football Edit

Topps sees progress at Kansas, ready to join program

Chicago (IL) Marist cornerback Robert Topps helped lead his squad to an 8-2 record and a playoff berth in 2016. With three interceptions, a blocked field goal, and a pair of blocked punts, one of which he returned for a touchdown, the Kansas commit earned All-East Suburban Catholic Conference honors at defensive back.

“I feel like I did well,” Topps said of his final season of high school football. “And that I had a pretty successful year. My coach mostly played me in a man position on the best receiver. I can get back and bail, but I prefer to get up and press and play man. That’s my style. I would be in the box sometimes, and they would blitz me, but mostly I was at corner.”

“It didn’t end the way I wanted it to,” he said of the first-round loss to New Trier. “But I felt good about my performance. I’m ready to get prepared for the next level.”

Topps has followed the Kansas program closely
Topps has followed the Kansas program closely

The three-star prospect committed to the Jayhawks in June, choosing head coach David Beaty’s program over more than a dozen other offers, including bowl teams Eastern Michigan Western Michigan, New Mexico and Wyoming.

At 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, Topps expects to stay at CB once arriving in Lawrence, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Kansas alums like Aqib Talib and Chris Harris.

“That was kind of a factor when I was thinking about going to KU,” he said of the program’s history of developing NFL defensive backs. “I looked at the guys Coach Bowen put in the league, and he has like 6 guys. I thought about guys like Aqib, and I thought I could see myself there. I thought it would be a good fit.”

Safety Mike Lee was named to the Rivals.com Freshman All-American team so there is another name to add to the list. Topps had expected to join Lee in the 2017 freshman class, until the New Orleans native learned he had the credits needed to graduate high school a full year early.

“It was crazy seeing him,” Topps said of Lee. “I talked with Mike when I first committed. I thought we would be there and arrive at Kansas together. For him to get there early, make an impact, and be one of the top safeties in the conference, I just took notes and want to follow him like that.”

Topps has paid close attention to the Jayhawks since his unofficial visit for the Rhode Island game. He’s followed the program’s progress in Beaty’s second year on Mount Oread, and the talented CB believes in his vision for KU.

“I make sure I watch every game," Topps said. "That win over Texas, it was great. I see a direction where Coach Beaty has it going. A lot of the guys that are there are coming back. I can see the momentum building. Being in like five games, winnable games, I can see everybody putting it together and coming out with a successful year (in 2017).”