A couple of days ago, we took a look at three players on offense that you should keep a lookout for this fall. Today we turn our attention to KU’s oft-maligned defense.
Here are three defensive players to keep an eye on, along with a bonus pick.
1. Dru Prox, SR LB
Kansas appears to have a loaded and deep linebacking corps this season, thanks partially to Dru Prox’s injury last season, which enabled then-true freshman Gavin Potter to play the majority of the final eight games of the 2019 campaign.
Prior to the injury, Prox collected 39 tackles in the first four games of the year, putting him on pace for 117 should he have played out the season consistently. For reference, 117 tackles would have been good for second in the Big 12 last season. When healthy, he is a tackling machine, and you should expect to hear him mentioned quite often on television broadcasts this fall.
2. Steven Parker, R-FR “Jack”
The gem of KU’s 2019 recruiting class, Parker was a national top-400 recruit with four stars next to his name when he committed to Kansas. He played in four games last year to preserve his redshirt, and I expect him to be a significant part of the defensive gameplan in 2020.
Parker’s talents may be best served in KU’s “Jack” position, which is essentially a hybrid DE/OLB in KU’s 3-4 scheme, which ideally will give him more opportunities to rush the opposing quarterback.
3. Davon Ferguson, JR DB
Ferguson came on strong in the second half of the season last year, starting the final five games of the season in the secondary and finishing the season third on the team in total tackles. He played one of the safety positions, primarily the one traditionally known as the strong safety, and looks to anchor that spot for Kansas for this season and next.
Bonus: DaJon Terry, R-FR DL
The huge redshirt freshman - he’s listed at 6’4” 345 lbs - looks to occupy the nose tackle spot along KU’s defensive line this fall. Terry played in three games as a true freshman last year, preserving his redshirt. With all three starting spots along the defensive line up for grabs this season, Terry has a chance to become a multi-year starter at Kansas along the interior.
Keep in mind, however, that Terry is still pretty raw, having played just one season of high school football due to pursuing basketball up until his senior year. His primary competition along the line, Sam Burt and Reuben Lewis, are both seniors, so even if he doesn’t win a starting spot right away, he could blossom as the season unfolds, not unlike the above-mentioned Davon Ferguson did last year.