Big 12 News

Kansas Football Looking to Get Back to Full Scholarship Limit in 2023

Lance Leipold

Lance Leipold sounds confident that scholarship relief is finally coming for his Kansas Jayhawks by the start of the 2023 season.

Leipold said that during Big 12 Media Days a couple of weeks ago, as he was talking about the Jayhawks’ prospects of building on a 2021 in which they only won two games, but one of those wins was an overtime win over Texas on the road.

 

“A year from now I’ll be very confident that we’ll be where we need to be in that scholarship count,” Leipold said.

He took over a program that was well under the FBS scholarship limit of 85 last season, though that had nothing to do with Leipold.

The program has operated at a scholarship deficit since the days of former head coach Charlie Weis, who went all-in on recruiting juco players amid the NCAA’s limit of 25 new scholarships per recruiting cycle.

When Weis was dismissed the program had only 39 scholarships. Even after Les Miles was hired in 2019 the Jayhawks only had 68 scholarships.

 

Per RockChalkTalk.com, the Jayhawks have 74 scholarship players for 2022.

So, slowly but surely, the Jayhawks have dug out of that hole. Plus, the NCAA has removed the cap of 25 for the next two seasons, fueling Leipold’s optimism that between his recruiting efforts and the transfer portal that the Jayhawks may finally have a full 85-scholarship team in 2023.

Another thing leaving him optimistic? The fact that the Jayhawks didn’t lose a player from the final 2021 two-deep roster to the portal. The only players lost were ones that were out of eligibility. That goes along with Leipold’s goal of developing what he has internally first.

“The thing we’ve tried to emphasize within the program also is for us to get better we have to be better within our own locker room first,” Leipold said. “We have to be Kansas as we go about it. We have to be better than we were the day before. And one of those things that you have to do to get there is you have to embrace competition.”

 

Kansas is coming off a 2021 in which it went 2-10 overall and 1-8 in Big 12 action. Leipold was hired in May of last year so this is his first full offseason with the team. Kansas actually boasts 16 returning starters, including key players like quarterbacks Jason Bean and Jalon Daniels, running back Devin Neal and safety Kenny Logan Jr., who could have gone pro after last season.

Still, Kansas has to replace some key players, including top pass rusher Kyron Johnson, consistent wide receiver Kwamie Lassiter IV and offensive guard Malik Clark, the last of which ended his Jayhawks career with 40 career games.

The Jayhawks open the season on Sept. 2 at home against Tennessee Tech, followed by a road trip to West Virginia on Sept. 10 to open Big 12 action.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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