RCW: Sport Spotlight 4.9 (Football)
A post shared by Kansas Football (@kufootball) on Oct 21, 2017 at 5:11pm PDT
— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) October 22, 2017
As Kansas football prepares for the 2017 edition of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown against in-state rival Kansas State, KU will do so with a stable of players who are Kansas natives.
The Jayhawks tout 23 players on the roster from the Sunflower State. Of the 23 Kansas natives, six hail from Lawrence, including defensive starters and Lawrence Free State High School alums Joe Dineen Jr., Keith Loneker Jr., and Bryce Torneden. The former Firebirds will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline against Kansas State – sophomore offensive lineman Scott Frantz, who also graduated from Free State.
In addition to Dineen, Loneker and Torneden, KU’s Kansans are: Mazin Aql (Stilwell), Cole Brunghardt (Lawrence), Sam Burt (Abilene), Nick Caudle (Atchison), DeeIsaac Davis (Wichita), Jay Dineen (Lawrence), Joseph Gilbertson (Wichita), Dai Coye Haley (Atchison), Ben Johnson (Basehor), Hunter Kaufman (Pratt), Beau Lawrence (Overland Park), Quinton McQuillan (Leavenworth), Reese Randall (Lawrence), Mesa Ribordy (Louisburg), Cooper Root (Wichita), Hunter Saulsbury (Stilwell), Ryan Schadler (Hesston), Sam Schroeder (Wichita), Kenyon Tabor (Derby) and Deron Thompson (Wichita).
KU head coach David Beaty knows how much pride is on the line in the rivalry game and sees it as a great opportunity for his entire team, not just the Kansans.
“You know, this game is very, very important to a lot of people,” said Beaty. “Our people that are on our football team, the people inside our department, our University, all of our stakeholders, all of our fans, all of our former students, former players, it has a lot of meaning. This is one of those games where you can have an opportunity to make yourself a household name.”
And all of the Jayhawks are hoping to do just that, especially the Sunflower natives.