

He might even get good enough to start for Kansas some year - or even some week - soon.

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