LAWRENCE (KSNT)- KU football used its first bowl game since 2008 as a recruiting boost.
However, the ‘Hawks coaching staff didn’t just get active within high school prospects. Kansas added 13 players from the transfer portal over the offseason prior to the 2023 season.
Several of those players have made an impact for KU in the first six weeks of the season, including running back Dylan McDuffie who had two touchdowns in Saturday’s win against UCF.
However, it’s possible none of the incoming transfers have made their mark more than edge rusher Austin Booker. Booker transferred to KU after two seasons at the University of Minnesota. He redshirted his freshman year with the Gophers, then played in just six games in his second season there.
Now, the KU defensive lineman is tied for the Big 12 lead with five sacks and tied for third in the league with eight tackles for loss.
He has 22 total in the Jayhawks’ first six games. He also forced one fumble.
KU head football coach Lance Leipold expected the portal pass rusher to be good, but maybe didn’t know he could be this good this early.
“I think he’s probably playing at a little bit higher level, at times, than what I thought,” Leipold said. “He still has things to get better at.”
Leipold says despite the impressive stats, Booker is yet to reach his full potential.
“He’s talented and I think he’s not even near the ceiling yet of what we can completely be if he keeps after it,” Leipold said. “I know he gets more comfortable every week. He’s playing the most football he has since high school and that’s great to see in many ways for him and for us.”
Booker is a Greenwood, Indiana native. He’s listed as 6-foot-6, 245 pounds on KU’s website.