Velton Gardner returns to lead the charge in the backfield for the Kansas Jayhawks.
When Lance Leipold was the Head Coach at Buffalo they enjoyed running the football.
"“Buffalo’s offense was the No. 1 rushing team in the country in 2020, averaging 6.71 yards per carry. Buffalo was No.2 in the country in 2020 in rushing yards per game at 287.4 in which RB Jaret Patterson ran for 3,884 yards and 52 touchdowns in 32 career games. Jaret averaged at least 28 points per game in each of the last 4 seasons. Jaret Patterson was the 2020 MAC Player of the Year; rushed for 409 yards in 1 game; ranked 1st in the nation in rushing yards per game at 178.7; third in nation in rushing TD’s with 19”"
What this tells Kansas football fans is Lance Leipold and Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki like to run the football.
Velton Gardner is returning and has potential to have a breakthrough season. With the unknown at the QB position this coaching staff may take the pressure off of throwing the football, and have the intention of handing it off for more of a ground and pound type offense. We have had several good running backs come through the program, and Gardner will be taking on the role. I expect Gardner to step up in many ways.
To lead the charge rushing the football but also being a mentor to the young running backs. The returning players are going to have a chip on their shoulder, and will be out to prove to their new coaches why they belong on this football team.
Gardner will have some competition from incoming freshman Devin Neal a 5”11, 208 lbs. running back from Lawrence, Kansas. This competition could help push Gardner become a great running back going into his Junior season.
The entire Kansas football program needs to breakthrough, and with the talks of the conference realignments, and with the potential of the Big 12 disassembling, the Jayhawks need to take a significant step in the right direction.