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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Injury still hurting, but not slowing, Harper

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Reader poll

How many games will KU win in this regular season (football)?

  • 8 0% 18 votes
  • 9 1% 31 votes
  • 10 20% 422 votes
  • 11 38% 779 votes
  • 12 38% 772 votes

2022 total votes.

KU Football Oct. 30 Press Conference

James McClinton, Todd Reesing, Kerry Meier, Ryan Cantrell and Kendrick Harper talk about the upcoming Nebraska game and drop some other tidbits at Tuesday's press conference.

KU-NU to square off in familiar scenario, but with roles reversed

One team is ranked 8th in the nation and the other is trying to stay alive in the Big 12 North standings - that's a pretty typical scenario heading into the KU-NU football showdown - only this year, it's KU thinking Big 12 title and Nebraska thinking big-time upset.

Audio clips

2007 KU Football Press Conference Oct. 30

It was impressive enough that Kansas University junior cornerback Kendrick Harper played with unmatched aggression against Texas A&M; in his first start of the season last week.

But what's easy to forget is that he did it while still battling an injury.

It was almost three months ago when Harper was hurt on the first day of preseason camp. He has worn protection over his right wrist ever since and still isn't 100 percent.

"I'm making it," Harper said Tuesday. "I'm just taking it day by day and still rehabbing and stuff."

It hasn't appeared to affect his play. In KU's 19-11 victory over Texas A&M;, Harper had seven tackles (two for losses). One was so hard, it was replayed prominently on ESPN.

"I felt pretty good," Harper said. "It just felt good to get my feet finally wet for a lot of plays. I haven't played that much lately."

Harper wore a hard cast once he returned in October, but he now wears only a brace. Eventually, he won't have to have anything to protect the wrist.

Harper now sits atop the depth chart at cornerback, above freshman Chris Harris. It's an encouraging sign for Harper, considering Harris played well in his seven starts, picking up 33 tackles, an interception and two pass breakups.

"I'm a team player," Harper said. "I just want to go in and help the team however they need me. Chris Harris is a good player. He's got a couple of years ahead of him, and he's going to be a great player in the next couple of years for KU."

¢ Bells and whistles?: It surfaced Monday that KU quarterback Todd Reesing was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback.

A fan vote has a say in who wins, and there might come a point where the KU athletic department pushes for publicity. But not right now.

"We will do something," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "But I will be very honest with you: You go win those awards. You don't campaign for them."

Besides Reesing, KU cornerback Aqib Talib surely will be on a short list for a few national honors, including the Thorpe award, given to the nation's best defensive back. Talib hasn't been shy to say he's targeting that honor as an individual goal.

"We're going to do something when the time is right to help those kids a little bit," Mangino said. "But we won't be putting any bulletin boards in Times Square."

¢ Players of the game: Harper and Talib split defensive player-of-the-game honors for the Texas A&M; game, combining for 13 tackles and four pass breakups.

Brandon McAnderson (21 carries, 183 yards) was the easy choice for offensive honors, while freshman Dakota Lewis was cited for special teams.

Comments

13 years, 4 months ago

"But we won't be putting any bulletin boards in Times Square."

Nice jab at the Oregon Ducks and Joey Harrington :)

Michael Leiker 13 years, 4 months ago

Seen his hit again last night on College Football Live. I love that they started this show up, and just at the right time. Hopefully hawks get a little more love tonight.

Michael Leiker 13 years, 4 months ago

Mangino's Freaking Sweet, "You go win those awards. You don't campaign for them."

Guy is so blunt it's hilarious.

seattlehawk_78 13 years, 4 months ago

The hit by Harper was sweet but my vote goes to the stop on J-Train. The announcer said it was close but it wasn't, they stopped him behind the line of scrimmage.

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