Monday, Kansas University football coach Turner Gill announced that senior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey would miss six to eight weeks because of a broken foot.
Tuesday, Gill and the Jayhawks talked about what the loss of Dorsey would mean to the team.
“D-Line, that’s where our defense starts,” sophomore cornerback Tyler Patmon said. “And he’s one of our strongest players. Having him go down is gonna hurt us, but that’s why we have those other guys in there competing. That’s why coach Gill brought all those recruits in. I’m not afraid of what’s gonna happen when that back-up comes in because I know he’s been competing, he’s been working and he’s gonna play just as hard as Pat. I have 100 percent trust in those guys.”
Gill said the biggest thing the defense would miss with Dorsey sidelined was his game experience.
“(He knows) how to get off blocks and understands what offensive linemen are trying to do,” Gill said. “We’re gonna miss him, but we’ll figure it all out. I think that kind of triggered us moving Randall Dent back to the defensive line, just to shore up the defensive tackle spot. But, right now, we feel good where we’re at there. Pretty soon, we’ll get back (red-shirt freshman Pat) Lewandowski. Right now, he’s still at defensive end, but he could be a guy who could move down to defensive tackle.”
While Dorsey’s absence provides an opportunity for others to step up, at least one member of the defensive line said he wasn’t ready to refer to Dorsey as a thing of the past just yet.
“He’s a senior, he’s got a lot of experience there and we’re all hoping for a quick return because I think he’ll definitely help our defense a lot,” said sophomore defensive tackle Kevin Young.
Bakare an impact player
When asked Tuesday about the status of transfer Tunde Bakare, a junior linebacker from Highland Community College, Gill had nothing but good things to say.
“He’s gonna be an impact player,” Gill said. “He’s a guy who definitely can run from sideline to sideline. He’s shown that on tape and he’s transferred that over to the field, too. We’ve now seen it in person. I’m very pleased with him. He’s one of the guys who we anticipate is gonna be one of our playmakers.”
Clocked at faster than 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash a time or two in the past, Bakare said this offseason that his goal was to do more than just fit in at KU.
“I’m ready to get down there and make things happen,” Bakare said last winter. “(Kansas was) the best opportunity for me and my family. It has the best academics, it has a great coach, it has great players and I think they’re hungry to win and to change history there.”
Special teams battles continue for Jayhawks
While most people like to focus on the position battles at quarterback or running back, Gill took time out on Tuesday to talk about a couple of lower-profile competitions that have been hot throughout August.
The first is at long snapper, where returning starter Justin Carnes, a sophomore, and true freshman Tanner Gibas have gone toe-to-toe throughout camp.
“There’s a great competition going on there,” Gill said. “Carnes has really stepped up and done some quality things. Both of those guys have been very, very competitive and very good as far as snapping the football. They’ve increased our speed as far as getting it back to the punter, and that was one area we wanted to get better at, and we’ve done that.”
As for the point-scoring portion of KU’s kicking game, there’s also a healthy battle unfolding there between freshman Alex Mueller and sophomore Ron Doherty.
“Alex and Ronny, they’re still competing well,” Gill said. “I like the competition there, and we’ve got two good kickers, so we feel very, very good about that. We’ll have to make a decision there real soon, too.”
Former Jayhawk earns Canadian League honor
Wide receiver Brandon Rideau, who played at KU from 2001-04, was named the Canadian Football League Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Rideau, now in his second year with the Toronto Argonauts, received the honor for the first time in his career and, in doing so, became the second Toronto player to earn the distinction this season.
Rideau, a 6-foot-4, 204-pound wide receiver from Beaumont, Texas, caught six passes for a career-high 147 yards and two touchdowns in Toronto’s 37-32 loss to Hamilton last week.
Rideau ranks fifth in KU history with 131 career receptions and 1,636 yards.
He signed as an NFL free agent with the Cleveland Browns in 2005 and played in parts of four seasons with Cleveland and the Chicago Bears before signing with Toronto in 2010.