It’s about that time, folks! Football season is just around the corner.
This year will be particularly exciting for Kansas fans because it’s the beginning of the Les Miles era.
We’re not talking about just a ‘good coach.’ We’re talking about a guy who turned LSU into the powerhouse that they are today and even won a national championship.
But I’m not focusing on him for the moment. I’ll be focusing on 10 new comers who I think will make the most impact in this upcoming season.
The good news for these players is the playing time is certainly there with the current roster issues. I’m not saying they’ll all get solid playing time, but the opportunities will be there.
I’ll be starting with the 10th most likely new comer to make an impact and then doing a new player every few days until I get to number one.
The first player I’m going with is Gavin Potter, an outside linebacker from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
After losing Joe Dineen, Osaze Ogbebor and Keith Loneker Jr. to graduation, it’s clear Kansas’ LB core will need some work. But even with Potter being a freshman he can step in right away and make some noise.
During his senior year at Broken Arrow HS, Potter recorded 92 total tackles, with 52 of those being solo and including two sacks. He also had 23 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, two blocked kicks and an interception.
Potter is a player that is all over the field and plays with a killer instinct similar to Joe Dineen and Ben Heeney. His motor is intense and he won’t stop until he gets what he’s going after.
He can stand to gain some weight as he’s only listed at 205 lbs., but I’m sure he’s already been working on that in the summer. And with the staff Miles has under his belt I’m confident they have him on the right track.
I’m not sure I see Potter in a position to start at any point in the season being that he’s a freshman and has so much to learn, but he can definitely get on the field and even play a key role on special teams.
It is worth noting that Kansas doesn’t have a ton of big names ahead of Potter at the LB position, but they do bring back Kyron Johnson, Denzel Feaster, Dru Prox and Jay Dineen.
If Potter does end up starting at any point in the season it bodes well his future. Not many guys can come in as freshman and start at the LB position right away. It takes a full understanding of the defensive scheme being ran and it takes a full understanding of the offenses you’re going up against. It also takes having the right size and speed to run the position.
But even if Potter doesn’t get a lot of playing time this year, he’s going to be a big part of Kansas’ defense moving forward.
I’m predicting he’ll end up with 15 tackles, a few for loss and a sack. Most of these stats will likely come in the first few games, but if he can have some strong contributions there then who knows what he could do.