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All in the Family: Kwinton Lassiter Looks to Carry On Family's Jayhawk Legacy

The name Lassiter carries quite a bit of weight around the Kansas Football program. The patriarch of the Lassiter family, Kwamie, played at Kansas after transferring from Butler County Community College from 1992 to 1994. He is remembered as one of the best Jayhawk defensive backs of all time, and with names such as Aqib Talib, Darrell Stuckey, Nolan Cromwell, and Chris Harris, Jr. being in that mix, it's certainly a prestigious grouping. Kwamie went undrafted in the 1995 NFL Draft but still made his mark in the league, racking up 609 total tackles, 25 interceptions (including a game where he tied the NFL record for most interceptions in a game with 4), 5 forced fumbles, and 2 touchdowns in his 9-year career with 3 different teams. Kwamie would go on to have three sons, Kwamie II, Darius, and Kwinton, who all managed to play at the Division 1 college level in football. While Darius ended up going to Eastern Michigan and has now transferred to BYU, Kwamie II and Kwinton both found themselves playing for their dad's alma mater. Unfortunately, Kwamie would only live to see Kwamie II play in a Jayhawk uniform, dying in 2019 due to a heart attack at the age of 49. Kwamie II played at Kansas from 2016 to 2021, and Kwinton is currently a senior transferred from his father's other alma mater Butler CC in 2021. Kwinton, wearing his father's old number, playing the same position dad played, and ringing in a new era of Jayhawk football, is the focus of today's profile.

Kwinton began his football career in Chandler, Arizona, his hometown, playing youth football. His family would then move back to Lawrence, Kansas, where he enrolled in and played football at Lawrence Free State High School. He would go on to have a successful career at Free State, playing both sides of the ball as a receiver and defensive back. His play (and his roots) would catch the attention of Junior College football powerhouse Butler County Community College, where he would attend just like his father, playing for the Grizzlies from 2018-2020. He would record 9 games played with 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 interception. After his JUCO career came to a close, Kwinton decided to walk on to the Kansas Football program during a time of great change for the team. Former head coach Les Miles had been fired as well as former athletic director Jeff Long in the aftermath of great turmoil, being replaced by Lance Leipold and Travis Goff, respectively. A new era was promised by players, coaches, and the new athletic director for Kansas football, and Kwinton wanted to make every effort to be a part of it.

"KU is just a special place, one for my family but two because of the atmosphere, I knew this is where I wanted to be." -Kwinton Lassiter in an interview with 810WHB's Greg Gurley and the Jayhawker Podcast. You can find more of that interview here.

Lassiter began to take starting reps at defensive back this past year, but his impact didn't really get felt until this season, which is proving to be his breakout year. Kwinton already has a forced fumble and two interceptions just two games into the season and is looking for more ways to make a big-time impact. "Great cornerback...Cobee Bryant got put out of the game for targeting, and I knew it was my moment...I was just there to make the play." Kwinton explained in the same interview with the Jayhawker Podcast crew, regarding the game-sealing interception against Illinois. Kwinton will have to step up once again as Cobee Bryant will be out for the first half against Nevada serving his suspension. He and the rest of the Jayhawk defense will have an opportunity to feast on what will be a weaker, rebuilding Nevada offense. If his impact hasn't already been felt, Kwinton will have the opportunity to make his family and Jayhawk nation proud once again this go around in Reno.

Kwamie Lassiter was part of a Kansas team that revitalized the sport of football on a basketball-heavy campus in the 1990s, becoming one of Kansas's greatest players in the process. Kwamie II laid down the building blocks and base for the new era of Kansas football to come into focus with his years in the program. Now, with youngest brother Kwinton being a Jayhawk, his mission is clear: Do your best to be your best and the program will follow suit. Kwinton Lassiter has the opportunity to build something spectacular with this new-look Jayhawk program, both for himself and for the team. He has an opportunity to become just the latest Lassiter to find success with the Jayhawk football program and carry on his family's legacy. A legacy of being a program shaper, an impact player, and overall, joining his brother and father in being a stalwart in the history of great Jayhawk football players. The future is bright when a Lassiter is in your corner.


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