Out of all the mid year junior college transfers who arrived in Lawrence last month, defensive tackle Ty McKinney might be the most excited to finally be on campus.
It's been a long journey for McKinney since last August when he heard from the NCAA that he wouldn't be eligible to play for Kansas last year.
"I have been playing football for 14 years and never missed a season so I told myself to keep on fighting and that it will get better," McKinney said.
Since most of his teammates were off to their new schools, McKinney spent the fall working out by himself. He would occasionally go to a Texas Tech or TCU game to pass the time. He said he never thought about changing schools.
"I just felt a good connection with Coach [Buddy] Wyatt," McKinney said. "I made a commitment and I am big on my word."
The silver lining is that if McKinney would've been cleared in August, he would've had minimal time to get acclimated with the team before being thrown into game action. Now, he still has two years of eligibility left and has an entire spring to learn the defense.
"Having all spring is going to be a huge advantage," McKinney said. "Overall last year I learned that not taking care of business will hurt you in the long run so I did what I had to do in order to get the job done."
St. Valentines Day Massacre
Last week players went through what they called toughest workout yet of their offseason conditioning program. Strength coach Scott Holsopple put the team through what he called the "St. Valentines Day Massacre". The workout was conducted at 6:00 am the day after Valentines Day.
The toughest workout involved the players pushing a crate up a hill then carrying it back down again. The team was broken up into groups of 10. Newcomer defensive end Chris Martin already knew what it was like to work under Holsopple. Martin played at Florida when Holsopple was the assistant strength coach.
"I was redshirting at the time and during away games I was at the facility with him," Martin said. "We have established a relationship and he knows he can push me hard and he knows what he is going to get out of me."