Rock Chalk Talk with 2009 Kansas Recruit Toben Opurum

To celebrate the holiday season and Kansas' bowl week we've got another edition of Rock Chalk Talk with one of our 2009 Kansas Jayhawk football commitments.  Last week the news broke and many here were pretty excited about this one.  Lucky for me Toben Opurum had a little free time Monday night and was kind enough to give me some of his time for an interview.

As a refresher Toben Opurum is 4-Star running back prospect out of Plano Texas.  At 6'2" 230 pounds and running a reported 4.5 time in the 40, Opurum is physically a Big 12 ready back from the get go.  Toben received offers from Nebraska, Notre Dame, Florida, Purdue and others but in the end Kansas was where he was most comfortable and where he thinks he can see the most success in the future.  If you watch his film he might just remind you of a former Jayhawk who was very effective out of the backfield in the spread.

My personal impression of the young man is that he is a very humble, hard working, high character person.  He doesn't necessarily define himself through football but is very driven to grow as a person with a team.  He has a very positive outlook and from what I can tell really put a significant amount of thought into making the best choice for his future playing days and that was at Kansas.  I for one look forward to what he will add to the running game as a player and the leadership I think he will add to this program as a person.

Jump into the post for the entire interview transcript…

Toben Opurum Interview w/Denverjhawk 12/29/08

 

Denver

Toben, thanks for taking some time to talk with Rock Chalk Talk.  To start off why don't you just talk a little bit about your high school career, individually from a team standpoint and how you think it has helped you prepare for Kansas and Big 12 football

 

 

Toben

Well, being in the spread offense my entire high school career, I think it will help me progress in the type of offense they run at Kansas.  As a team, though we had a poor season, it helped me realize how to end things on a strong note and it really showed the character of my teammates

 

 

Denver

As far as your individual style how would you describe your play? Power back? Receiving back? Strengths? Weaknesses?

 

 

Toben

Power back, receiving back, whatever you choose to call me, my game is all about reaction.  I don’t just plan to run people over, whatever it takes to the most yards on the play.  Whether that be through, over, or around someone it doesn’t matter.

 

 

Denver

How did KU get involved w/recruiting you and why were you initially interested?

 

 

Toben

Kansas began recruiting me immediately after my junior season.  What immediately caught my interest is the relationship I built with Coach Beaty

 

 

Denver

Did you know Coach Beaty before he went from Rice up to KU?

 

No, I've only known him as a Jayhawk

 

 

Denver

How have they indicated they want to use you in the Kansas offense?  What are their and your expectations for playing time and how you’ll be most effective?

 

 

Toben

As for playing time, I believe the opportunity to play immediately is there.  They feel i could be used a compliment to the Sharp and they want to use me as they did Brandon McAnderson.

 

 

Denver

I know when I heard you committed that was the first thing to come to mind, McAnderson's great Senior year and I’m sure other Jayhawk fans had the same thought.

 

 

Toben

Well that’s flattering to be compared to someone that had a 1400 yard season but I can only hope to do as well or exceed what he has already done.

 

 

Denver

Did KU's recent success and Orange bowl appearance play a big role in your giving Kansas a hard look? In other words had they not had that type of success do you think you would have still strongly considered them?  The reason I ask is obviously you had some big time offers with the likes of Florida, Notre Dame and Arkansas all calling.

 

 

Toben

That’s tough to answer because they’ve been improving throughout my career and I have noticed.  A big thing also was their strong recruiting classes; I believe their best football is yet to come

 

 

Denver

I think your right on that one between your class and last year’s we are definitely seeing some much stronger classes .

 

 

Toben

That’s what it looks like to me.

 

 

Denver

What was it about Kansas that ultimately clinched it for you, as we mentioned you had some big name schools calling, why Kansas?

 

 

Toben

I felt I could trust the coaching staff, I loved the campus and city of Lawrence when I visited,  and I felt at home and comfortable with the players.

 

 

Denver

Anyone in particular you are looking most forward to playing with?

 

 

Toben

Definitely Reesing, every time I watch them, I’m always impressed with his pocket presence and playmaking ability.

 

 

Denver

How about other recruits? Are you in touch with any other Kansas commits or potential recruits?  Will you know any of those guys going in?

 

 

Toben

I’ve actually spoken to Jordan Webb and Tyrone Sellers a few times and I’ve also spoken to Chris Omigie who is strongly considering KU

 

 

Denver

Last question...what are your goals both team and personal for your time at KU?

 

 

Toben

I just want to be as successful as possible especially off the field.  I know football has to end at some point so I want to make sure I get a degree.  That would define success for me.

 

Denver

Any idea on a major?

 

 

Toben

Some form of business.

 

 

Denver  

Well Toben, thanks for your time, glad to have you as a Jayhawk and I think you’re going to fit in very well.

 

 

Toben

I hope so and thank you.

 

 

 

 

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