Search Hawk Digest
Hawk Digest Fans Talk

Add to Technorati Favorites Football Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

General Sports

Banner photo:

« Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008: Part IV -- Monte Cozzens Award (2 of 5) | Main | KU Quarterback Club Hosts A Signing Day Party »

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008 -- Part IV: Monte Cozzens Award (1 of 5)


Photo Credit: annependleton.comThis award started long before Hawk Digest (see below). I always singled out the KU football player or players that played hard no matter what each season -- the guys that delivered. In other words a list of my favorite players. Sometimes you can earn it on one play. And that is what Monte Cozzen's TD run against Oklahoma in 1992, hence the name of the award. It's gotten tougher the last few years, because nearly all of Mangino's players emulate that spirit. Still, I like to highlight a few players and for 2008 I have selected five players. I want to spend some time on each one, so these will roll out one post at a time. First up is Mr. Jayhawk himself:

Kerry Meier

The Stats:
97 receptions (KU record)
1045 yards
8 TDs

You really can't put into words what Kerry Meier is and has done for this team. He's the story you dream up in the backyard as a kid when you had your KU football jersey on and were throwing the football at trees and trash cans in the backyard in an imaginary march to a Big 8 Championship for the scrappy Jayhawks. For anyone who's been to a practice or a spring game, here's a fact -- Kerry Meier is a damn good quarterback. People will pin an up-and-down performance on him for the 2006 season, but he had a bad shoulder and was still getting some experience with very young overall Jayhawk squad. Nope, if you understand football, you know he can quarterback. I can name five teams in the north that would have an improved outlook for 2009, if he was on their roster. However, it just so happens we have another great quarterback at KU and he edged out Kerry for that job prior to the 2007 season. We all know the story. He was definitely down about losing the job, but pushed ahead and later in the season asked to play wide receiver. Really, he was instantly solid and the best hands on the team. The season was a great ride for everyone and merited an SI cover for Kerry. As the Orange Bowl win sunk in, there was a lot of talk about "just getting started." You can certainly say that Kerry Meier did the work in the offseason to get better. We all know the stats, we've seen the catch 1,000 times and know that he collected a team-record 14 receptions that day while playing on one leg (the legend will grow to a broken leg and maybe a leather helmet as I grow older). Now he wants a championship. How could I possibly doubt him? I leave you with this quote from current issue of the KU Alumni Association magazine:

"I came here to be a Jayhawk, I'm always going to be a Jayhawk, I'm leaving here a Jayhawk."

Note: I know I've already mentioned this, but when I started Todd Reesing over Kerry Meier in 2007 on the old X-Box, Kerry transferred at the end of the year. That's one thing that's not in the game -- Kerry Meier's heart. Keep trying EA. Also, I was depressed for about two days.

Cozzen's Award Winners--The Complete List:
1997 Ron Warner
1998 Patrick Brown
1999 Carl Nesmith, Chad Coellner
2001 Algie Atkinson
2002 Marcus Rodgers
2003 Bill Whittemore, Gabe Toomey
2004 Charles Gordon, Nick Reid, John Randle
2005 Charlton Keith, Jon Cornish, Banks Floodman, Mark Simmons
2006 Jon Cornish
2007 Todd Reesing, Anthony Collins, James McClinton, Brandon McAnderson, Aqib Talib
2008 Kerry Meier, ???, ???, ???, ???

Awards Schedule
Tuesday -- Part I: Play of the Year
Wednesday -- Part II: Wes Welker Award
Thursday -- Part III: Blog Awards
Friday -- Part IV: Monte Cozzens Awards

Photo Credit:

Reader Comments (6)

DJ, you are spot on when you say that there is an abundance of KU players that play hard. Mangino definitely has a blue-collar prima-donnas allowed....which coincidentally is one of the reasons that I am not sad that Ronnie Wingo chose Arkansas. I think that there has to be something said about Jake Sharp who fought his way back into the starting line-up and played against Mizzou with broken/severely bruised ribs. Also guys like James Holt are very deserving...that dude just had a motor that never stopped.
January 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCW
Great piece.

I love watching Kerry Meier play for two reasons. One, he will make some amazing catches like the one you have pictured against KSU, that amazing one handed reaching backwards catch against OU....there's tons of them. The second reason is when it's third down and four or five to go everybody in Memorial Stadium knows that K10 is going to get open and haul in the first down catch. Glad he's coming back for one more year!
January 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermoyae84
CW - I think the interesting transition as our recruiting "improves," meaning we get higher ranked players, will Mangino be able to get star-type players to be team players?

Moyae -- I'd love to know how many of Kerry's 97 catches were for first downs. I'm surprised they don't keep it as a stat. Anyway, I'd love to contrast that against the times he came up one yard short. It was very rare.
January 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDJ
I can't remember which game it was but early in the season on one of the broadcasts they had one of those stats how about 70% of his catches were for first downs and about that same number were catches on third down. Again, I'm not sure on the numbers or which game they said it on.
January 31, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermoyae84
It would be a good offseason project for me to take on -- going through the play by play and gathering those stats. I think blogs like this are supposed to provide cool information like that. It's all about finding the time. Good stat to track though for RB's, QBs and WRs. I may take it on.
February 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterDJ Goodwin
DJ, I am a little curious about that myself. I can't really say for sure. I would like to think that Mangino, his staff, and the upperclassmen can control that, but who knows. I really don't have a clue.

I will say that I can honestly not remember Aqib Talib or Charles Gordon complaining about minutes, touches, playing on either side of the ball. I know Aqib talked a lot, but he talked a lot on the bench as an underclassman...I am sure he talked a lot in high school....and I am reasonably sure that he talked a lot as his own birth. I don't ever remember him complaining when he talked. John Randle complained a little bit, and he washed out. Adam Barrman thought he was king of the castle after his freshman/sophomore year, but he got replaced. I know that only Randle was a high ranking prospect, but all of them had some form of fame in Lawrence.

I think that Mangino focuses on players that have talent AND have humility. When I was at KU, I don't even remember the basketball team getting too full of themselves (except maybe Wayne Simien)...and the basketball team had been to two consecutive Final Four's. If the basketball players aren't like that, I don't foresee the football team getting like that.

I think that the players that are like that either change or leave the program. I wasn't sad to see Boyd-Anderson go. I think he had a little too much "me" in him and not enough "team".

I think that we will see soon enough though. 4 big time recruits this year, a few last year, and next year has the potential for quite a few big time recruits (Bell, McCay, Terrell, etc.).
February 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCW

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.