Monday, December 29, 2008

KU’s Thornton to miss Insight Bowl

Cornerback Justin Thornton will not play in Wednesday's game. Team officials say the KU junior didn't make the trip to Tempe for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Defensive end John Larson will also miss Wednesday's game because of an illness.



2008 Insight Bowl

KU will face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the 2008 Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.

— The Kansas University football team’s quest for consecutive bowl victories was dealt a significant blow this week, when coach Mark Mangino suspended cornerback Justin Thornton for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

Thornton did not make the trip to Tempe, Ariz., for Wednesday's Insight Bowl, according to a team spokesman, and will not be present when the Jayhawks take on Minnesota at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Sun Devil Stadium.

A junior from St. Joseph, Mo., Thornton started all 12 games for the Jayhawks this season, recording 63 tackles, an interception and a team-high 11 pass break ups.

“We talked to him before we left,” said senior linebacker James Holt. “He understood (the decision). He just has to straighten up a little bit and come back his senior year and show that he's a leader.”

In his spot, senior backup Kendrick Harper has been taking reps at the position and will likely get the start in Thornton's place.

“(Harper) has been working at the spot, and he's been doing very well,” said Holt. “... It's a little bit different. They have a little different style of play. Thornton's a little more aggressive and stuff, but (Harper's) doing well back there. He's cutting to the ball and running around. Both of those guys are well capable of playing there.”


railer1122 12 years, 3 months ago

Harper has played well last year and this year. This hurts as far as playmaking wise, but we'll be ok.

KEITHMILES05 12 years, 3 months ago

Thorton should be embarassed for himself missing a bowl game due to mis-steps. I applaud Mangino for giving out discipline no matter the consequence.

rolo2383 12 years, 3 months ago

Mangino isn't like Terry Allen. Terry Allen let the two good players he recruited get away with anything they wanted. I like the fact that Mangino won't hesitate to discipline anyone. I feel bad for Thornton but it's his own fault. He'll have next year to make up for this.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 3 months ago

this isn't good. thornton has been playing well pretty well...and he's physical.we need the pass rush this game.....LBs and DEs....let's get to the QB!

LAJayhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

I don't mean to speculate, but I wonder if it's grades being the end of the semester.Whatever the reason, it does show something of Mangino to leave him home before a bowl game. Good discipline generally means a solid team.Not having Thornton there definitely hurts us. No question about it. However, I'm hoping it might not be as bad as it could have been. Minnesota probably will try to power run over us. It would be much worse if we were playing a Tech style team that wants to throw all over the field. On the other hand, his physicality will be sorely missed.We still should win by 3 touchdowns if we come to play. Minnesota still stinks. And I don't think the Gophers can leave that at home.

Rivethead 12 years, 3 months ago

If the Kendrick Harper who single-handedly dominated the 3Q of the power-run Texas A&M team last year shows up, we'll be just fine.

Richard Fischer 12 years, 3 months ago

cscott24 (anonymous) says...he failed a drug testSweet nice work! Where is the proof Tiger!

LAJayhawk 12 years, 3 months ago

Where is this coming from cscott24? Site a source or you look like a tool.

rgreene 12 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, cscott. Without a source, I'm finding it highly doubtful. Given how close it was to the end of the semester, I'll go with the academics assumption.

notigers4me 12 years, 3 months ago

Who cares what the reason is? He is a young man who made a mistake, which one of us hasn't? This will be a hard learned lesson and he will be a better man for it hopefully.

FlaHawk 12 years, 3 months ago

The question is will THrton "man up" and accept his mistake and learn from it. The answer will be next season.

Patrickulating 12 years, 3 months ago

If he were Talib would he be sitting out? Justin is a great kid and I'm sure this will burn in his gut for a year. He didn't have the kind of year I expected, but hopefully this will motivate him.

KU 12 years, 3 months ago

What are you talking about Patrickulating? Thornton did a great job transitioning from safety to corner. I thought he had a very solid year.

Dirk Medema 12 years, 3 months ago

Agreed KU. And add to that, Yes, Talib would have and did sit out a couple games for disciplinary (weed) reasons.

Patrickulating 12 years, 3 months ago

I did not mean that he had played poorly this season. Thornton has been solid all year, as you say. But he did have five interceptions a year ago, compared to zero this year. While I credit a lot of that to not throwing his way nearly as much, I was wanting to see him pick off six this year. He'll get 'em next year.

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