Ke’aun Kinner may be the perfect fit for Kansas, but Kansas wasn’t the perfect fit for Kinner-at first. He went through some things in the off season that could have slowed him down, but luckily they didn’t. Kinner was the best runner in Dallas in 2012, but couldn’t cut it test score wise. So, he went to Navarro College to prove himself by becoming the NJCAA offensive player of the year in 2014. Before transferring to KU, Kinner didn’t even visit the campus; he trusted the coaching staff enough to commit.
Kinner wasn’t used to the perks you get as a student athlete at a big school like Kansas. When Kinner arrived at KU this spring, the equipment manager gave him size 10 ½ cleats. They were two sizes too small. Kinner never complained. Since the shoes did not fit, Kinner developed blisters that made him limp and slowed him down, but he still didn’t say a word. He didn’t want to be a problem or complain all the time. It went unnoticed until Coach Beaty saw blood coming off of Kinner’s toes after a practice. So, Kinner finally spoke up and said, “Coach, these shoes are just a little bit too small.” Kinner had the idea that the shoes the equipment manager gave you at the beginning of the year were what you were stuck with the rest of the season, just like it was in JUCO.
Of course that isn’t the case at a D1 school. The white and blue Adidas pair he has worn the past two games have fit just fine and he has shown that. Kinner is the third leading rusher in the Big 12 with 270 yards, even though the Jayhawks have played one game less than other schools in their division. Kinner has had three touchdowns, so far, and his longest run has been for 29 yards. I wouldn’t be surprised if he broke for even longer runs this season and finished as one of the top leading rushers in the Big 12, now that the shoe fits.