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September 18, 2013

Notebook: Cox could get extra year

After deciding that he'd rather fight for his spot on the depth chart than redshirt this season, it looks like senior running back Taylor Cox may not have a choice.

He played part of the first game and missed the second game following a death in the family, but head coach Charlie Weis said it is a couple lingering injuries holding him back now.

"He's had this nagging hamstring and groin. It's been reoccurring for quite some time. You saw it happen in the game where he had that one run and pulled up on the sideline," Weis said. "If it doesn't get better we are going to look at a medical redshirt for Taylor."

Cox came to Kansas last season after transferring from College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. He played in all 12 games for the Jayhawks last season and started three. To be eligible for a medical redshirt, a player has four games to make the decision.

"If it's recurring, then we'll meet with the trainers and doctors on this. If it gets better to the point that he can play then we'll go ahead and do it," Weis said. "Right now, it's documented medically where he would qualify in this position and that is the direction we're headed in."

If Cox was to redshirt, that would lead a capable group of James Sims, Darrian Miller, and Brandon Bourbon at running back.


Weis says buck position to thank for increased sack numbers

It's only week two, but the Jayhawks have already matched last season's sack total. Weis said the change is due in part to Ben Goodman and Michael Reynolds in the new buck position he created.

"A lot of the pressure is coming from Goodman and Reynolds," Weis said. "They've being aggressive, bringing some heat, that was one of the big points of emphasis we had in the offseason."

The two have combined for 12 tackles and 3 for loss and three sacks.

"Especailly with Goodman on one side and Reynolds on the other side, that pocket has been collapsing pretty quick," Weis said.

He's been especially impressed with Reynolds, a junior from Wichita and his progression at Kansas. He played in all 12 games a season ago with eight tackles, three for loss and one sack. Already this season he has matched his tackle total with two for loss and two sacks as a starter.

"He's growing up. He's becoming more of a factor for us every week," Weis said. "He had two sacks and he only played 20 some plays. It's not like he played 50 snaps. That's great production for the number of plays he played."


Weis says Heeney plays NFL speed

Senior linebacker Ben Heeney notched a career-high 18 tackles last game and Weis said he's starting to resemble the kind of players he saw in his 16-year career of NFL coaching.

"I think that watching it live is more impressive to me because you feel the speed of the game. He's playing faster than everyone else. I don't know if he runs faster than everyone else, but he plays faster" Weis said. "That's what I'm used to seeing, those guys on Sunday, that's how they play. When they come, they come with a vengeance. They're not just coming to hit you, they're coming to knock you out. He's a pleasure to watch. You have to deal with him, but I'd rather him be on my team than someone else's."

Heeney, a 2012 second team All-Big 12 selection, has six double-digit tackle performances in his Kansas career and is riding a streak of three straight games with a sack. So far this season, he has 15 solo tackles and 22 total with 3 tackles for loss.


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