WRITER: Benton Smith

Ezra Naylor determined to evolve as WR with KU football

Ezra Naylor’s statistical production this past fall during his brief stopover with the Iowa Central Community College football program might not blow some people away. However, over the course of playing in 11 games and making 19 receptions for 292 yards and a touchdown, Naylor accomplished one of his personal preseason goals: showcasing enough of his abilities as a prospect to grab the attention of FBS ...

'You couldn't ask for a better partner': Dineen, Wise feel like they're leaving KU in better position than when they arrived

If he hadn’t spent the past five years in the same football program as Joe Dineen, Daniel Wise could have left Kansas as its all-time leader in tackles for loss. Yet, it’s just about impossible to envision Wise, the Jayhawks’ perennial standout on the defensive line the past few years, without his sidekick, Dineen, just behind him at linebacker. On their way to finishing their time at KU as consensus ...

Prep D-lineman Da'Jon Terry makes signing with KU official on Christmas Eve

Any Kansas football fans fretting about the status of prep prospect Da’Jon Terry received some welcome news on Christmas Eve. When KU published this past week its list of early Class of 2019 signees, it didn’t include Terry. That’s not to say his official national letter of intent documentation went without his signature during the early signing period. It was just that Terry wanted to wait and have his ...

Benton Smith: Try not to view KU basketball through Grinch-colored glasses

Does the Kansas basketball team’s first loss of the season and the Jayhawks’ ensuing drop (exaggerated gasp), all the way down to No. 5 in the latest AP poll, have you in full-blown Grinch mode? Well, keep your spirits up. Be merry and jolly. Deck the halls. 'Tis the season and all of that. Get over any lingering humbugs by first unwrapping this idea: KU remains one of the nation’s best teams. The ...

New KU O-line coach Luke Meadows once again teaming up with OC Chip Lindsey

When Luke Meadows decided to leave his job at Eastern Michigan to become an assistant for the University of Kansas football program, part of the allure was reuniting with offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, a former colleague. But the Jayhawks’ new offensive line coach was equally intrigued by the idea of working for Les Miles, and not only because of the head coach’s track record at LSU and Oklahoma ...

Les Miles and staff extend offers to prospects in 2019 and beyond

While much of the buzz surrounding the Kansas football program this past week focused on the commitments and signings Les Miles and his staff were able to land for the Class of 2019, KU’s coaches also put in some work for the extended future of the program. Even as many high school and junior college prospects were signing their national letters of intent for next season, other prospects picked up offers from ...

Benton Smith: Familiar flaws finally cost No. 1 Jayhawks

Welcome to the point in the season when we are supposed to overreact. That’s what we are trained to do when a team on a roll loses for the first time or falters when faced with a new challenge. The No. 1-ranked (for now) Kansas basketball team checked both of those boxes Saturday night. The Jayhawks suffered their first defeat of the season in their first true road game on the schedule. The trouble is ...

Veteran KU sub Mitch Lightfoot looks for ways to provide 'jolt' regardless of minute load

In the moments leading up to, and sometimes well into, Kansas basketball games, backup forward Mitch Lightfoot never knows exactly how much head coach Bill Self will ask of him or how long he’ll end up playing. Of late, in KU’s previous three games, Lightfoot is averaging 5.3 points and and 4.7 rebounds in 15.3 minutes. An uptick in playing time — the junior big averaged only 6.6 minutes through the first ...

Les Miles: KU played 'catch-up' in recruiting once he took over

On the day Les Miles was introduced as the Kansas football program’s next head coach, back on Nov. 18, Miles said hiring coordinators and position coaches would be a key step in the recruiting process, because those new staff members would be able to lay out their plans and deliver their pitches to prospects. That bit of foreshadowing from the former LSU head coach, who inherited a 2019 KU recruiting class ...

Notebook: Self considers Azubuike 'doubtful' for game at No. 18 Arizona State, but 'who knows?'

Although Kansas basketball coach Bill Self wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of center Udoka Azubuike returning to the lineup for Saturday’s game at Arizona State, two days ahead of the Jayhawks’ first true road game Self wasn’t counting on the 7-footer’s presence, either. “I don’t know,” Self initially replied Thursday afternoon, when asked during his weekly press conference whether ...

Bill Self won't be satisfied with KU's defense until Jayhawks make opponents 'feel us'

In the process of improving to 10-0 on the season earlier this week with an 89-53 home victory over South Dakota, the No. 1-ranked Kansas basketball team held its opponent to 37.9 percent shooting from the floor and 23.1 percent success from 3-point range. The Jayhawks swiped a season-high 11 steals, too, and blocked five Coyotes shot attempts. Pretty good defensive effort from KU, right? Not in the eyes of ...

KU football OC Chip Lindsey will coach Jayhawks' QBs, too

Now that Les Miles knows the identity of all 10 of his on-field assistants for his first season in charge of Kansas football, the program’s new head coach has entrusted a few members of his staff with some additional responsibilities. When Miles made his first big hire, luring Chip Lindsey away from Auburn and the SEC earlier this month, Lindsey was introduced as KU’s offensive coordinator — and nothing ...

Les Miles and KU football open early signing period by adding to 2019 recruiting class

Just a few hours into college football’s early signing period on Wednesday morning, the Kansas football program’s 2019 recruiting class began to grow. New head coach Les Miles and his staff had eight verbal commitments in place entering the day, but added one target they had recruited hard the past several weeks right off the bat. Plus, the Jayhawks signed a quarterback prospect who first committed to ...

Hiring of TEs coach Jeff Hecklinski completes Les Miles' KU football staff

A month after being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Kansas, Les Miles completed his staff Wednesday, announcing the hiring of tight ends coach Jeff Hecklinski. The offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at FCS program Indiana State the previous two years, Hecklinski also worked previously as the receivers coach and assistant head coach at Michigan, ...

On KU football recruiting strategies, Dedric Lawson's old man game and more

Maybe it’s all these random pieces of grass I’ve been eating, but it seems like the past few days have been the busiest since Les Miles took over the Kansas football program. OK, that’s not true. I haven’t tried the Les Miles Diet and gnawed on vegetation from a nearby patch of sod. But the part about the KU football offices remaining immersed in activity and the phones of coaches buzzing and ringing ...

Former Mizzou D-lineman Caleb Sampson commits to KU football

A college football journey that began for Caleb Sampson in Columbia, Mo., will next bring him to Lawrence. Once a defensive lineman at Missouri, the junior college prospect announced Tuesday his commitment to the Tigers’ old border rival, Kansas. Sampson, who recently completed his redshirt freshman season at Coahoma Community College (Miss.), took to Twitter to both decommit from Western Kentucky and make ...

3-star prep DB Jayden Russell to sign with KU football at mega-ceremony in Mexico City

There are signing ceremonies and then there is what’s in store for Kansas football recruit Jayden Russell. The first prospect to commit to the Jayhawks after head coach Les Miles took over, Russell won’t be in the St. Thomas Aquinas gymnasium in Overland Park on Wednesday when he signs his national letter of intent. No, the three-star defensive back will be in Mexico City for the Pro Football Hall of ...

3-star juco CB Justin Ford becomes 8th commitment in KU's 2019 class

The Kansas football team’s 2019 recruiting class grew to eight on the eve of college football’s early signing period when Justin Ford, a junior college cornerback from Golden West College (Calif.), announced Tuesday night his plans to sign with the Jayhawks. In a tweet in which he stated he is “106 percent” committed to KU, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore wrote, “I have no doubt in my mind that this ...

Les Miles keeping David Beaty assistants Tony Hull and Clint Bowen on staff

Two of the most recognizable faces from former Kansas football coach David Beaty’s staff aren’t going anywhere. Both running backs coach Tony Hull and former defensive coordinator Clint Bowen will be retained by new head coach Les Miles, KU announced Tuesday night. Hull will remain the running backs coach under Miles, while Bowen will coach the safeties. "I can't say enough great things about Clint and ...

Benton Smith: Charlie Moore is sixth-man scorer KU needs

South Dakota basketball coach Todd Lee diligently watched every minute of the Kansas Jayhawks’ first nine games before taking his team to Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night. It’s safe to say Lee’s scouting report didn’t include anything about denying KU backup point guard Charlie Moore the opportunity to spot up from behind the arc. “He hasn’t shot it,” Lee said afterward, somewhat in ...