Although he had only been around him for a day, Kansas University offensive line coach Tim Grunhard on Friday gave pretty much the same scouting report as everyone else on newcomer Aslam Sterling.
“He’s a big man,” Grunhard said of the 6-foot-5, 360-pound transfer from Nassau County CC in New York.
During Thursday’s opening day of practice, Sterling spent most of the time watching from the sidelines.
“We had to wait until he had his physical,” Grunhard said. “We had to make sure that everything was working properly, and it is. So we’re excited about having him in the mix.”
KU’s biggest offensive lineman went through practice Friday, and Grunhard emphasized size alone would not make him a star.
“He’s gotta catch up with these guys, mentally and physically,” Grunhard said. “Because these guys have been working hard all summer.”
Fighting Irish love
Asked if he had found time to bond with the three transfers from Notre Dame — quarterback Dayne Crist, tight end Mike Ragone and linebacker Anthony McDonald — Grunhard, who also played at Notre Dame, said the four had not spent as much time around each other as one might think.
“We haven’t sung the fight song together yet,” Grunhard joked. “We’ve been trying to learn (the words to KU’s alma mater) ‘The Crimson and the Blue.’”
Defense to offense
Grunhard said Pat Lewandowski and Randall Dent, who each recently moved from the defensive line to the offensive line, had shown great energy and effort early in camp.
“Hey, these guys want to play,” Grunhard said of the two guys currently listed with the second string O-line. “I think if you asked Randall Dent or if you asked Lewandowski, ‘Hey, can you go punt the ball for us or return a kick?’ they’d say, ‘Whatever it takes to get on the field.’ Kudos to them.”
Beshears on watch list
Senior receiver D.J. Beshears recently became one of 49 players named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list. The award, which annually honors college football’s most versatile athlete, is in its third year.
Last season, Beshears led the Big 12 in kick-return yards (1,014) and finished third in all-purpose yards (1,587). His kick-return total set a school record, and his all-purpose yards ranked fifth in KU history.
KU coach Charlie Weis and various members of his coaching staff will be the featured guests at a preseason barbecue on Aug. 30 outside of Memorial Stadium.
All proceeds raised by the event, which will begin at 7 p.m. and will take place on the hill near the south end zone, will go toward Weis’ Hannah & Friends foundation, which provides a positive living environment for people with special needs.
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