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Thursday
Feb052009

KU Football Recycle: Recruiting and the Departure Edition

Well, it ended up being spectacular day yesterday as Mark Mangino got the ink on his most talented class to date. The class ranked fifth in the Big 12 by Rivals and 31st overall (at one point in the morning KU was at 29). The Jayhawks finished just behind NU (#28), but essentially the two classes are pretty equal. The Huskers had five four-star players and 15 three-stars, while KU had four four-stars and 18 three-star players. The North rankings:

28 -- Nebraska
31 -- Kansas
41 -- Missouri
56 -- Colorado
72 -- Iowa State
95 -- Kansas State

In other news, we have three departures for the program. Tyler Lawrence will graduate this year and has decided to end his football career. Even though he didn't play much, Lawrence seemed to be a pretty big contributor on the sidelines.

The NCAA is at it again, according to the KC Star. After approving a fall class for Sean Ransburg, they've now done an audit and rejected the class. Way to look out for the student athlete.. Seems like they hand out extra years all the time at certain other Big 12 schools. In the meantime, Sean has enrolled at Mid-America Nazarene. This is disappointing not so much from KU football perspective, but more from my declining perception of the bungling NCAA as an effective organization. Pair this situation with the Eric Butler eligibility issue and I have no idea what they are trying to do.

And for the topper, Dugan at KUsports.com reports that our new d-line coach Kerry Locklin is already moving on. Quality. Looks like KU has Illinois d-line coach Tom Mims already lined out to take the position. Who wouldn't be excited about coaching this incoming group of d-linemen?  I guess a guy who just took a job with the jets.

Wednesday
Feb042009

KU Football Signing Day (Open Thread)

It's a big day, so I thought I'd just open this up. Post your thoughts or surprises by clicking comments below.

Tuesday
Feb032009

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008 -- Part IV: Monte Cozzens Awards (3 of 6)

Photo Credit: annependleton.comDezmon Briscoe

  • 92 catches
  • 1407 yards (school record)
  • 15.3 ave
  • 15 TDs (school record)

Let's face it, you knew Dezmon Briscoe could be a special player when he caught that first touchdown against Central Michigan back in 2007. It happened in the north endzone, right in front of the student section. As Briscoe left himself prone to gather in the ball along the endzone sideline, a CMU defender layed him flat. Dezmon held onto the ball and KU fans knew the true freshman was a new kind of talent.

He blew open his legacy when he took the wide receiver screen to the house against Kansas State in Manhattan a month later. That got him a nice spread photo in Sports Illustrated. He was part of a talented wide receiver arsenal and a key component for the Jayhawks in that magical 2007 season. However, with the graduation of Marcus Henry and an early season injury to Dexton Fields in 2008, all of the sudden Dezmon became the top threat and the top target for opposing defenses. Sure, he was making big plays againt LA Tech and FIU, but we didn't see much out of him against USF. That didn't last long though as Briscoe stepped up in Big 12 play. He had a huge game against OU with 269 yards and two TDs on 12 catches. We saw his toughness and desire to win in the Border War. He hauled in nine receptions for 115 yards and his kickoff returns turned a KU weakness into a huge positive that day.

In the bowl game, we saw what he could do against a mid-level team (really in one play). He tied Kerry Meier's brand new school record of 14 catches in a game. In the final analysis, he's the future Mangino/KU football model player -- a perfect blend of real talent and a team first/sawing wood attitude.

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, Todd Reesing, Dezmon Briscoe, ???, ???, ???

Awards Schedule
Part I: Play of the Year
Part II: Wes Welker Award
Part III: Blog Awards
Part IV: Monte Cozzens Award

Photo Credit: annependleton.com

Monday
Feb022009

Nebraska beat KU by 10 in Lincoln, is the order restored?

Discuss by hitting the comment button.

Sunday
Feb012009

The Real 2008 KU Football Awards

The Hawk Digest Annual Awards will continue on, but you may want to check in on the team awards from last night's ceremony at the Lied Center in Lawrence.

Full List of 2008 Winners

  • Ray Evans Defensive Player of the Year – James Holt (senior, linebacker)
  • John Hadl Offensive Player of the Year - Todd Reesing (junior, quarterback)
  • Bruce Kallmeyer Special Teams Player of the Year – Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)
  • Gale Sayers Most Courageous Player – Jake Sharp (junior running back) and Kerry Meier (junior, wide receiver)
  • Don Fambrough Unselfish Player – Daymond Patterson (freshman cornerback)
  • Nolan Cromwell Leadership – Todd Reesing (junior, quarterback) and Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)
  • Willie Pless Most Tackles – James Holt (senior, linebacker)
  • Galen Fiss Exemplery Service to Campus and Community – Mike Rivera (senior, linebacker)
  • Most Improved Defensive Player – Jake Laptad (sophomore, defensive end)
  • Most Improved Offensive Player – Kerry Meier (junior, wide receiver) and Dezmon Briscoe (sophomore, wide receiver)
  • Iron Hawk Weight Room – Darrell Stuckey (junior, safety)
  • Offensive Lineman of the Year – Adrian Mayes (senior, offensive guard)
  • George Mrkonic Defensive Scout Player of the Year – Dustin Spears (junior, defensive end)
  • Otto Schnellbacher Offensive Scout Player of the Year – Kale Pick (freshman, quarterback)
  • Senior Academic Scholar Award – Russell Brorsen (senior, defensive end)
Friday
Jan302009

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008: Part IV -- Monte Cozzens Award (2 of 5)

Photo Credit: http://annependleton.comTodd Reesing

  • 329 completions
  • 495 attempts
  • 3,888 yards
  • 32 touchdown passes
  • 66.5% completion percentage
  • 148.53 QB rating

The kid who answered the question, "What if we had a great quarterback on this team?" Todd did as much to change the attitude of KU football as Mark Mangino and fittingly so, he becomes the first two-time winner of this award. What I like about Todd Reesing this year is I think he learned a lot. Teams had an offseason to study him and hone in on making him do what he doesn't like to do. He lost some pretty good components from the 2007 team and there were some rough moments in 2008. Against Texas, I saw Todd as frustrated as I had ever seen him. He didn't go into full meltdown prima donna mode though and embarrass the university with displays of poor sportsmanship. Instead he came out swinging against Mizzou and looked like the gunslinger that he's always been. Here's to Todd keeping his mojo through the 2009 season and making a run at something great. And not because, I need to see KU win more games or a north championship, but because I like the way he approaches life and the game (like a lot of his teammates) and you like to see that example succeed. Well, maybe a little bit because I need a north championship.

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, Todd Reesing, ???, ???, ???

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 Award

Photo Credit: annependleton.com

Friday
Jan302009

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: annependleton.com

Friday
Jan302009

KU Quarterback Club Hosts A Signing Day Party

The KU Quarterback Club will host a special event to showcase KU's 2009 football recruiting class Thursday, February 5th from 7 – 8 p.m. at Zig and Mac's Bar and Grill (SE corner of Bob Billings Parkway and Wakarusa). The event includes a rundown of KU's newest football recruits, including video highlights, by recruiting coordinator Brandon Blaney and co-defensive coordinator Clint Bowen. Highlights of the 2008 season will be shown. Also “Rock Chalk – Sports Talk” will air live from Zig and Mac's from 3:30 - 6 p.m. featuring special football guests. Both events are open to the public, so get there early and bring a friend. Contact Pat Henderson in the Williams Educational Fund at 785-864-3196 for more information.

Thursday
Jan292009

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008: Part III -- Blog Awards

College Football Blog of the Year

Rock Chalk Talk

This category was called opponent blog of the year for the first two years. The reality is with five/six real KU blogs out there now (consolidation?), I don't read the opponent blogs often enough to go outside of the Jayhawk arena for this award. This was a close race between KJ-IBT and Rock Chalk Talk. Both blogs set a new standard by providing interesting interview pieces. I gave RCT the edge due to the denverjhawk recruiting interviews. That kind of content rivals anything out there and frankly makes my efforts here look pretty weak. The landscape is interesting and always changing on this scene and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Inside of the SBNation structure, RCT is becoming a legitimate force. However, now with The Shiver on the scene, it looks to be serious battle for that number one slot for KU sports blog sites. It'll be interesting to see how the standalones can hold up against a network blog.

Question: Did you like KJ-IBT better when it was KF-IBT?

As for the previous winners, I still enjoy DXP for the photography and of course, BearMeat really set the standard for college sports blogging. No blog since has even come close to emulating the BearMeat style.

2007: Double Extra Point - Nebraska
2006: BearMeat - Baylor (RIP)

Blog Post of the Year

KJIBT -- It's Business Time B*tches

I had to look through a lot of mullet photos to find that post.

2007: Double Extra Point Surrender
2006: BearMeat's Comparison of the SWC and The Goonies

HD Blog Post of the Year

MU Fun With Real Movie Quotes by ROWYHO
You really just can't go wrong with this type of post

Big 12 YouTube Video of the Year




Honorable Mention: The Texas A&M video on Kansas State with a student posing as Jon Wefald (I can't find the link anywhere and I'm actually not sure that it came out in 2008, but I saw it in 2008).

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 Award

Wednesday
Jan282009

Where Will You Be When KU Plays Nebraska Next Year?

Wednesday
Jan282009

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008 -- Part II: Wes Welker Award

Wes Welker AwardHarrell vs MU / Creative Commons - eagle102.net
(Heisman-like performance by an opponent at Memorial Stadium)

2008: Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
Five TDs on 34 of 42 passing for 386 yards and a 63-21 win. That ought to do it.

Runner up: Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (9 catches, 70 yards, 2 TDs)

Previous winners
2007: Joe Ganz, Nebraska, 4 TDs and 405 yards passing / KU 76, NU 39
2006: Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma St, 13 receptions, 300 yards, 4 TDs / OSU 42, KU 32

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 Award

Photo credit link: eagle102.net

Tuesday
Jan272009

Hawk Digest Annual Awards 2008: Part I - Play of the Year

Since the football team will have their awards ceremony on Saturday night, there's no better week to crank out the Hawk Digest Annual Awards.

Play of the Year (decade?)

 

Todd Reesing to Kerry Meier for the win

Honorable mention

Darrell Stuckey runs down LA Tech's Phillip Livas

Todd Reesing bounce back TD pass to Kerry Meier vs NU

Laptad's Safety versus MU

Phillip Strozier blocks MU's attempt to tie (at the 4:31 mark)

Reesing to Meier to Briscoe (Insight Bowl)

Reesing dances/eludes SHSU, connects with Briscoe

Dezmon Briscoe amazing catch versus Texas

Previous Winners
2007: Aqib Talib Pick Six in the Orange Bowl
2006: Todd Reesing 63-yard run vs Colorado

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