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Most Crucial Jayhawks: No. 6 - OL Larry Mazyck
Here's this week's final installment in our summer series that examines the Jayhawks who stand to have the biggest impact for KU football this fall. Check back beginning Monday for Nos. 5-1...
No. 6: Larry Mazyck, Junior OL
Until a couple of months ago, I had never heard of Larry Mazyck. But today, we've got him as one of the most crucial players on KU's roster for the upcoming season. The reason? His position.
Nothing has been announced or set in stone yet, but there's a strong sense that Mazyck will get a great shot to be the starting left tackle for the Jayhawks this fall. If he can, with all 6-foot-8, 340 pounds of him, life will be a heck of a lot easier for quarterback Montell Cozart than it might have been before Mazyck's arrival.
The Iowa Western lineman comes to Kansas after plans to attend Maryland fell through. He earned juco All-American honors last season and, although he'll be a little behind the rest of the linemen in camp when it gets going, I'm guessing first-year offensive line coach/offensive coordinator John Reagan will do his best to bring him up to speed quickly. You just don't look at a man that big — some reports have suggested that he might even be closer to 375 or 380 pounds — and tell yourself, 'Huh, how nice. Sure would be good if he could play.' Instead, you walk over to him, shake his hand, welcome him to the team and then start working like crazy to get him ready.
Mazyck has competition. Before his arrival, senior Zach Fondal and junior Pat Lewandowski were battling for the starting left tackle job. Both will still be in the mix, and, just as we saw last season with guys like Keba Agostinho and Kevin Young not being all that willing to give up their hard-earned spots to the hot-shot newcomer, you can bet everyone competing with Mazyck will be bringing it.
But if the light comes on quickly for Mazyck and he settles into KU's scheme and works well with the rest of the starting O-Line, you can call it a safe bet that Mazyck will be the left tackle out there on Sept. 6, when KU welcomes Southeast Missouri to town for the season opener. If that's the case, the prospects for this new-look O-Line will be a lot better.
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