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Collin's Opening is Filled

Two Promotions are Announced

Kansas announced Je'Ney Jackson as the new Cornerback Coach. Jackson had been an assistant strength and conditioning coach at KU for the past two years. Mark Mangino had the following comment about the promotion in the Lawrence Journal-World:

"Je'Ney is a high-energy coach with vast knowledge of cornerback play. He will elevate the level of play at that position."

In addition, wide receiver coach Tim Beck was named the passing-game coordinator.

Wide Receiver Highlights

We'll be getting into the wide receivers this weekend. Here are some great catches from the past for inspiration:

Mark Simmons vs Nebraska 2005 -- Greatest Play not included on the 2005 Highlight DVD

Ashaundai Smith vs OU 1995

Charles Gordon vs Wyoming -- Not such a great catch, but we had to include the man.


Around the Net: Spring Game -- April 15

KU's Spring Football Schedule is Announced

Kansas is set to start spring practice on March 14 and will hold the annual spring game at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 15. Two other practices will be open to the public -- March 16 and April 4.

From the Boards is listing a home-and-home football series with Duke in 2009 and 2010. Kansas would travel to Duke in 2009 and the Blue Devils would visit Lawrence the following year. The grid also serves as a reminder about our challenging road trip to South Florida in 2008. Maybe that'll help us prepare for our rotation back to Texas, Tech and OU.

Check out the Big 12 Coaches as South Park characters from the gridiron board. Posted by gspot15 -- there are more conferences in the thread.


Life After Jon

Unit-By-Unit: Running Back

The end of an era. Sure Jon Cornish was the starting RB at Kansas for just one year, but in retrospect Cornish, Clark Green and the troubled John Randle represented an era of sorts in the backfield. Clark Green battled it out for four years between the tackles while Randle, then Cornish came in and provided the flash. The Canadien Comet had the spotlight mostly to himself in 2006 and delivered on the promise, but even Jon could see that life was different as an everyday back. We didn't see the 72-yard streak for a touchdown ala Nebraska '05 (heck, Jon even toasted the Longhorns during that rout in Austin in '05). Fatigue and injuries are part of the deal when you carry the load in the backfield. This year, it was Jake Sharp providing the flash while Jon was the workhorse. Setting the career rushing record is a fitting end to the era.

Time Marches On
Despite the relative in-experience in backfield and the loss of Cornish, Kansas football fans are actually excited about the prospects in the backfield. Fullback Brandon McAnderson (6-0/235) will be a senior next year and has been a solid contributor. This should be the year that KU features B-Mac a little more. The one positive I took out of the Terry Allen era was that mixing in a big back (see Moran Norris) that likes to punish defenders and can catch the ball in the flat is something that can really put a defense off balance. Get the guy to the line of scrimmage with a little momentum and the fun begins. Especially when you mix it up with some lightning quick speed and moves -- enter Jake Sharp (5-10/190, Soph in 2007). Though McAnderson isn't nearly as big as Norris (6-1/254), he is a punishing runner. I'd love to see him get early carries to soften up the "D" then start hitting them with Sharp late in the first quarter. Sharp just gave us a tease in 2006, but his 6.1 yards per carry average says it all about this speedster.

The Unknowns
We only got a glimpse of Angus Quigley (6-2/210, RS Soph in '07), but what we saw in last year's spring game was pretty awesome. He displayed a combination of speed and power that had KU fans salivating. Unfortunately, Quigley went down for the season in August with some sort of muscle tear and based on the following quote from Mark Mangino in a recent article it looks the recovery is still in progress:

“Every indication is right now that he will be available (for spring practices),” Mangino said of Quigley. “But he’s still getting intense rehabilitation work and treatment. We’ll wait until we get a little closer, but it’s our hope that he will be able to participate. Even if it’s in a limited manner, we’ll be excited about that.”

From there, KU fans are pretty much in the dark. Donte Bean (5-9/195, RS Fresh in '07) came in as a three star recruit in 2006 and all the talk is that he has the potential to be explosive. I guess the question is how does he move ahead of Jake Sharp? KU fans will be watching #34 closely this spring. Sam Archer (6-1/225) is the back-up at fullback which means pretty limited playing time in this offense. He should start to factor in more in 2008.

The Jayhawks feel like they got a big-time player at running back with three-star recruit Carmon Boyd-Anderson (6-1/200/4.5) out of Jacksonville, Texas. He is rated as the 33rd best prospect at running back in the nation and it's a possibility that he will contend for playing time as a freshman. Steven Foster (6-3/230/4.68) out of Sedgewick, Kansas joins the fray at fullback and already has good size and speed for the position. Brian Murphy (5-8/163/4.57) out of Lawrence will join KU as a non-scholarship player.

Projected Two-Deep

Angus Quigley
Jake Sharp

Brandon MacAnderson
Sam Archer

Kansas Running Backs

35 Brandon McAnderson -- FB/Sr. -- 6-0/235 -- ***
(2006 stats: 31-124 yards, 3.9 ave, 5 TDs -- rec: 6-70 yds, 0 TDs)

1 Jake Sharp -- RB/So. -- 5-10/190 -- ***
(2006 stats: 21-131 yards, 6.1 ave, 0 TDs -- rec: 6-73 yds, 0 TDs)

On the Roster:
28 Sam Archer -- FB/So. -- 6-1/225
34 Donte Bean  --  RB/Fr. RS  -- 5-9/195  -- ***
43 Nick Kurtenbach -- RB/Sr. -- 5-10/208  
22 Angus Quigley -- RB/So. RS -- 6-2/210 -- ***
30 Brian Roulhac -- RB/Sr. --  6-0/215

2007 Recruits:
HS Carmon Boyd-Anderson -- RB/Fr. -- 6-1/200/4.5 -- ***
HS Steven Foster -- FB/Fr. -- 6-3/230/4.68 -- ***
HS Brian Murphy -- RB/Fr. -- 5-8/163/4.57 -- **

Ranking Source:


Know Your History

Prepping for the Running Backs

In preparation for the next capsule on running backs, let's take a look back at a couple of historic plays by KU running backs:

Monte Cozzens vs OU, 1992

Jon Cornish vs Nebraska, 2005


QB Battle on the Horizon?

Unit-by-Unit Look: Quarterback


Now that we know all of the pieces to the recruiting puzzle, we can take a look at each unit on the team and throw out a little speculation as to how things will shape up for the 2007 season. We'll roll those out as capsules and start off today with the quarterbacks.

By the end of 2006, Kerry Meier (6-3/210) wasn’t playing with quite the same fire or zip on the ball that we saw early in the season. It’s interesting that a lot of casual Kansas football fans already want to write him off as just another mediocre KU quarterback after one injury-plagued season. For fully-engaged KU fans, it was clear to see that his shoulder was a pretty big issue late in the year. Why was he playing? Clearly, Mangino and Quartaro have their reasons, but from what we see as fans, Todd Reesing’s (5-10/190) explosive talent was countered by his rapid turnover ability. It appears he could use more reps to focus on learning how to minimize those mistakes. Veteran Adam Barmann was a little one-dimensional to be effective. Occasionally (see Nebraska 2006), he excelled enough at that one dimension, but in the end, that level of play surfaced rarely for Barmann. So, Meier probably gave us the best opportunity to win. He did go 2-1 as an injured starter to finish the season.
Heading into spring practice, Meier will start off with a lead, but it will be interesting to see how Reesing comes along. If the turnovers decrease, he’s a legitimate Big 12 QB despite his short stature. On the other hand, Meier did operate this offense effectively for good stretches during the 2006 campaign. He had some legitimate turnover problems as well, but he was also learning on the fly. There will always be questions about his durability, but a fully-recovered Meier could be a real weapon for KU.

That durability concern makes the development of Tyler Lawrence (6-3/205) and A.J. Steward (6-4/210/4.6) a critical factor. Lawrence was a surprise signing in 2006 out of Shawnee Mission West in Overland Park. Everyone will have a close eye on him during spring ball. He’s the incumbent third-string QB, which means he’s a Meier injury and a couple Reesing INTs away from seeing the field in 2007. Of course, he may get a challenge in August from a 2007 recruit that has the message boards humming – A.J. Steward out of Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis, MO. Take a look at his high school stats and as one message board poster noted he pulled down seven interceptions on the defensive side of the ball. What does that mean for QB? Hey, it tells me he is a football player. The dual-threat athlete has great size for the new-era type college QB and ran the ball quite a bit at the high school level (1,087 yards, 11 TDs in 2006). Lawrence will have a full year in the program by the time Steward arrives on campus, so hopefully he should be able to secure that third spot to allow Steward to redshirt. At KU though, the QB soap opera plot changes week to week, so no one will be shocked if he is pressed into action in 2007.

One reminder – Jason Swanson proved at the end of the 2005 season that you don’t have to be a great QB to make this offense effective. Whoever the starter is, they just need to minimize the turnovers and spread the ball around and maybe mix in about five runs per game to keep the opposing “D” off balance. Of course, things get really interesting if one of these guys can step up to the level of a Bill Whittemore. Hopefully, the Big 12 game experience has paid off for both Meier and Reesing and they’re ready to take us there.

Predicted Depth Chart -- QB:

1) Kerry Meier (RS Sophomore)

Stats Att/Comp/PCT/YDS/TD/INT
2006 184/104 56.5% 1193 13/10
Recruited: 2005 Stars: *** Forty: 4.6

2) Todd Reesing (Sophomore)

Stats Att/Comp/PCT/YDS/TD/INT
2006 24/14 58.3% 204 3/3
Recruited: 2006 Rating: *** Forty: 4.70

3) Tyler Lawrence (RS Freshman)

Recruited: 2006 Rating:  ** Forty: 4.69

4) A.J. Steward (Incoming Freshman)

HS Stats Att/Comp/PCT/YDS/TD/INT
2006 209/129 61.7% 1549 21/8
Rushing: 176 att/1087 yards, 6.2 ave, 11 tds
Defense: 36 T, 1 FR, 7 INT
Punting: 2 att, 105 yds, 52.5 ave
Recruited: 2007 Rating: ** Forty: 4.6



Fantasy Island


The Alternate World of Gary Pinkel

I caught a little bit of Kevin Keitzman interviewing Missouri coach Gary Pinkel during the five o'clock show on signing day. Keitzman asked if it was a little more difficult to recruit in the Kansas City area just over the state line, noting that a few of the 2007 MU commits came from the Johnson County area. Pinkel said no and that they considered all of Kansas City part of Missouri. In fact, they had a kid from Illinois sign as well just on the other side of St. Louis and he considered that part of Missouri as well. He considers all of them in-state recruits. Sure its minor, but after the "victory" over Iowa State, I'd recommend frequent check-ups. It seems Gary might be slipping away to an alternate reality. It's probably nothing, but the warning signs are there.

GP - Blurring the lines of reality


KU's Official List

Kansas Signs 18 High School Players

Coach Mark Mangino announced his signing class at 3:30 p.m. yesterday (full list below) and we now have a clearer picture on positions for the class. Ryan Murphy will indeed play at wide receiver which means they added four wideouts to the mix yesterday (Johnathan Wilson, Rell Lewis and Dezmon Briscoe.

The only small surprise on the day was the announcement that KU had withdrawn it's scholarship on DE Aaron Mack.

Official release and player capsules

From The Real Media:

KC Star Recap
"His high school coach, Randy Copeland, said Boyd-Anderson rushed for more than 500 yards in his first two games as a senior before opposing defenses began stacking the box. He still finished with 1,674 yards and 18 touchdowns."

Wichita Eagle Recap
"Seven of KU's prep signees came from Texas. The Jayhawks also added a Texan from the juco ranks, safety Patrick Resby, who signed in December.... Lawrence Free State running back Brian Murphy, twin brother of signee Ryan Murphy, will walk on.... The speed rusher KU thought it had in juco defensive end Aaron Mack didn't work out. Mack, who played for Phoenix College, couldn't sign in December because of academic issues. Those same problems continued and KU withdrew its offer."

And More:
KU Sports Recruiting Recap
Ryan Wood's Notebook
UDK Recap
Capital-Journal Recap

Kansas 2007 Signing Class






Hometown (High School)

Isiah BarfieldDB6-0175Fr.-HSHaven, Kan. (Haven HS)
C. Boyd-AndersonRB6-1200Fr.-HSJacksonville, Texas (Jacksonville HS)
Dezmon BriscoeWR6-3200Fr.-HSDallas, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)
Anthony DavisDB6-0192Fr.-HSTulsa, Okla. (East Central HS)
Patrick DorseyDL6-0267Fr.-HSHouston, Texas (Yates HS)
Drew DudleyLB6-2225Fr.-HSCollege Station, Texas (A&M Cons. HS)
Steven FosterRB6-2235Fr.-HSSedgwick, Kan. (Sedgwick HS)
Chris HarrisDB6-0180Fr.-HSBixby, Okla. (Bixby HS)
Jeremiah HatchOL6-3311Fr.-HSDallas, Texas (Carter HS)
Stephen HogeK6-4210Fr.-HSOklahoma City, Okla. (Putnam City Nth)
Richard Johnson, Jr.DL6-4260Fr.-HSJefferson City, Mo. (Jefferson City HS)
Jake Laptad DE6-4223Fr.-HSTulsa, Okla. (Jenks, HS)
Rell LewisWR5-10185Fr.-HSMuskogee, Okla. (Muskogee HS)
Ryan MurphyWR5-11180Fr.-HSLawrence, Kan. (Free State HS)
Jeff SpikesOL6-7312Fr.-HSPainesville, Ohio (Harvey HS)
Justin SpringerLB6-3220Fr.-HSLos Fresnos, Texas (Los Fresnos HS)
A.J. Steward QB6-3214Fr.-HSSt. Louis, Mo. (Riverview Gardens HS)
Johnathan Wilson WR6-3185Fr.-HSHouston, Texas (Klein Forest HS)
*Brian Murphy RB5-8165Fr.-HSLawrence, KS (Free State)  .............................................................

*Will Grayshirt

Source: KU Athletics


2007 Kansas Recruiting Class

Fire Up Your Laptops: Signing Day is Here 

Today is signing day and it looks as though Mark Mangino has put together another solid class. It's not spectacular, but it addresses areas of need and there are a few studs and few hidden gems. The class ranks 10th in the Big 12 and #50 nationally by They move up two spots to tie for eighth in conference if you go by "average stars." William Cole (OSU) and Blake Lawrence (Nebraska) were near misses that Jayhawk fans coveted. A win over OSU at home and finding a way in overtime in Lincoln certainly may have had a big impact on this class.

The Big Ones
WR/DB Ryan Murphy, RB Carmen Boyd-Anderson, DB Patrick Resby, LB Drew Dudley

Immediate Help
Patrick Resby, Kendrick Harper in the secondary. Possibly Ryan Murphy if he plays CB as Rivals indicates.

Hope He Gets Here
JUCO DE Aaron Mack. Still has some classwork to finish up. We need help at DE.

Hidden Gems
QB A.J. Steward (check this photo out), OL Jeff Spikes

2007 Kansas Football Commitments

PS  STAR Player/Location/Ht/Wt/40/Signed
WR  ****  Ryan Murphy/Lawrence, KS - 5-9.5/170 - 06/09/2006 
CB   ***   Brian Murphy/Lawrence, KS - 5-8/165 - 06/21/2006
LB   ***    Drew Dudley/College Station, TX - 6-2/221/4.59 - 07/24/2006
LB   ***    Steven Foster/Sedgwick, KS - 6-2/235/4.60 - 10/6/2006
CB   ***    Kendrick Harper/Butler County CC - 5-10/185/4.45 - 12/1/2006
DB   ***    Patrick Resby/Corsicana Navarro CC - 6-2/195-12/10/2006
RB   ***    Carmen Boyd-Anderson/Jacksonville, TX - 6-1/200/4.5-12/11/06
DE   ***    Aaron Mack/Phoenix, AZ - 6-3/240/4.6 - 12/17/06
OL   ***   Chet Hartley/Butler County C.C. - 6-4/310/5.0 - 12/17/06
OL   ***   Jeremiah Hatch/Dallas, TX - 6-3/301 - 1/1/2007
DB   ***   Anthony Davis/Tulsa, OK - 5-11/184/4.5 - 1/24/07
WR  ***   Dezmon Briscoe/Cedar Hill, TX - 6-2/180/4.7 - 1/26/07
WR  ***   Rell Lewis/Muskogee, OK - 5-10/180/4.5 -2/4/07
WR  **     Isiah Barfield/Haven, KS - 6-0/175 - 06/29/2006
DT   **     Patrick Dorsey/Houston, TX - 6-0/255/5.30 - 07/27/2006
QB   **     A.J. Steward/St. Louis, MO - 6-4/210/4.6 - 11/19/06
DE    **    Richard Johnson/Jefferson City, MO - 6-4/255/5.0 - 12/10/06
DE    **    Jake Laptad/Jenks, OK - 6-4/214/4.9 - 12/17/06
ATH **    Chris Harris/Bixby, OK - 6-0/180/4.4 - 1/7/07
K      **    Stephen Hoge/Oklahoma City, OK - 6-2/200 - 1/18/07
LB    **   Justin Springer/Los Fresnos, TX - 6-4/200 - 1/21/07
WR  **   Johnathan Wilson/Houston, TX - 6-3/185/4.6 - 1/23/07
OL   **    Jeff Spikes/Painesville, OH - 6-5/316/5.7 - 2/4/07

Bold: Signed LOI in December


In The News: KU Recruiting

Article On KU Recruit Jeff Spikes

The website has a story on OL recruit Jeff Spikes today.

Crabtree Breaks It Down

Jeremy Crabtree from gives a quick summary of the Big 12 recruiting classes by school in the KC Star today. Interesting to note that although Blake Lawrence is mentioned as one of Nebraska's top two, William Cole does not earn the same distinction for OSU.


William Cole to OSU, But KU Adds Two

Big Weekend For Recruiting

The Lawrence Journal-World reports four-star WR target William Cole out of Cedar Hill, Texas has committed to Oklahoma State over Kansas and Arkansas. Cole had been a long-time KU target and is a teammate of KU commit Dezmon Briscoe. On the plus side for the Jayhawks, KU added three star WR/KR Rell Lewis out of Muskogee, Oklahoma and two-star O-lineman Jeff Spikes out of Painesville, Ohio. Spikes was a new target pursued by new offensive coordinator, Ed Warriner. More details:

Rell Lewis -- 5-10/180/4.5 -- WR/KR

Other schools of interest:
Air Force Arkansas Iowa State Oklahoma State Texas Tech 

Muskgee Phoenix article on Rell's commitment
Rivals Profile

Jeff Spikes -- 6-5/316/5.7 -- OL

Other schools of interest:
Illinois, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Akron, Bowling Green, Toledo

Rivals Profile

Other Recruiting News:
It appears two-star WR Chris Tuck is no longer part of the 2007 class. Phog Board speculation is that he will not academically qualify.



That's Right, Dollar Signs

Perkin's War

With the ten-point bonus for early renewal on football season tickets offered by the Kansas Athletic Department this week, I can't help but admire Lew Perkin's ability to find new ways to generate revenue. It's killing me in the wallet, but deep-down you know this is the only way we can compete with the monster budgets of the big four-Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Nebraska. Big deal, you say. Those people are going to renew no matter what. Maybe, but for the average guy with a pair of season tickets teetering on the brink of buying an extra pair of tickets to add a few friends or family to the game-day experience, the 20-point incentive might push them to pull the trigger. Or in my case, maybe you can change the mind of a guy who has four tickets and was thinking of scaling back to two or three due to the inevitable increase with the eight-game package (season tickets are now $275, it wasn't that long ago that they were $150). Now, I'm looking at the 20-point bonus and thinking, hey we can swing an extra pair.

It's another shrewd move by Perkins to boost season ticket sales and increase overall revenue just right after throwing another million dollars into the pot with the Arrowhead deal. Again, it's not real comfortable to cough up the extra cash, but I'm glad we have Lew in there driving this thing and going to war with the big boys. We're not quite where we want to be in football on the field, but it's clear that Perkins is going to get there one way or another. That's quite a change from the old KU attitude. Consider the following, excerpted from last year's KC Star article:

"We were doing just fine," Frederick said of the Big Eight days. "All of the Big Eight schools … we all had a niche thing we were good in and everyone was comfortable with that. Then suddenly the game changed."

Man, I'm glad that attitude is gone. One thing that gets lost when KU fans debate whether or not Mark Mangino can get the job done is that he was hired after coming off a stint as the offensive coordinator for a national championship team. That alone makes a statement about where we want to go with our football program. Of course, Mangino was not hired by Perkins but he delivered his message when he signed Mangino to the controversial $1.5 million/year contract. The theme is pretty clear -- KU is serious about building a football program and 6-6 is not good enough for anyone.

Lew's already made some headway by boosting the athletic department budget from $27 million to approximately $40 million in his first three years. As the numbers below suggest, there's work to be done, but with deals like the Arrowhead move, Perkins is chipping away at the gap.

Budget In Millions
$74.4 -- Texas
$62.9 -- Oklahoma
$57.4 -- Texas A&M
$55.8 -- Nebraska
$46.4 -- Missouri
$45.6 -- Texas Tech
$40.0 -- Kansas
$36.6 -- Colorado
$35.9 -- Oklahoma State
$33.5 -- Kansas State
$31.1 -- Baylor
$28.1 -- Iowa State

Source: 2005-2006 EADA Reports


Rell Lewis To Visit KU

Oklahoma Paper Reports Visit By Lewis

According to the Muskogee Phoenix, two-star QB/athlete Rell Lewis will visit Lawrence this weekend. lists Lewis at 5-10/180 with 4.5 time in the forty.  The article indicates that Lewis has an offer from Kansas and also provided the following recap of his senior season:

"Despite injuring a hand and knee during the 2006 season, Lewis completed 55 of 123 passes for 985 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 621 yards on 71 carries and seven TDs. He was chosen to the All-Phoenix Area team."

Other schools of interest:
Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech

Rivals Profile
Scout Profile