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KU All Americans

Ray Evans

42
(1941-42, 1946-47)
Quarterback, halfback, defensive back
6-2, 195
1947 All-American

If Websters ever made a dictionary with an entry for "KU All-American," the first definition could easily say simply, "Ray Evans."

Evans, considered one of the greatest athletes in KU history, was named an All-American in 1947. He and Otto Schnellbacher were KU's first All American picks.

Evans distinguished himself as being the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in both passing (1,117 yards) and interceptions (10) in the same season. Those 10 interceptions are still the KU record.

Evans is also the only KU athlete to have his football jersey number (42) and his basketball jersey (15) retired. He played professionally with Pittsburgh for one season.

Otto Schnellbacher

(1942, 1946-1947)
Split end
6-3, 185
Sublette, Kan.

1947 All-American

Many Kansas football fans might not know where Sublette is on the map. But chances are they've heard of the man known as "Double Threat From Sublette," Otto Schnellbacher.

Schnellbacher was a domineering force in both football and basketball at KU. He and teammate Ray Evans helped to lead the Jayhawks to a first-place tie in the Big Six conference and a berth in the 1948 Orange Bowl game.

Schnellbacher had 58 career pass receptions for 1,069 yards - both marks standing as school records for 22 years.

Schnellbacher played football and basketball professionally, including four football seasons with the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference and the NFL's New York Giants.

Gil Reich

16
(1952)
Quarterback, halfback, defensive back
6-0, 187
Steelton, Penn.

1952 All-American

If Hollywood was ever looking for a comeback kid story, they might consider putting the saga of Gil Reich on the big screen.

Reich transferred to KU after a murky sophomore season at West Point, where he was nailed with other classmates for keeping mum about a cheating scandal.

After transferring to KU, Reich almost didn't play. But a Pennsylvania congressman from Reich's home district spoke up for him. And KU's chancellor relented.

Reich earned all-conference and All-American honors as a defensive back. And he traded off as starting quarterback with Jerry Robertson. Reich piled up 428 yards in total offense and had five TD passes.

He also was a punt returner, averaging 17.2 yards on 19 returns. Oh, yeah - he also was a starting guard oon the 1953 Jayhawks basketball team and leading KU to the National Championship game against Indiana (a 69-68 loss). But that could be a Hollywood sequel.

George Mrkonic

83
(1950-52)
Offensive/defensive tackle/punter
6-2, 212
McKeesport, Penn.

1951 All-American

Whenever defensive linemen had to go up against George Mrkonic , they knew they were in for a long afternoon. Mrkonic was an anchor on one of the greatest lines in KU football history the early 1950s.

He was selected on the all-conference team in 1950 and 1951, playing left guard on offense and tackle on defense.

The versatile Mrkonic also took on the Jayhawks' punting duties, leading KU in punting stats in '51. In the three seasons Mrkonic was on the line, KU put together a 21-9 record. They finished 8-2 in 1951 and 7-3 in 1952.

Mrkonic was tabbed to play in the 1952 East-West Shrine Game. He spent a year in the pros, playing with the Philadelphia Eagles and one season in the Canadian Football League.

Oliver Spencer

73
1950-1952
Offensive Tackle
6-2, 225
Ulysses, Kan.

1952 All-American

With Oliver Spencer playing right offensive tackle and teammate George Mrkonic playing left guard for two seasons, the Jayhawks' line powered KU to a 15-5 record.

Following his last season at KU, Spencer played in both the East-West Shrine Game and in the Senior Bowl.

The tough KU tackle went on to the pros, where he played for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers, from 1953 to 1961. Spencer then took his know-how into coaching and was offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders from 1962 to 1979.

John Hadl

1959-61
Quarterback/Halfback/Punter/Defensive Back
6-1, 205
Lawrence, Kan.

1960-61 All-American

Talk about a classic home-town football hero. John Hadl was one of those players whose performances kept fans spellbound and sent sports writers to the dictionary to look up new terms for "legend."

Hadl was the first KU player to be picked twice for All-America honors for his skills as a quarterback and half back. But that was only part of his value. Hadl also excelled as a defensive back, and punt returner. And he could punt with the nation's best - he led the country with a 45.6-yard average in 1959.

Hadl's No. 21 jersey is one of only three KU has retired.

Hadl, who was picked for the all-conference team for three seasons, wound up with 1,281 yards passing and 1,016 yard rushing.

If you go to the record books, you'll find he's still there in two categories from his 1959 season: Longest interception return, a 98-yard run against TCU; and longest punt, 94 yards vs. Oklahoma.

With Hadl running the offense, the 'Hawks were ranked in the top 20 during his junior and senior years, finishing 15-5-2. He wrapped up his KU career leading his team to a 33-7 win over Rice in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

He was also named MVP in the East-West Shrine game and the College All-Star Game.

Hadl went on to play 16 years in the NFL, passing for 33,513 yards. In 1971, he was named the NFL's "Man of the Year." And he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

Hadl continued in football as a coach and currently is KU's associate athletics director.

Gale Sayers

48
1962-1964
Halfback
6-1, 190
Omaha, Neb.

1963-64 All American

Out of all the stars in the collegiate and professional football galaxies, one of the brightest was Gale Sayers, known as the "Kansas Comet."

Sayers streaked through his career at KU with 2,675 yards rushing and 3,917 all-purpose yards.

Picked as an All-American twice, Sayers topped the Jayhawks' charts in touchdowns, rushing and kickoff returns during his three seasons.

As a junior and a senior, he also led his team in receiving and punt returns. His most memorable? It was probably when he became the first NCAA Div. I player to make a 99-yard run, which he did in 1963 against Nebraska in Lincoln.

Sayers also had a 96-yard kickoff return against Oklahoma, helping KU win 15-14 in an upset during his senior year.

Sayers was a first-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs. He played pro-ball for seven seasons before injuring his knee. He racked up 4,956 rushing yards during his NFL career, which included NFL rushing titles in 1966 and 1969.

Sayers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame in 1977. He was an assistant athletics director at KU from 1972-76.

Bobby Douglass

10
1966-68
Quarterback
6-3, 212
El Dorado, Kan.

1968 All-American

His name is etched in the north dome of KU's Memorial Stadium in bold blue. But orange is probably the color most fans think of when they remember Bobby Douglass - as in Orange Bowl.

During his senior season in 1968, he lead KU to a 9-2 record, a tie for the Big Eight title and a berth in the 1969 Orange Bowl against Penn.

Douglas, who was named twice to all-conference honors, was also named to the United Press International and the Kodak All-America teams in 1968.

During that year, he passed for 1,316 yards, including 12 touchdowns. He holds a school record of passing TDs in six consecutive games.

Douglas is seventh in career passing yardage in KU history, with 2,817 yards. He's also No. 7 all-time in total yards, with 3,832 yards. And his 39 career touchdowns puts him in the fourth position in that category in KU history.

After his senior season, Douglass played in the Senior Bowl, American Bowl (where he was MVP) and the College All-Star Game.

Turning pro, he played for 13 seasons in the NFL with Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans and Green Bay.

John Zook

83
1966-68
Defensive End
6-4, 230
Larned, Kan.

1968 All-American

To blow by strong offensive lineman to make tackles requires speed, strength and focus. And John Zook had all those - plus stamina.

KU Coach Pepper Rodgers said Zook "never played but full speed from snap one to snap hundred. He was the most full-speed player on every snap that you could imagine."

Zook, a three-year letterman, was picked twice for all-conference honors, anchoring one of the top defensive units ever taking the field at KU.

He was named to All-America honors as the Jayhawks' defensive standout on the 1968 Orange Bowl-bound team, the year KU was named No. 6 by the Associated Press.

Zook had 202 total tackles during his career, putting him at No. 4 on KU's all-time defensive line list.

David Jaynes

12
1971-73
Quarterback
6-2, 212
Bonner Springs, Kan.

All-American 1973

There were few quarterbacks in Kansas history who could capture a fan's imagination like Heisman Trophy-candidate David Jaynes.

During the early 1970s, Jaynes and his throwing arm shattered virtually every passing record in KU history. When he left KU, the Bonner Springs standout was No. 1 in passing, with 5,132 yards (later broken by Frank Seuer).

Jaynes still holds the record for most career passing touchdowns, with 35.

His most memorable game was in 1973 against Tennessee, when he completed 35 of 58 attempted passes for 394 yards.

That season, when Jaynes received All-American honors, KU finished 7-4-1 and went to the Liberty Bowl. Jaynes finished fourth in the voting that year for the Heisman Trophy.

Bruce Kallmeyer

1980-83
Place-kicker
5-10, 180
Shawnee Mission (South), Kan.

1983 All-American

Bruce Kallmeyer wasn't that big or flashy. But he had a powerful toe that was one of the most dangerous offensive weapons Kansas ever had in its arsenal. It brought 233 points to KU's side of the scoreboard, ranking him as Kansas' No. 3 all-time scorer.

Kallmeyer finished his four-year career as Kansas' most accurate place-kicker, with a 77.9 percentage in career field goals. He also set single-season marks of most field goals made (24) and most attempted (29).

He also set a single-game record of five field goals in 1981 against Nebraska, which he also tied in 1983 against Wichita State, the year he was named as an All-American.

He had four field goals in one game to help the Jayhawks upset Southern California in the 1983 season.

His longest? A 57-yarder against Iowa State in his senior season.

Kallmeyer kicked in 98 points in 1983, which was No. 2 in the KU record books for a single season. The 21 points he kicked in during the Wichita State game in 1983 was the best overall performance by a KU kicker.