Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring football game won’t be for show


Mark Mangino is a traditionalist when it comes to the spring football game.

Yes, he likes that the fans get the chance to see football in April, and players always like performing in front of a crowd. But Mangino isn't interested in taking the team off track to make the spring game a fun, festive, lighthearted activity.

There's too much business to be done.

"It's a great day for fans to come and watch the team play, but it's certainly an important day of work," Mangino said. "You only get 15 practices, so you want to make the most of practice No. 15."

KU's spring season comes to an end with the annual spring game, which will start at 7 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium. Admission is free to the public. Gates will open at 6 p.m.

Spring-game veterans won't notice many changes in how KU conducts its final practice. There's limited contact with the quarterback. No played-out special teams (thus no punt or kick returns). And no fan-friendly rhyme or reason as to why the game will end when it ends.

"We will play 15-minute quarters in the first half, and then we'll see how much more work we need in the second half," Mangino said. "At some point in time, we'll start a continuous clock in the second half."

Last year, KU's coaches targeted 100 snaps in the game, and they reached it in a 48-0 Blue team victory. The entire second half was played with a running clock.

Different years have different demands, though. Last year's spring game, for example, featured first-half contact with the quarterback because Todd Reesing and Kerry Meier were battling for a starting job and needed to be tested as much as possible.

That's not the case this year with Reesing, who's the clear-cut No. 1 guy after passing for 33 touchdowns for the Orange Bowl champs last season.

Similar, subtle tweaks could be made, but not many. Spring is a routine at KU, and the spring game is a way to bridge the spring with the summer.

And the spring, Mangino said, has been a success so far.

"It's gone very well. A lot of learning taking place," Mangino said. "We have some veteran kids that are improving and getting better and really getting comfortable with all aspects of our offense and defense. We have some young kids that are really coming along nicely.

"They have to keep getting repetitions here in the spring and pick it up in August. I think some young kids are going to do pretty well, too."

¢ New commit: Kansas snagged an oral commitment for its 2009 class this weekend from Jordan Webb, a 6-foot, 205-pound quarterback out of Union, Mo.

"I was supposed to be in Lawrence for the spring game, but it got postponed," Webb told "I decided to make the trip up anyway. I told coach (Mark) Mangino and coach (Ed) Warinner about my decision, and they were so excited. We all feel that I've got the opportunity to have a great career at Kansas."

Webb had 4,308 passing yards with 55 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for Union High last season. He also had 633 rushing yards.

Webb is the second known commitment for 2009 so far. Coconut Creek, Fla., running back Deshaun Sands - the son of former KU standout Tony Sands - committed last week.


ebizzle 13 years, 9 months ago

Get out to Memorial and support the Hawks tonight!

Jonathan Allison 13 years, 9 months ago

Deshaun Sands and Jordan Webb aren't ranked yet on but they both sound like they will be great additions to our team. I watched Jordan's video and he looked really sharp. Rivals calls him a pro-style QB but they actually run a spread offense much like ours. right now has given both of them only one star. We'll see how that progresses now that they both will be under a little more of a spotlight with their early commitments to KU. I expect by the end of their Sr seasons Webb will be a 3 star recruit and Sands will be at least 2.Sounds like we're off to a good start for recruiting this year. I can't wait to hear aboutt he spring game

flipborder02 13 years, 9 months ago

Plastic when the individual rankings come out for each position Webb could be a 4 star and Sands could be a 3 or a 4 star.

JBurtin 13 years, 9 months ago

Agreed, I think Sands needs a good senior season to earn a 3 star, but it's certainly not out of the question. But there's no doubt in my mind that Webb should be at least a 4 star, and that is probably underrating him.Over 4300 yards passing (Reesing put up 3300)55 TD passes (Reesing had 36?)7 ints (same as Reesing)603 yrds rushing (More than Reesing)11 rushing TDs (I believe more than Reesing?)I realize we're comparing apples and oranges here (no pun intended), and those numbers don't translate directly to D1. However, we all watched how good a year Reesing had last year. We were in the endzone every other play. If that was only 36 TD passes in 13 games, I can't imagine what the scores must have been for a guy that threw 55 TD passes in only 11 games.Those are freakin' monster numbers and if you cut each of them in half for the D1 level he would still have put together a darn good year.He's as elusive as Reesing in the pocket and always keeps his eyes downfield. Not blazing speed, but he is a good decision maker that knows when to take off and get up field quickly. Always sets his feet solid and makes a strong throw. Very similar style to Reesing on almost every count. The only thing that Reesing has on him is that he probably throws better on the run.With Webb and Pick battling it out for playing time, we are going to be very good at quarterback for a very long time.

FlaHawk 13 years, 9 months ago

Comparing Webb and Reesing is very dangerous. Reesing played at a school that was MUCH bigger and TX FB is much higher rated than suburban St Louis!Still he looks very promising!Go Hawks!

sevenyearhawk 13 years, 9 months ago

this so stinks that it was moved ...I really hope folks get out to support it, but personally, I'm tapped out!Sadly, this will be the first spring game I've missed since moving back to Kansas in 2004.

rolo2383 13 years, 9 months ago

C'mon seven, suck it up one more time for the 2007 - 2008 school year. You can rest up over the summer. I can't complain though since it only takes me 7 minutes to walk to the stadium. I'll see everyone there tonight.

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