Toben Opurum Steps in with Two Touchdowns
Sept. 19, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan.-- -
Kansas freshman running back Toben Opurum had big shoes to fill when the No. 22 ranked Associated Press and No. 23 Coach’s poll ranked Jayhawks defeated Duke 44-16 on Saturday.
He is second in line on the depth chart to veteran Jake Sharp. Unfortunately, Sharp suffered a mild injury last week at practice and was not at his best. Fortunately, for the Jayhawks Opurum was ready to play.
“He was pressed into duty today,” said Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino. “Jake Sharp was injured in a non-contact drill this week. It was a strange occurrence. We thought he was going to be ok, but he really didn’t feel good. He didn’t have that explosion or spring in his step. Opurum had to step up and he did a really good job. It’s good to know we have a reliable guy back there to work with Jake. “
Reliable is the perfect word to describe Opurum. The true freshman knows what he has to do to be successful, which is pretty impressive for a guy who is only three weeks into his college career.
“I always prepare myself as if I am starting,” Opurum said. “My number was called and I had to take advantage of it.”
Opurum has also been taking advantage of touchdown opportunities. So far, Opurum has scored five touchdowns in his three-week career at KU, and two of those touch downs occurred against Duke.
Opurum’s most impressive play of the day was a one-handed catch near the Duke sideline, which he turned upfield into a 17-yard gain on fourth down.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to catch that,” he said. “It was a grab that landed in my hands and then I just took off with it. It was a beautiful play by Todd getting the ball out there and everyone else doing what they need to do.”
One thing’s for sure, this true freshman will continue to gain experience and continue to help the Jayhawks to victory.
Look for Opurum again next week on the football field when the Jayhawks host Southern Mississippi at 11 a.m.