Tom Keegan: Daylon Charlot finally put on stage

Kansas receiver Daylon Charlot

The euphoria of the Kansas football fan base when David Beaty landed a pair of Alabama transfers reached offseason levels that it hadn’t experienced since Charlie Weis’ rapid-fire announcements of a pair of five-star quarterbacks transferring to KU.

Offensive tackle Charles Baldwin and wide receiver Daylon Charlot were going to take Kansas to the big time after leaving ‘Bama, just as Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist and ex-BYU trigger man Jake Heaps were going to become reincarnations of former Weis pupil Tom Brady.

Crist couldn’t keep his starting job, and when it became his turn a year later, Heaps also played his way into backup status and transferred to Miami (Fla.).

Baldwin, who had spent one spring semester in Tuscaloosa before being kicked off the football team, spent two years in school at Kansas, but never played a down. He was kicked off the team midway through last season, but still was listed on the roster.

Charlot came to Kansas with three remaining years of eligibility, after catching two passes totaling 9 yards at ’Bama. Last season, Charlot caught one pass for no gain, spent the final weeks of the season at safety as a practice player and returned to receiver during the spring.

FBS transfers generally generate more excitement when they transfer than when they play.

But it’s too early to give up on Charlot. He has too much talent to ignore, some of which he flashed Saturday in an otherwise forgettable day for Kansas football.

A junior, Charlot caught four passes for a team-high 67 yards in a 48-16 loss at Texas Tech. Heading into the game, he had caught two passes for 26 yards.

Charlot made a spectacular play late in the game, sprinting along the left sideline and making a one-handed catch for a 44-yard gain.

“In the video, you can see the DB was holding my right hand back, so I caught it with my left hand,” Charlot said.

He said he doesn’t practice one-handed catches.

“Nah, no sir,” he said. “It’s just something that’s God-given talent, I guess.”

Finally, friends from Patterson, La., who had witnessed his many great plays in high school, who had boasted about him when he muffed a punt in the Under Armour All-Star Game, scooped it up and returned it 54 years for a touchdown, were able to see him do it in college. They let him know they saw his one-handed catch.

“It was crazy,” he said of hearing from friends. “They say they were excited, but they say, ‘I’ve seen you make that play all the time in high school,’ so it wasn’t really that exciting for them.”

If he didn’t have a team meeting to attend, Charlot could have talked about his first extensive playing time (36 snaps).

“When the ball was in the air I was telling myself in my mind, ‘I’m going to make this play, a hundred percent. I’m going to make this play, a hundred percent. It’s going to 100 percent be mine. I’m going to catch the ball because that’s what playmakers do,’” he said.

Playmakers can’t make plays when watching from the sideline. Charlot said knee troubles have slowed him since coming to Kansas, but he declared himself “100 percent healthy.”

He said he didn’t think there was any connection to his playing time increasing the week Beaty took over as offensive coordinator after firing Doug Meacham.

“I believe better things are ahead,” he said. “Good things are coming. I’m just growing from here on out.”

He has a thicker build than most Kansas receivers, has good speed and strong hands. It’s not too late to think that he and Steven Sims can form the sort of 1-2 receiving tandem Kansas has lacked since Weis-era transfers Nick Harwell and Nigel King teamed in 2014.

Comments

Bryson Stricker

Best kid on the team and Meacham couldn’t stand him.

It’s too late for Beaty but Daylon was a key piece of a group of players that are talented enough and have the work ethic that could have kept him his job.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Rick Holmes

There must be some concerns about his speed considering he returned a muffed punt 54 years for a touchdown.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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['']

Hahaha. That's a sloooowwww developing play right there.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Jack Hoff

How the hell do we have Steven Sims, Charlot, Melvin Saunders and Pooka Williams and we can't throw the ball worth a lick? That group is good enough to compete with other BIG 12 Wide receiving corps. The O-Line ain't great but it's certainly better. This team should be so much better scoring the ball. Maybe we still have the same record but we should not look this incompetent on offense. I mean Beaty is honestly just trying too damn hard. Take a step back, look at your strengths and play to that. The best coaches are usually pretty straight forward about what they are doing and just do it well. Beaty never knows what the hell he is doing from week to week. I want to enjoy my saturdays at football games like everybody else in the country and I'm sick and tired of this nonsense. Get us a coach who at least makes it bearable to buy a ticket and enjoy a game on a saturday knowing you might at least a have chance to win. Wish I could get all my wasted saturdays back from the past 4 years.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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['']

"I mean Beaty is honestly just trying too damn hard"....that sentence should read: "I mean Beaty is honestly just too damn dumb to be a HC"

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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Jack Hoff

Haha. Fair point. Maybe should have read " trying too hard to act like he knows how to coach." I think we can all agree this program needs a new leader.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

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