LAWRENCE (KSNT) – The Jayhawks’ offense was fun to watch in 2022.

KU was second in the Big 12 in points per game. The ‘Hawks return their quarterback, an impressive running back duo and one of the best offensive coordinators in the league.

OC Andy Kotelnicki signed a contract extension in December of 2022. As the team starts fall camp for the 2023 season, he tells 27 News several of his players are at work to design new plays.

“We try to keep our guys engaged and we give them ownership in what we’re doing,” Kotelnicki said. “I have a select group of guys. I think it’s close to 20 individuals, by position, and they come together with plays and they’re presenting them to me currently as we speak in fall camp.”

He says they’ll give ‘creative credit’ to whoever designs a play if it does make it into a game. You could see ‘Jalon Daniels play’ or ‘Mason Fairchild play’ in a game, if it’s something they drew up.

The idea sounds like fun, but it’s done with a purpose, Coach K said.

“Football is really hard,” Kotelnicki said. “You do so much preparation for just one game a week… You have to learn to enjoy the process. And getting players involved in what we’re doing… you can call these decisions, you can call these creativity.”

The idea isn’t just to come up with fun or goofy ideas for unique plays. The hope is this can both impact the on-field scheme and grow these players’ understanding of the game.

“It’s not just a bunch of things stuck together that make no sense,” Kotelnicki said. “They’re critically reflecting on what we’re doing, which shows that they understand what we’re doing and they get the seriousness of it.”

Seeing what his players come up with can be satisfying, he said.

“It’s kind of like being a teacher, and you see your student get creative and they get inspired,” Kotelnicki said. “I think that’s what we’re looking for from our guys.”

For more KU sports coverage click here. Kotelnicki’s exclusive interview with 27 News will air Sunday on K-Nation.