WRITER: Benton Smith

Former walk-on LB Nick Channel now on scholarship, impressing new KU football staff

As Nick Channel’s third year in the University of Kansas football program began winding down this past spring, the walk-on linebacker from Wichita wanted to find out whether a scholarship opportunity might be in his future. But with the Jayhawks’ head coaching position up in the air at the time, Channel didn’t know what would come of his situation. Once Lance Leipold took over the program, it didn’t ...

Assistant Scott Fuchs encouraged by progress of KU football O-line during preseason camp

Whatever gratifying — or agitating — signs offensive line coach Scott Fuchs saw out of his players during a Friday morning scrimmage, the Kansas football assistant kept those to himself during his first interview of preseason camp. “Walking off the practice field it’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems,” Fuchs replied, when asked about what he had just witnessed inside David ...

Veteran D-line newcomers Eddie Wilson, Ronald McGee appreciate Kwahn Drake's 'tough love' approach

When former Buffalo defensive linemen Eddie Wilson and Ronald McGee joined the Kansas football program this summer, one of their new teammates, defensive end Malcolm Lee, could tell both were physically impressive. And Lee also knew from experience that the most difficult adjustment for the veterans might be getting used to KU D-line coach Kwahn Drake. “He’s definitely a jerk,” Lee joked about Drake’s ...

Notebook: Borland looking for communication from KU's safeties; O-line and D-line battling

Regardless of the type of practice the Kansas football safeties are having on any given day of preseason camp, defensive coordinator Brian Borland always wants them to do better. And sometimes Borland, the group’s position coach, simply wants them to talk more. “We’ve got to be better communicators back there,” said Borland, the longtime assistant of head coach Lance Leipold. Early on during camp, ...

New KU football WR Trevor Wilson enters 1st season with Jayhawks motivated by his late father

Lance Leipold could tell you all about Trevor Wilson’s speed and potential as a playmaker, but when the Kansas football head coach gets to talking about the receiver he has gotten to know since their time together at Buffalo, Leipold’s train of thought soon takes him to how Wilson made an impression on a personal level. This past February, when Leipold’s father, Ken, died, Wilson reached out to his head ...

Notebook: Lance Leipold favors more evaluating over naming KU football starters early

It won’t be long before head coach Lance Leipold and his Kansas football staff will have to settle on a depth chart for the Jayhawks’ Sept. 3 opener versus South Dakota. Not that Leipold is in any kind of hurry. “I think some of it just kind of naturally flows,” Leipold replied on Tuesday, when asked at KU’s media day about a time frame for determining first and second units. “Yeah, it’s coming. ...

KU football WRs share which young players in their group are showing improvement at camp

August is the time of year when college football veterans usually keep their eyes on younger teammates, to see which ones look like they might be capable of taking on larger roles in the fall. Kansas super-senior Kwamie Lassiter II said a couple of underclassmen in particular have impressed him so far this preseason. Sophomore Steven McBride, Lassiter reported, is really standing out by making plays — and ...

Lance Leipold, coordinators learning more about KU football players, looking for consistency

As much as head coach Lance Leipold and his staff had learned about their Kansas football team through the first week-plus of preseason practices, the coaches found out even more about the Jayhawks during a scrimmage on Sunday night. Speaking with media members for the first time since KU’s initial camp scrimmage, Leipold said Tuesday during the program’s media day he enjoyed seeing some players who ...

Assistant Chevis Jackson sees improvements from KU football's mostly young cornerback group

The Kansas football team’s coaches and players knew the moment that Karon Prunty left the program via the transfer portal earlier this summer that the cornerback position would look vastly different for the Jayhawks this fall. Now that the team is into its second week of preseason camp, cornerbacks coach Chevis Jackson is starting to get a clearer picture of what to expect from his group. “They’ve shown ...

Lance Leipold still looking for separation in KU football's preseason QB competition

Though Lance Leipold didn’t seem especially worried about it on Saturday, following his Kansas football team’s ninth preseason practice, the head coach and his staff still have a quarterback conundrum on their hands. The Jayhawks’ QB competition has a little less than three weeks to sort itself out before either sophomore Jalon Daniels, senior Miles Kendrick or junior Jason Bean becomes the Week 1 starter ...

RB Velton Gardner finally able to practice, makes camp debut with Jayhawks

After missing seven Kansas football preseason practices, junior running back Velton Gardner finally made his camp debut on Friday. But running backs coach Jonathan Wallace said the team’s leading returning rusher, who had been sitting out with an undisclosed injury, didn’t have the appearance of someone playing catchup. “He looked really good. He’s moving around really well, looked like he hadn’t ...

Reshaped DE Malcolm Lee expected to be 'the hammer' for KU football's defense

When Kansas football assistant Jake Schoonover watches senior Malcolm Lee during practices this preseason, the defensive ends coach sees more than a veteran with something to prove. “Malcolm Lee’s kind of the hammer,” Schoonover began, “of not just our position, but really our defense.” While that may sound like high praise for a defensive lineman who totaled 24 tackles over the course of his ...

Class of 2022 Texas prep O-lineman Joey Baker commits to KU football

While preseason camp and the fast approaching season currently have the full attention of the Kansas football staff, head coach Lance Leipold and his assistants received a brief and pleasant distraction Friday on the recruiting front. Joey Baker, a Class of 2022 offensive lineman from Southlake Carroll High in Texas, announced on Twitter his decision to commit to the Jayhawks. Not yet graded by Rivals as a ...

KU football player arrested on suspicion of domestic battery and kidnapping, suspended from team activities indefinitely

A University of Kansas football player was arrested Thursday on suspicion of domestic battery and kidnapping, according to Douglas County Jail booking logs. Alonso Person, who is a linebacker on the team, is being held without bond, according to the booking logs. Head football coach Lance Leipold said in a statement Friday evening that Person has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. “Any ...

Former KU star Nick Collison taking on new role within Thunder front office

Three years removed from the end of his playing career, former Kansas basketball star Nick Collison is launching into a new line of work with the same organization that employed him throughout his 15 years in the NBA. The Oklahoma City Thunder announced this week Collison will join the front office as a special assistant to the franchise’s executive vice president and general manager, Sam Presti. Per a ...

Notebook: Former Buffalo players weren't gifted starting roles on KU football defense

When the Kansas football program opened preseason camp this past week, defensive coordinator Brian Borland considered it a perk that he could look around and spot three former Buffalo players whom he coached at UB in the spring. But Borland said neither defensive linemen Eddie Wilson and Ronald McGee, nor linebacker Rich Miller were receiving “any kind of special treatment” because they played for head ...

Lance Leipold: Jayhawks still have 'a lot' to work on a week into preseason camp

A week into his first preseason camp in charge of the Kansas football program, head coach Lance Leipold thinks there’s “a lot” his Jayhawks must shore up in order to be successful. In his mind, Leipold said following KU’s sixth practice of camp on Wednesday, “everything” needs to get better. And though the program’s new head coach prefaced what followed by saying he wasn’t picking out a group ...

Between his nickname and knowledge, former UB center Mike Novitsky quickly grabbed Jayhawks' attention

All former Buffalo starting center Mike Novitsky had to do to grab the attention of his new football teammates at the University of Kansas was introduce himself. Before he got to campus this summer, the Jayhawks already had heard about Novitsky, a first-team All-MAC selection at UB in 2020. So when the 6-foot-5, 296-pound offensive lineman showed up and said they could call him Dirk, it caught at least a few ...

Notebook: Freshman RB Devin Neal making good first impression with KU football

Lance Leipold didn’t recruit true freshman Devin Neal, but the first-year Kansas football head coach sure is glad to have the former Lawrence High star running back on board. At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Neal didn’t look like a typical incoming freshman skill player when he joined the roster this summer. But Neal’s physicality and stature, Leipold said, are just a portion of what has helped the young back ...

Fan friendly weekend coming up for KU football and Lance Leipold

University of Kansas football fans will have a couple of chances this weekend to learn a little bit about where the program is headed now that Lance Leipold is the head coach. Leipold, the team's first-year head coach, will be one of the featured speakers at the athletic department’s preseason pep rally in Prairie Village on Friday night, and then will welcome fans in for an open practice on Saturday morning ...