Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook


New guy: Kansas University has some offensive-line help coming to Lawrence this summer.

Jason Hind, a 6-foot-4, 290-pounder out of College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., signed his financial-aid papers recently and will move to Lawrence later this summer.

Originally from San Antonio, Hind is in good academic standing and is leaving junior college after just one year. He'll have three seasons of eligibility at KU.

Hind is expected to compete for playing time right away on a line that includes All-Big 12 candidate Anthony Collins, three-year starter Cesar Rodriguez, former starter Ryan Cantrell and touted junior-college transfer Chet Hartley.

¢ Hawkinson commits: McPherson High standout Tanner Hawkinson gave an oral commitment to the Kansas coaching staff after participating in Saturday's camp.

Hawkinson, a 6-6, 230-pound tight end, had offers from Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech and Colorado State. But he always had KU high on his list and confirmed his interest Saturday.

"I have always grown up a fan of Kansas," Hawkinson told "I talked to my dad on the way up, and I wanted to do it face-to-face with the coaches."

KU now has five early commitments for the 2008 class.

¢ Summer going well: KU coach Mark Mangino and his staff aren't allowed to monitor his current players participating in summer conditioning workouts. But Mangino said he is hearing positive things from strength coach Chris Dawson, who runs the program.

"He thinks it's the best start to the summer we've had since we've been here," Mangino said.

¢ Night games: As expected, all of KU's nonconference games in September will kick off at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. They are not expected to be televised.

¢ Now what?: With camp season over, KU's coaching staff will have a little down time before practices get going in early August.

"Next week, our assistant coaches are going to start taking their vacations - much deserved," Mangino said. "We will continue to, whoever's in the office, keep working on some opponents and make sure everything's running smooth.

"In late July, we'll get back in as a staff working full-time preparing for our players to report on August 2."


hawkone 14 years, 4 months ago

Welcome aboard Mr. Hawkinson. I look forward to seeing another great player from Mcpherson don a Jayhawk uniform. For those who don't know this kid is very good!

Jeffery Barrett 14 years, 4 months ago

Just thought i would post something since noone else has! Good info. I'm hoping the football Hawks finish much better than expected.

JayhawkPhil 14 years, 4 months ago

I don't know about that Hind guy but that guy from Mcpherson must be pretty good if those other schools were recruiting him.
It does look like we are getting off to a good recruiting start for next year. I hope we can keep it up. We slipped a little last year. Glad we are getting some lineman and receivers.

justanotherfan 14 years, 4 months ago

The Hind pickup is nice for depth if nothing else. The line was looking a little thin after last year, so the fact that he can come in and compete immediately is huge.

I'm still hoping that Mangino and Co. have a plan for addressing the lack of overall team speed in the near future. If you think I'm kidding, watch a game of KU's last year, then watch an SEC game. The difference in speed is startling. While the talent level of KU's players has increased, college football is ruled by speed. KU has a few individuals that can run (Aqib, Herford, etc) but overall the speed on this team is either average or below average.

I'm not down on KU football because Mangino has rescued the program from 2-10 seasons, but the next two years are a crossroads about whether things will improve or level off at mediocre to competitive or continue to rise.

Go Hawks!

justanotherfan 14 years, 4 months ago

And if you check national rankings you will notice Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, etc all well respected. If we want to compete, that's where we need to be.

sevenyearhawk 14 years, 4 months ago

as others have said, let's win some road games consistently and compete for the North before we worry about BCS bowls and national perceptions ...

but hey, if you don't have high expectations, then nothing good will happen!

rolo2383 14 years, 4 months ago

I agree on the team speed. Our team speed is better than it was under Terry Allen (everything is better than it was under Terry Allen) but we still don't have a lot of top flight speed. If you look at the 70+ recruits Ron Prince has brought in over the last two years at KState you will see tons of speed. I don't want to sacrifice solid players for players with just speed but we do need more speed. I noticed that some of the receivers we recruited aren't too terribly fast. I hope that changes.

bmcmich1 14 years, 4 months ago

Remember, we are talking about a tight end here--doesn't need to be the fastest guy in the world. A 4.7 outta HS isn't all that bad, and I should hope that KU strength & cond. would slice a tenth or two off of that.

We all know speed is important, but it's not the be all-end all. Look at Jonny Cornish--not breathtaking speed but he was a complete HORSE. There's track speed, and there's football speed. Some guys shatter the stopwatches in their skintight windsuits, but slow considerably in pads. I'll take a guy with moderate speed who may not outrun everybody but will lower the shoulder and bowl over just about anyone. That said, I think Jake Sharp will be something special. He's got great speed and he's tough as nails too--best of both worlds.

We'll be fine--before we start comparing ourselves to SEC schools we have to worry about the BXII--first thing's first, and I really like our schedule this fall.

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