LAWRENCE — A survey of the predominant chunk of college football athletes that opted to play this season amid the coronavirus pandemic would produce a slew of varying responses from each on why they reached that decision.


One would be hard pressed, however, to find a more impassioned explanation of that thought process than the one from standout Kansas wide receiver Andrew Parchment.


"Since I came here I feel like I’ve made it quite evident that I want to play at the next level and I see myself as that type of player," said Parchment, a senior and second-year Jayhawk. "So for me I just feel like I haven’t done enough, I haven’t gained enough respect, whether that’s in the conference or in the country. And I feel like I put a good product (on the field) this offseason.


"Going into this season I feel like everybody’s going to know my name at the end of this year."


Parchment’s quest for stardom will begin in front of a national audience.


The Jayhawks’ abbreviated season will kick off with a 9 p.m. Saturday clash against Coastal Carolina at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The late start time for KU’s lone nonconference matchup is a concession made by the program in order to secure a spot on FS1.


KU won’t allow fans or even family of players into the stadium for the opener, making its efforts to appear on a channel that reaches approximately 79 million homes all the more important.


"It sucks that we’re not going to have Jayhawk nation out there. I know this year they’re very excited for Coach (Les) Miles’ second season and what the Jayhawks can bring," Parchment said. "Hopefully in the (upcoming) weeks we’ll get together with the health doctors and things like that and we’ll find a way to get fans in the stadium. But right now everybody is just focused on playing Coastal Carolina and everybody is locked in on that."


Among those zeroed in on the Chanticleers is defensive tackle Sam Burt, who classified his resolve to play this season as a collective decision made by the Jayhawk defensive line.


"Me personally, I just felt like I put in too much work this offseason (with) whatever I could do to not have a season," said Burt, a 6-foot-4, 293-pound senior out of Abilene. "I feel like it just would’ve been like, ‘What did I do all that for? What did I work around all those corners and things like that for if we didn’t have a season?’ So I think personally as a D-line group that’s kind of how we felt, that we’ve put in too much work (in the offseason) for a season not to happen. I think that’s where our inspiration to play lies."


Burt believes the absence of fans Saturday will have in-game ramifications.


"I mean it stinks because I know my family wants to be there, I know a lot of guys’ families want to be there and we want the fan base there in general. And I think it will significantly impact how the game is played and how the momentum shifts, things like that," Burt said. "So personally I think that whatever team comes out with the most energy, the most momentum will do really well in the game, and that’s what we’re trying to do with now."


The Jayhawks have prepared for Saturday’s odd environment, Burt detailed, by muting the typically blaring music at team practices for a quieter experience.


"It’s a bummer, but a game is a game and we’re ready to play anyway," Burt continued. "We’re ready to get after it."


A recent NCAA decision essentially made this a mulligan year for all college football athletes, ruling that the season won’t be counted against a player’s eligibility regardless of whether they decide to play or opt out entirely. Antione Frazier is to date the only known Jayhawk to take the latter option, with the redshirt senior offensive lineman subsequently entering the transfer portal.


Cornerback Kyle Mayberry indicated he never seriously considered sitting out.


"Some people, they love what the game can do for them. Some people just love putting on a football uniform. I really love football," said Mayberry, a 5-10, 180-pound redshirt senior out of Tulsa, Okla. "I watch football all day long. I’ve been like this since I was growing up as a kid. I just enjoy football. So the fact of the matter of me not being able to play a full season or sitting out a season because of (COVID-19), it wouldn’t be worth it for me. I’ve sat out enough because I redshirted, so I wasn’t trying to do that again."


Parchment, who as of Monday had already twice rewatched last season’s 12-7 home defeat to Coastal Carolina, acknowledged he still has "a bad taste" in his mouth from that outcome. The then-junior had just three catches for 14 yards in that Week 2 setback but finished the year with 831 receiving yards and seven touchdowns en route to an All-Big 12 honorable mention nod.


So, no: Pandemic or not, the 6-2, 186-pound NFL hopeful had no interest in watching this rematch — or any of the Jayhawks’ other nine contests — from home.


"I just need to come to work every single day and do what I did last year, and that’s just produce whenever my team needs me, whenever coach Miles, coach (Brent) Dearmon need a leader," Parchment said. "Even when it’s off the field, I feel like those are things that I need to do to put myself at the next level — just keep coming to work every single day like I have been doing and have that underdog mindset that nobody believes in me and nobody believes in this team. I feel like if we keep having that mindset we’re going to prove a lot of people wrong."