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September 1, 2010

Opurum adjusting to linebacker



On Saturday, Kansas fans will get their first look at Toben Opurum at linebacker. It's been almost two weeks since the switch and Opurum said he is adjusting well to his new position.

"I am already past the frustration stage," Opurum said. "Now I look at it more as an opportunity to help out the team. I think once we get into the games and start taking people down live it will be a lot more exciting."

Opurum's last tackle was last year against Oklahoma when he brought down Jeremy Beal after an interception. Opurum's last tackle as a defensive player? Ninth grade.

"The first day after the change a lot of it was just instincts," Opurum said. "Finding the football and running to it as fast as you can. One of the things you can't coach is effort and I am just trying to give as much as possible."

If there is one player on the team who knows what Opurum is going through, it's running back Angus Quigley. Last year Quigley was in the same situation as he had to learn on the fly how to play linebacker after being moved over from offense.

"He just told me to keep my head up and use this as an opportunity," Opurum said. "He told me the transition might be easier for me than it was for him. I already got the size and I think I will pick up the defense pretty quickly.

Opurum said he has talked to the coaches about possibly being used on offense during goal line situations, but for now he knows his best chance to see the field is to stay on defense.

"With the new coaches they know what they are doing," Opurum said. "They are evaluating every day and we have other guys at running back that can provide that for them but they wanted to find an opportunity to get me on the field and this is where it was."

Wyatt praises Dorsey

Defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt had plenty of positive things to say about defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey after Wednesday's practice.

"He is one of the best technicians I have coached in a long time," Wyatt said. "He uses his hands very well, he keeps his feet behind him. He is smart and he understands blocking schemes and how teams are trying to attack him. He is a pleasure to coach."


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