Laptad, Opurum bright spots on defense in KU's loss

Oct. 24, 2010

Despite Kansas’ homecoming loss to Texas A&M Saturday, a duo of Jayhawk defenders had notable nights on the field.

Senior Jake Laptad finished the contest with four tackles, one of which was a sack early on in the second quarter, sending Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson for a five-yard loss inside the red zone. The sack gave the Tulsa, Oklahoma native 17.5 for his career, which propelled him to fifth of the school’s all-time list. Former NFL players Tim Dywer and Dana Stubblefield now move back to sixth with 17 a piece.

“It’s a great honor to be in the top five in sacks,” said Laptad. “I’m going to enjoy that, but I would have been a lot happier with a win.”

Another impressive feat on the field Saturday night came from Sophomore Toben Opurum who joined D.J. Beshears and Daymond Patterson as the only current Jayhawks who have started on both sides of the ball during their careers. Opurum was used as a running back during his freshman season before making the switch to defensive end.

“From where I’ve started, I think I’ve improved a lot, but I still think I have a lot of work to do.” Opurum said.

Still, his teammates from the defensive side think he is learning his new position with ease.

“He’s picked it up really fast.” Says Laptad. He went out tonight and made a tackle for a loss and he was really active in the backfield.”

While Laptad and Opurum were out accomplishing remarkable feats, junior Isiah Barfield was just busy making tackles. Barfield doubled his previous career high of five, with a game total of ten. While his career high was impressive, it didn’t lead the KU defense. That honor went to senior Justin Springer who had a dozen in the loss.