One-on-One with: Deshaun Sands

Oct. 6, 2010

Kansas freshman running back Deshaun Sands has helped carry the load for the Jayhawks this season in the backfield. Sands, who is the son of former KU great Tony Sands, has rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown in his first four collegiate games.

Sands came to KU from Piper High School in Sunrise, Fla., where he rushed for 1,276 yards and 10 touchdowns during his senior season after leading the country with 1,486 yards from scrimmage his junior season. Sands started his KU career a semester early, enrolling in the spring of 2009 to participate in football spring drills. caught up with the redshirt-freshman recently after practice.

On coming to KU early:

“It’s really to get a jump on everybody. You come in early, you come in the spring, so you’re fresh in spring ball, learn the plays, learn the offense, so you have an upper hand over the other freshmen that come in the fall.”

On the process of that decision:

“I talked to my (older) brother and he said ‘you’re done with high school’. I had all my credits, I still got to go back and do all the senior events and stuff, so I might as well take (the opportunity) to get the upper hand.”

On his dad’s (former Jayhawk Tony Sands) influence on the recruiting process:

“He just told me it was my option; he didn’t have any input in it. He didn’t want to feel like he was over me too much, so he just let me pick and choose.”

On watching tape of his dad playing at KU:

“Amazing… it’s amazing.”

On his running style versus his dad’s:

“I probably have more agility to get through the holes quicker and stuff like that. We probably have the same vision, because I’ve seen his tapes and there’s some stuff on there that I saw and I was like, ‘wow’.”

On his dad’s advice:

“He always tells me, ‘work harder than the next man; while they’re sleeping you’re at work’. That was always his advice, and I’ve taken that (to heart).”

On comparing his skill set to other backs on the team:

“We’re pretty much the same; we have our big backs and we have our speed backs. They use me for the agility plays like draws and fakes and stuff like that, but we’re pretty much the same.”

On the rushing game this year:
“We’re progressing, we’re hoping to reach new heights and we’re hoping to be a back tandem to be messed with in the Big 12. We’re trying to be the best. (Against New Mexico State) we had like 250 yards rushing, so were progressing each week to try to get better.”