You’ve probably never heard of the Big 12’s leading rusher before.
It’s likely he prefers it that way.
Ke’aun Kinner, who racked up 157 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the Kansas Jayhawks’ season-opener a week ago, isn’t a household name, but he might just become one.
After being named NJCAA Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 playing for Navarro (TX) College, Kinner quietly signed with struggling KU late in the recruiting season.
The junior proved how good he can be on the field, but as Big 12 ESPN reported early Thursday, he also showed just how humble of a young man he is.
Max Olson reported in an article on the ESPN affiliate site that Kinner practiced in shoes two sizes two small for him because he didn’t want to “be a problem.” Olson wrote that Kinner wasn’t used to the perks Division I athletes receive after playing two years in Junior College and just figured the wrong size was better than nothing.
From the story:
The Navarro College transfer thought about buying new cleats, because that’s what he did back in junior college. After a few days of spring practice, though, new Kansas coach David Beaty figured out the problem while walking through the locker room.
“I look up,” Beaty said, “and he’s got blood coming off his toes.”
Kinner finally confessed: “Coach, these shoes are just a little bit too small.”
“A little bit?”
It might be tough times in Lawrence right now (the Jayhawks lost to FCS foe South Dakota State despite Kinner’s big day), but it’s possible they not only found a hidden offensive gem, but a player who is going to strap on his helmet and never complain no matter the situation thrown at him.
He may or may not be atop the conference rushing leader board when the season ends, but at least for one week he can claim he was the best.
Just don’t expect him to actually say it.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports