Landon Osborne is still an Eagle, but come next fall he’ll become a Coyote.
Osborne, a senior at Jasper High School, signed a letter of intent Monday afternoon to play football for Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina next fall.
“First thing about him is he’s going to work hard,” Jasper head coach Rich Adkins said. “Just as hard as anybody out there. Anything a coach asks or tells him to do, he’s going to try and do it. He’s a very-coachable kid and he works extremely hard.”
Osborne, the son of Ronnie and Heather Osborne, played safety for the Eagles last fall and led the team in tackles with 74. Standing six-foot-tall and weighing 160 pounds, he made 41 solo stops and assisted on 33 tackles, and tallied 11 tackles each in games against Pleasant Hope and Lockwood.
“He was a big leader to the whole team,” Adkins said. “Not always the most vocal, but as far as leading by example in practice and games. If we asked him to do something he was going to do it. In the weight room he doesn’t ever take a day off and it’s the same story in the classroom where he’s an outstanding student, as well.”
Adkins said Osborne was a great special teams player for Jasper, too.
Osborne said he was relieved to finally get the decision out of the way.
“I just want to play football, really,” he said. “I’m just glad to be playing somewhere. They offered me a scholarship and it’s a really nice community, a nice campus and a good football team.”
Osborne expects to play in the defensive backfield for the Coyotes, probably at the free safety position, but some time at outside linebacker is also a possibility, he said.
“I’m really excited,” Osborne said. “This is a dream come true basically. I always wanted to play college ball and now I get to.”
The signing was attended by Kansas Wesleyan’s new offensive coordinator, Bob Saunders, who comes to Salina after serving as the wide receivers coach for the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League, coached by Marty Schottenheimer. Saunders also spent seven years as an assistant coach in the National Football League, and is the son of former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and current Oakland Raiders assistant Al Saunders.
“From what our defensive coordinator and head coach (Dave Dallas) told me he’s an outstanding player, an outstanding young man,” Saunders said. “Those are the kinds of student athletes we’re looking to get at Kansas Wesleyan. The degree is the first thing, but the opportunity to play football at a higher level is the other thing and I know that’s something Landon is looking forward to. We’re happy to have him.”
Page 2 of 2 - The Coyotes posted a 6-5 record last season and went 5-3 in conference play. Jasper, meanwhile, started the season 0-5 in Adkins’ first season before winning four of its final six games and posting the best record in years.
“We got some wins under our belt finally and everybody came together,” Osborne said. “We had some players really step up and do the job.”