What KU Football Fans Can Expect to See in The Blueprint
Watch: EPISODE 1 “New Beginnings”
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas football fans are about to get a behind-the-scenes look at the program’s first full spring under second-year head coach Lance Leipold — as told by one of the Sunflower State’s favorite sons.
Kansas Athletics, in conjunction with its multimedia rightsholder LEARFIELD, announced Monday the upcoming launch of THE BLUEPRINT, a four-part documentary series offering fans an all-access look into the Jayhawk football program’s recently completed spring practice slate. THE BLUEPRINT, which premieres today at KUAthletics.com, is narrated by actor, comedian and KU alum Rob Riggle and features insight from Leipold, Director of Athletics Travis Goff and several Jayhawk players and assistant coaches.
“As a proud alum and fierce Jayhawk supporter, it was an honor to participate in this project,” Riggle said. “I believe in Coach Leipold and his staff. I’m impressed with his vision for Kansas Football and his desire to make the program the best it can be. I think Jayhawk fans everywhere are going to enjoy this look at a team and program on the rise.”
Another KU alum, former wide receiver and 2008 Orange Bowl champion Micah Brown, directed the original series, which is presented by The University of Kansas Health System. A trailer for THE BLUEPRINT is now available at KUAthletics.com.
“Since arriving in Lawrence one year ago, our staff has worked hard to establish a positive culture of accountability and structure in this program,” Leipold said. “Everyone in our program understands there is a lot of work to be done yet, but I have been very proud of how our players have embraced this and all the hard work they have put in to better themselves on and off the field.
“I think our fans will really enjoy The Blueprint because it shows how we are installing our culture and highlights the efforts and positive attitudes of the young men in our program as we continue to take positive steps forward.”
Here’s an episode-by-episode sneak peek at what KU fans can expect when THE BLUEPRINT drops Thursday:
EPISODE 1 “New Beginnings” looks back at Leipold’s hiring and how the team performed in his first season at the helm, particularly the Jayhawks’ strong finish to the 2021 campaign. Goff details what was on his mind as he conducted a nationwide search for KU football’s next leader, and Director of Sports Performance Matt Gildersleeve reveals the topic of the first conversation the new coaching staff had with each of the players it inherited. Episode 1 also shows fans the first days of the team’s 2022 spring practice slate, which saw the Jayhawks continue to make progress toward Leipold’s goal of creating a player-led program.
“If you’re not with it, you’re going to be weeded out.” — Earl Bostick Jr., super-senior offensive lineman
EPISODE 2 “Culture is Action” centers on culture implementation — and why a change in mindset alone won’t be enough to complete the turnaround. Viewers will learn what one Jayhawk football standout hopes to emulate from the university’s storied men’s basketball program, what Leipold identifies as the most critical areas the team must improve on both offense and defense, and why “master the mundane” was a rallying cry for the Jayhawks this spring. Fans will also go behind the curtain to witness a unique accountability drill and learn how efforts like those are already making an impact.
“I thought that we would have a lot of resistance to all the things we would ask these athletes to do. We haven’t. The physical piece of the development — just sheer size and time with them in our program — has been the biggest challenge that we need to continue to fight. It’s going to be fun.” — Gildersleeve
EPISODE 3 “Competition Within” is all about embracing competition, and fans will get a close look at how that has been personified in the program’s quarterbacks room. Offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki and defensive coordinator Brian Borland offer their takes on what Phase 2 of the team’s development process must emphasize. Finally, with the backdrop of a bowling outing with some of his fellow Jayhawks, junior quarterback Jalon Daniels explains why his goal is to make every relationship he has with a teammate feel like a lifelong friendship.
“With the culture that Coach Leipold and his staff brought in and everything we’re trying to turn into, I can see the future. If all 100 players that are with you on that sideline are on the same page, that’s scary.” — Daniels
EPISODE 4 “It Takes Everybody” has an overarching theme of pride, told in a number of different ways. Jayhawk football players explain why the men’s basketball team’s national championship celebration inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium left them feeling hungrier than ever. Sophomore running back Devin Neal details how being a Lawrence native affects his approach to each snap. Finally, with the team’s Spring Preview in the books and an eye turned toward the future, Goff, Daniels and others outline their expectations for the road ahead.
“We are fully committed to building a football program with championship-level success, and when you layer in an alumni and fan base that’s also committed to it? It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when — and what that journey looks like to getting there.” — Goff
The Jayhawks open their 2022 season against Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. For more information on how you can purchase season tickets, visit kuathne.ws/FBSeasonTickets.