Kansas University football coach Turner Gill said on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show Thursday night that sophomore linebacker Toben Opurum sprained his ankle in practice, making him questionable for Saturday’s game against No. 15 Georgia Tech.
Opurum, KU’s leading rusher in 2009, missed most of spring ball with an injury and was slow to catch up during preseason camp.
With senior Angus Quigley, junior Rell Lewis — since lost for the season because of injury — red-shirt freshman Deshaun Sands and true freshmen James Sims and Brandon Bourbon ahead of him on the depth chart, the KU coaching staff moved Opurum to linebacker in August.
Expected to play between 10-20 snaps in the opener, Opurum did not play at all during last week’s 6-3 loss to North Dakota State. Gill said Sunday that the close nature of the contest made it difficult for him to get Opurum into the game.
In addition to questions about the quarterback position — red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb will start in place of sophomore Kale Pick — and the team’s new white shoes, Gill fielded a couple of inquiries about why Opurum was not on offense.
“Everybody has a right to their opinion,” Gill said. “And I’m OK with everybody’s opinion based on what they’ve seen in the past. All we can do is base it on what we saw in practice and what we saw from the guys.”
Gill quiet on NDSU coach’s comments
Also during Thursday’s radio show, Gill was asked if he had any reaction to North Dakota State coach Craig Bohl’s critical comments about the Jayhawks and the Memorial Stadium crowd.
“I haven’t read the comment he made, so I can’t comment on what you’re talking about,” Gill told the caller. “I don’t know what you’re referring to.”