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Entries by DJ Goodwin (750)


KU Football Recycle: Jeremiah Hatch Moves To Center and Much More

The 2009 season is firing up and Mark Mangino took to the microphone yesterday. What did we learn?

Jeremiah Hatch will move to center which makes a lot of sense in the long range plan. That's his natural position and why we wanted him at KU. However, he played left tackle last year and that means we'll be training a new left tackle. The KC Star reports that Tanner Hawkinson (6-6/266) will move from d-line to left tackle. He started out as a tight end, but Mangino seems really sold on Hawkinson:

“Tanner Hawkinson is a big, quick, athletic guy. We think he has a chance to develop into one of the best left tackles we’ve had here.”

Okay, but I would have expected someone with more experience, like Jeff Spikes, who was also described as a natural left tackle to get a crack at the position. I think we've all learned not to question Mangino on these things, but I'm hoping we don't have a steep learning curve along the front line.


Speaking of left tackle talk -- it didn't work out for another highly-touted o-line prospect. Nate D'Cunha will be transferring to a new school. That also helps explain the Hawkinson move.


Also from the same KC Star article, there is an official indication of the plan to move Kerry Meier to full-time wideout status. Not that he isn't already, but the fact that Meier still spends practice time as the #2 QB isn't really a closely-guarded secret. Mangino did cover himself by stating that it will depend on how comfortable they feel with either Kale Pick or Jordan Webb as the number two QB. Christian Mathews will be on deck this summer as well. Since 2010 is just around the corner, I would really like to see Mangino feel comfortable with one of those guys this year.


Oh, and just in case there is someone who isn't really aware of this ... all of this stuff really comes from the KU website. In this case, specifically it comes from here. Of course, for the real media, it's always nice to take a drive over to Lawrence.


You'll want to get these times into your Outlook calendar:

Monday, March 9 – Practice starts
Wednesday, March 11 – Practice open to public (3:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 27 – Practice open to public (3:30 p.m.)
Saturday, April 11 – Spring Game (2 p.m.)

Looks like I have plans on March 11, but I'll try to make March 27 practice. The spring game is mandatory for anyone that likes to be considered a KU fan.


In the category of super-fantastic news, Mangino indicated that Angus Quigley can petition for a medical hardship year after the upcoming season. Yep, that means Angus could still be with us in 2010. I think moving Angus to LB is a two-year project, so I love this. However, we are not the University of Texas, so it seems like we never get these requests through. We'll see.


Isiah Barfield will move to wide receiver. I like this move. I don't think we are real settled at CB once you get past Justin Thornton and Daymond Patterson, but we have a lot of talent on the roster and coming in. All reports indicate that Barfield is one of the fastest guys on the team. I like putting that threat out on the field. Mangino put it this way:

"Isiah Barfield will move to wide receiver to help us develop some quality depth there. Isiah’s got great hands. We looked at it this way—in the fall we will have 10 corners on scholarship."


Back on the linebacker front, it looks like Justin Springer won't be practicing until August. Mangino indicated that the rehab is going well though. We definitely want to see Justin out there in the mix.


Dugan says that Todd Reesing was mean to the press at the Insight Bowl post game conference:

During a bizarre post-game press conference at last December’s Insight Bowl, Reesing sarcastically answered a question from a reporter and declined to answer another. Talking among themselves in the press box later that night, bowl representatives expressed distaste at the junior quarterback’s patronizing press conference demeanor.

Did I totally miss this? Someone help me out here.


In case you are confused about the offensive line, here is Mangino's take:

“Well, we’ve got Sal Capra who played a substantial amount of time for us last year. We’ve got Trevor Marrongelli who’s competing for a position; John Williams who had surgery and missed all of last year and we redshirted him. He will be a big factor in there. Now that he’s gotten going, he really looks good. Carl Wilson is in there competing. I think we’re going to be okay. I think the biggest key, is that we solidify the tackle spots. I think Jeremiah Hatch will be fine, center is his natural position, I think the guard positions will fall into place.”

Jeff Spikes will play right tackle.


If you've made it this far, you might as well grab yourself a Lowenbrau and make some comments or share this on Facebook,* because you are definitely hardcore. And for the hardcore, I leave you with this clearly stated goal by Todd Reesing:

"Just like the rest of the team, I want to win the Big 12 North. I want to win the Big 12 Championship. We have two bowl wins and that’s a great feeling, but we want a chance to play for a championship. We are looking forward to the challenge.”

*real men don't have Facebook pages


New KU Players On The Roster

For those that need to update your XBOX rosters, a few new players and numbers were listed on the new roster. Let me know if I've missed anyone:

02-Jordan Webb / QB
17-Calvin Rubles / CB
36-Deshaun Sands / RB
54-Kevin Young / DE
88-Patrick Shilling / WR
64-JD Hill / OL
23-Tyler Hunt / FB

Did not see Rashawn Copeland, the JUCO walk-on from Highland Community College.


KU Football's Spring Prospectus PDF for 2009

The new 63-page PDF is now available for the hardcore KU football fans.

If you have trouble with that link, try this one:



What Should Be Done To KU Season Ticket Holders That Sell Their Tickets to NU Fans?

I think these answers will be the same, yet different. Click comments to post your thoughts.


Weekend Scraps: The Rivalry, Border War, Angus Quigley

Missouri fans are upset that KU fans have trotted out John Brown as a heroic symbol for Kansas during this decade. Listen, we all understand what John Brown was, but after years of watching Mizzou fans come to Lawrence touting the virtues of William Quantrill with their "Burn KU" or Burn Lawrence" signs, well there's going to be a backlash. You set the terms and unfortunately we have to step down to that level. One thing that is certain, yes you don't get it. Also, it may be time to brush up on your left and right skills.

As for the poster itself, I thought it was awesome ... but I still put it as a runner-up to John Brown-gino.

Watched a little of the Insight Bowl over the weekend. In the first half, Jocques Crawford and Angus Quigley teamed up for a pretty big hit on a Gophers' kick return. One of the most interesting aspects of spring practice will be watching AQ at linebacker. Oh yeah, that play gave me a vision of Angus (6-2, 222) as a pass rush specialist -- you know the role Brandon Perkins (6-1, 235) played back in 2005.

Speaking of Perkins, here's a good link on KU players in the pros I'd never seen before.


Mangino's Greatest Hits: KU / CU 2007

By this time, KU fans knew something special could be in the works if the 6-0 Jayhawks could pull off a win in Boulder. Mark Mangino only had two conference road wins in his first five years and KU had already notched a big one in Manhattan.

The matchup with Colorado had a little more national attention and you could see intensity on both sides of the ball. It shaped up to be a defensive battle throughout the first half, but Todd Reesing did go on one of his long gallups. Scott Webb pulled off a crazy one-step 48 yard field goal to give KU a 3-0 halftime lead.

In the second half, CU answered on a trick play-action TD pass that put them up 7-3. KU answered with a Jake Sharp TD about 90 seconds later and retained the lead throughout. The Hawks pushed it out to 19-7 on Derek Fine TD catch in the fourth, but the Buffs did tighten it up and KU had to make a defensive stand at the end of the game to preserve the 19-14 win.

The 7-0 Jayhawks would be ranked #9 in the BCS poll -- rarified air for KU football diehards. Nationally though, the Jayhawks were starting to bristle the national pundits and their concept of the natural college football order. The "who have they played" chorus was growing and it had a verse that would change each week and went something like, "we'll see how they do in College Station, we'll see how they do in Stillwater."

Fans pretended to be annoyed, and the team used it as motivation. A perfect balance and a great ride.


6sports summary:


"We have some hard-nosed, tough kids. We have some talented kids, but the heart and soul of this team is the overachiever, hard-nosed kids. They were the ones that really buckled down here tonight."
--Mark Mangino

"We never feel unbeatable. You just have to prepare every week : Once you go out there feeling unbeatable, that's when you end up upset."
Aqib Talib

"I was just trying to get it down as fast as I could. If I didn't get it down the first time, I was going to run. Webb had an awesome kick. A (48)-yard, one-step kick."
--Kyle Tucker

"It was crazy, exciting. We're 7-0 now. We're ready to go out and get eight."
--Kyle Tucker

More from the series: Mangino's Greatest Hits


Is It Time To Expand Memorial Stadium?

The weekly question. Click comments to get in.


Weekend Scraps: Rambo Official, Jayhawks Nest and NU QB Transfer

The battle for the north just became a little more intriguing as Nebraska QB Patrick Witt is leaving the Huskers. There's a poll on that Corn Nation link that indicates NU fans like Zac Lee as the starter which still means it's a complete mystery as what kind of performance the Huskers will get out of that position. I guess I'll be watching more NU football in September than I normally would, trying to figure out if they're going to have someone decent or not. Speaking of which ... we need some blowouts in the non-con, so Kale Pick can get some live action to prep for 2010.

Last week there was news that WR Xavier Rambo was transferring to Delta State. The UDK had the official story in case you don't feel like the Gridiron is a true source.

I also mentioned last week that there is a new KU blog on the block -- That makes eight blogs actively covering KU sports. When I started, it was Phog Blog and Jayhawk Nation. Here's the rundown.

Hawk Digest - The worldwide leader in unofficial websites dedicated strictly to KU football.
Rock Chalk Talk - SBNation blog provides the best all-around KU sports coverage.
Oread Boom Kings - Formerly, KJ-IBT/KF-IBT. All-around coverage with more of an edge. Part of a building network.
The Shiver - Comprehensive with a cool WordPress "magazine" layout.
Jayhawks Nest - All KU-Sports with a weekly video feature and YouTube channel.
Phog Blog - Used to be the big one. Definitely geared toward Kansas basketball, but they'll comment on the other sports as well.
Jayhawk Nation - Emphasis on basketball.
Rock Chalk Jay-Blog - All KU sports.


KU Ice Hockey Video

I stay pretty true to posting only football stories, but long-time readers know that I'll sneak in the occasional hockey post. The season is over for KU hockey for 2008-2009, but if you ever get a chance to go out and check out the club it's a pretty good time. They sell beer and the Mizzou game in early September is usually packed. You can check out more on the team at their site: (although their message board is currently down).


Overland Park Meet and Greet for Harvesters

Joe Mortensen and Mike Rivera team up again / credit:

KU fans can meet a few football players today while helping out Harvesters. Joe Mortensen, Adrian Mayes and Mike Rivera will be on hand at The Other Place in downtown Overland Park today from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Fans that bring three cans of food for Harvesters will qualify for a door prize.

More details from the official KU site.



Mangino's Greatest Hits: KU / KSU 2007

One week earlier, Wildcat fans were celebrating the Ron Prince stomp after the purple once again knocked off Texas. This time it happened in Austin and the #24 Cats were looking forward to boosting their ranking and re-claiming the glory days with a win over the 4-0 Jayhawks. It looked good early on as Todd Reesing threw an interception on the first drive. That was followed by Jordy Nelson smoking Aqib Talib for long run after a catch that went for a TD and a 7-0 KSU lead. Something strange happened in Manhattan though. The Jayhawks answered when Jake Sharp scored on a 20-yard run. It was the first KU touchdown in Manhattan since 1999.

There were more fireworks in the first half as the Cats took a 14-7 lead, but Aqib Talib scored on a short TD with 11 seconds left to tie it up again for halftime.

KU really asserted themselves in the second half, starting with the 28-yard screen pass that Dezmon Briscoe took to the house and into the pages of Sports Illustrated. However, the Cats kept battling and the KU attitude of "something bad is going to happen" was hanging in the minds of large contingent of the crimson and blue fans in the stands. It did when a screen pass to Dexton Fields bounced off his facemask and straight into the air deep in KU territory. KSU intercepted and several plays later the Cat's fooled KU with a Leon Patton to Deon Murphy 5-yard halfback TD pass for 24-21 lead.

Then, the legend took over. Todd Reesing immediately drove KU down the field and answered with a 30-yard slant pass TD to ... you guessed it, Dexton Fields. After a botched PAT, KU led 27-24.

There was more action to come as KU added another field goal, but they couldn't quite put the purple away until Talib intercepted Josh Freeman in the final minutes of the game. The Hawks won 30-24 and would end up with a #20 ranking in the AP Poll. As sometimes happens in early season rivalry matchups, one teams goes on to a good or great season and the other fades into obscurity. That really seemed to be the case in this one as KSU never seemed to recover from losing to KU in Manhattan for the first time since 1989. KU went on to make program history, but the KSU road win was the hump that the Jayhawks had to get over to become a program. Personally, I think that hump was more mental than physical. The rest of the year would prove it out -- the Jayhawks learned how to win in Manhattan.


6sports summary:


"We finally played a Top-25 team, on the road, and we got the win. What are they going to say now?"
--Aqib Talib

"That was the kind of game, we would've gave away last year."
--Aqib Talib

"I thought clearly (KU) was the best team we have played all year. I tried to say it very clearly to our team, to anybody that would listen, that this team had no weaknesses."
--Ron Prince

"I told our players that this was the day. The time was right. Our program, our players are confident. They feel good about themselves. This 2007 team feels like they can win anywhere."
--Mark Mangino

More from the series: Mangino's Greatest Hits


Did Todd Reesing Really Fight Ralphie (CU's Mascot)?

Click comments to answer.