Notebook: Kansas’ Daniel Hishaw Jr. leaves Iowa State win late with injury

photo by: Nick Krug/Journal-World

Kansas running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. (20) regains his footing as he throws himself into the end zone for a touchdown during the second quarter against Iowa State on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022 at Memorial Stadium.

Redshirt sophomore running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. was taken by ambulance to the hospital after he left Kansas’ 14-11 win over Iowa State on Saturday in the fourth quarter with an apparent right leg injury.

Hishaw, who ran eight times for 28 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, was fighting to gain additional yards while running on second-and-14 with 9:20 left when he was tackled by five Iowa State players.

He was taken off the field on a cart, then transported to the south end of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, where an ambulance was waiting. Several members of his family, as well as athletic director Travis Goff, were there to see him off.

“I think he was in a lot of pain,” said sophomore running back Devin Neal. “It broke my heart to see that because he doesn’t deserve that. He’s such a good dude. Even off the field, it’s much bigger than football. … To see how much work he’s put in to get back to this point, that setback, it hurt us all.”

Coach Lance Leipold said after the game that he was “not in position right now to make any real comment that’s worth putting out to the public.”

Hishaw missed all of last season with what he described in August as a “rare” hip injury that happened during preseason camp. Kansas then added two running backs via transfer in January in Minnesota’s Ky Thomas and Nebraska’s Sevion Morrison with Hishaw’s readiness uncertain.

But he entered Saturday’s game having run for 234 yards and four touchdowns, and he had a 73-yard touchdown catch in the win against Duke on Sept. 24.

“You never want to see it. That’s the first reaction,” said junior wide receiver Luke Grimm. “Just, sadness. You don’t want to see it, especially when it’s one of your guys, your good friends. That’s horrible to see.”

With Hishaw down, the Jayhawks turned exclusively to Neal, who finished with 78 yards on 12 carries. Thomas, who has a leg injury, did not play for the second consecutive game, and Morrison, who played exclusively on special teams, returned two kickoffs — one for 21 yards and one for 37 yards.

Vernon praised

Junior punter Reis Vernon earned acclaim from Leipold after the game after he had six punts for 239 yards for an average of 39.8 yards per punt. One, at the end of Kansas’ second drive of the third quarter, was downed at the 1-yard line by redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quentin Skinner, and another was muffed by Iowa State sophomore wide receiver Jaylin Noel and recovered by Kansas.

“Reis Vernon had a nice day,” Leipold said. “He had a really good day. Probably, I would say he’s the one guy that I don’t want to get into the game — at least in the main thing that he does, but he did a nice job.”

Vernon entered the game having punted just five times all season, the fewest of any Big 12 punter.

Paul, Potter depart

Senior linebacker Gavin Potter and redshirt senior safety Jarrett Paul each left the team during the week, giving them an opportunity to redshirt as they pursue a transfer.

Potter, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, started 25 games over four seasons with the Jayhawks, including the win over Duke a week ago. He had considered leaving the team in the spring before returning, but his role had shrunk this season. He played fewer than 15 snaps on defense in each of the Jayhawks’ first three games before playing 25 against the Blue Devils.

Paul, from New York, enrolled at Rutgers in 2018, transferred to Eastern Michigan in 2021 and joined Kansas over the summer. He only played on special teams in two of the Jayhawks’ four games and he has a year of eligibility remaining because of the relief granted by the NCAA at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only Paul, as a graduate student, is able to immediately enter the transfer portal following reforms enacted this summer. Potter will have to wait until Dec. 1 to formally find a new school.

Weisman, Kubecka watch game

Two high school seniors who have committed to join Kansas for next season were in attendance: Kasen Weisman, a quarterback at South Paulding High in Douglasville, Georgia, and Keaton Kubecka, a wide receiver at Westlake High in Austin, Texas.

Weisman’s teammate at South Paulding, running back Jamarion Wilcox, who has scholarship offers from Clemson, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville and NC State, among others, joined him for the game.

This and that

• Leipold improved to 7-10 at Kansas and 153-49 during his 16 seasons as a head coach. He’s now 5-0 for the second time in three years; Buffalo won its first five games in 2020.

• Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Doug Emilien had his first catch, an 11-yard grab on a screen pass on the second play from scrimmage of the first half. Emilien transferred to Kansas from Minnesota over the summer.

• Kansas played in front of a sellout crowd for the 17th time since 2000. It was the first time tickets were sold out for consecutive home games since Sept. 19, 2009, and the first time back-to-back home games were both sold out since Nov. 15, 2008.

• Iowa State redshirt senior wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson finished with 13 catches for 101 yards. He is now second in school history with 196 catches.

Up next

Kansas will play the last game in a three-game homestand on Saturday at 11 a.m. when it faces TCU. The Horned Frogs (4-0), who bludgeoned No. 18 Oklahoma 55-24 on Saturday, won 31-28 at home last season on a 25-yard field goal with six seconds remaining. They have won nine of 10 games in the series since they joined the Big 12 in 2012.

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