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RCT Signing Day Extravaganza: Running Backs

UP NEXT: 11:00am CST O-Line/D-Line previews including audio interviews from Gavin Howard, Randall Dent and Tyrone Sellers.

With the transfer of two running backs early in the 2008 season this position became a must for the 2009 recruiting class.  Kansas would have playing time to offer as well as the ability to show a balanced spread attack that puts up numbers in the passing game and with the run.

A legacy and a 4 Star commitment answered the call and make up an excellent class at this position for the Jayhawks.  Deshaun Sands and Toben Opurum are two names you may want to get used to and I got a chance to talk with both as part of signing day.

More Breakdown, Video and interviews after the jump...


Deshaun Sands

If you've been around Kansas football for awhile the name Tony Sands will mean something to you.  2nd All time leading rusher and 396 wonderful yards in a single game against the hated Missouri Tigers. 

Good news, his son Deshaun is already on the Kansas campus.  Deshaun a 5'9" 180 pound back out of Florida committed to the Jayhawks very early and has made the effort to arrive on campus early and get a jump start on his future.

A junior season of nearly 1500 yards on the ground drew an offer from Kansas early and Sands jumped on it.  His highlight video via shows a back with a low powerful running style and with 4.5 40 speed the ability to break the long run.

I got a chance to speak with Deshaun about signing day an the class and while I don't have audio here is the quick recap.


All right, obviously your already on campus and signing day isn't exactly the whole big to do for you but what does it mean for you to be part of this class? and what are your thoughts on being a Jayhawk?


Well as you know we’re up and coming as a football program and this year we want to win the Big 12 North, so this class is going to be able to add that extra kick in my mind to get us there.  We have a lot of talent in this class and being a Jayhawk is everything to me.


Obviously the RB position is wide open how do you and the coaches see yourself being used in the offense.


Well I see myself being the main back but I don’t know what the coaches are going to do.  I’ve just got to go out and prove myself this spring in practice.


Last question, what are your goals both as individual and for the team in your time at Kansas.


Well my first goal is to get a degree and graduate.  On the field I want to get playing time this year and help add to the success of Kansas and be a weapon for the team.

Up next a highlight film of Sands

Here's another quick feature from a one on one RB vs LB drill at the Miami Nike camp with Deshaun in action.

Sands was one of two Florida recruits making their way to Kansas. Here's to hoping Louis Matsakis and Bill Miller can expand the pipeline.

Toben Opurum

The second player at the running back spot to commit to the Jayhawks was Plano Texas fullback Toben Opurum.  Seen by a fullback by many teams we learned during our Rock Chalk Talk interview with Toben that Kansas views him as a feature back, very much in the mold of Brandon McAnderson.

Toben stands 6'2" 225 pounds and has played in the spread offense his entire high school career.  Here is a link to a highlight video from maxpreps.

A lot of similarities between Toben and BMac and while he may not initially look to have that breakaway burst he is certainly a tough physical runner that will do what it takes to get the job done.

Toben's Junior/Senior seasons totalled over 1400 yards out of the backfield and an additional 800 recieving, something he is very comfortable with out of the spread.

David Beaty once again flexed his recruiting muscle in landing Opurum beating out the likes of Notre Dame, Nebraska, Purdue and Florida for this 4 star, #3 rated fullback out the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

Spoke with Toben regarding his signing day thoughts and looking toward the future.  Click the link for audio:

How awesome is that Toben is a loyal RCT reader!!!