Still two weeks away from the start of what will be his final season with the Kansas football program, the emotions of it all are starting to sneak up on KU safety Kenny Logan Jr.
As one of the last players to walk out of KU’s indoor practice facility following the program’s annual media day on Wednesday, Logan paused at the door, looked back and said, “Man, I’m getting all in my feels again. This is the last one.”
There will be a lot of those for Logan in the next several months.
Last home opener. Last non-conference game. Last Big 12 game. Last home game. Last practice. Last road trip. Last game period.
The senior safety from St. Augustine, Florida, is well aware of all of that, and he’s trying hard not to think too much about it. The goal, Logan said, is to take each day as it comes, and he sought out some advice from friends and former Jayhawks Jalen Wilson and Christian Braun, who recently went through something similar with the Kansas basketball program before turning pro.
“Just being able to sit down and pick Jalen’s brain about his whole mindset of last year and to pick CB’s mind, too, it meant everything,” Logan told R1S1. “And I added their advice to my bag of what I already had heard and knew.”
The words of wisdom from the two KU basketball champions were short and sweet — enjoy it.
Wilson, who earned All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year honors, had more of a clear picture that his last season at Kansas would be his final run. Braun, who wound up being a first-round pick en route to winning a world championship as a rookie with the Denver Nuggets was less sure of his future as he entered what wound up being his final season.
Having watched Wilson go through his season-long goodbye most recently, Logan really paid attention to both how Wilson went about it and the advice he gave him about how to handle it.
“He told me, ‘You don’t get this back. You don’t get the fans back, you don’t get the Booth back,’” Logan said Wednesday. “So, every time I go through anything, whether it’s a workout or a practice, I try to cherish it because you don’t get it back.”
Logan added: “Just being able to hear how they handled it and went through it was really helpful. If you don’t cherish the day-to-day things, you can lose sight of what you’re here for.”
Kansas coach Lance Leipold said Wednesday that Logan has been as steady as ever throughout preseason camp. Leipold, who struck up a quick and deep bond with Logan after being hired at Kansas in 2021, said at the end of last season that he hoped he would get to coach Logan for one more year.
Logan nearly left after the 2022 season. He said last winter that he spent most of the Jayhawks’ Liberty Bowl season believing it was his last in crimson and blue and believed he was prepared to move on when the season ended.
The reason Logan is still here, though, is more clear than ever and it’s tied directly to the experience he had in 2022. He wants to win games — more games. He wants to continue to help build the program and add to his legacy as a bricklayer. And he wants to make sure that this time around he stays present in those moments rather than thinking too far ahead.
“Last year, I was caught up thinking about that,” he said of focusing in on his final everything. “But this year I’m just being me. I’m just having fun and going out there trying to make as many plays as I can and enjoying every minute of it.”
Logan and the Jayhawks are now just over two weeks out from the 2023 season opener.
Fresh off of a 6-7 season in 2022 and the program’s first trip to a bowl game in 14 years, the Jayhawks will enter the 2023 season picked to finish ninth in the 14-team Big 12 Conference standings and with an over/under win total number of 6 at DraftKings.
Kansas will open the season on Friday, Sept. 1 against Missouri State at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. After that the Jayhawks will host Illinois the following Friday and travel to Nevada on Sept. 16 to round out their non-conference slate.
KU will open Big 12 play against conference newcomer BYU on Sept. 23 in Lawrence and will close out September with their final trip to Texas to take on the Longhorns on Sept. 30.
2023 KU Football Schedule (all times central)
Sept. 1 – vs. Missouri State, 7 p.m. (ESPN+)
Sept. 8 – vs. Illinois, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Sept. 16 – at Nevada, 9:30 p.m. (CBS Sports)
Sept. 23 – vs. BYU (Time and TV TBA)
Sept. 30 – at Texas (Time and TV TBA)
Oct. 7 – vs. UCF (Time and TV TBA)
Oct. 14 – at Oklahoma State (Time and TV TBA)
Oct. 21 – BYE
Oct. 28 – vs. Oklahoma (Time and TV TBA)
Nov. 4 – at Iowa State (Time and TV TBA)
Nov. 11 – vs. Texas Tech (Time and TV TBA)
Nov. 18 – vs. Kansas State (Time and TV TBA)
Nov. 25 – at Cincinnati (Time and TV TBA)
— For tickets to all KU athletic events, visit kutickets.com