Monday, January 7, 2008

D-Day today for pair of KU football players


Red uniforms remain undefeated

Before KU's 24-21 Orange Bowl victory over Virgina Tech, head coach Mark Mangino decided to have the team wear their undefeated red uniforms.

Kansas University football juniors Anthony Collins and Aqib Talib are expected to make an official announcement today regarding their futures.

The two are considering skipping their senior seasons to enter their names in the NFL Draft.

Neither Collins nor Talib gave any hints as to what his plan might be after Thursday's Orange Bowl, a 24-21 Kansas victory over Virginia Tech. ESPN, however, reported late Sunday night during its GMAC Bowl telecast that Talib, as expected, will head to the NFL.

A news conference was considered to announce each player's plans, but KU football spokesperson Mike Strauss said none is scheduled. Instead, a press release is expected through the university and will address both players' futures.

KU coach Mark Mangino said last week that he would support Talib's choice, no matter what it is.

"If it's time for him to come out, he's got my blessing," Mangino said. "If he thinks he should stay, he's got my blessing."

It long has been assumed that Talib likely would go pro after a sparkling junior season, and it was just that. Talib earned unanimous All-America honors and recorded 66 tackles and five interceptions, two of which were returned for long touchdowns. He was named MVP of the Orange Bowl last week.

Collins, an All-America left tackle, is a little less certain. He said at midseason that he expected to be back, but changed his tune before the Orange Bowl, confirming that he submitted paperwork to the NFL advisory committee and was undecided.

"It can't be lower than second (round)," Collins said on Dec. 14 of his projection.

The two also have pondered staying or leaving together, a promise they made when they enrolled at Kansas in 2004. But such a pledge doesn't appear to have an overriding say in things, as Collins said last month that, "It's dealing with a lot of money right now."

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare, but the two appear to be ready to get the decision out of the way.

The last Jayhawk to leave school early for the NFL was cornerback Charles Gordon in 2006. Gordon went undrafted but signed a free-agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings. He spent half of the '06 season and all of '07 on the Vikings' active roster as a defensive back.


okjhok 11 years, 9 months ago

I wish the best for both of these cats. They represented well, and their stock is probably as high as it could get. Two things, though: 1. Both of them said at one point or another during the season that they'd be back for their senior season. I really wish college athletes wouldn't make these claims, especially in the case of players that are likely to be high-round draft picks. All they have to say is that a decision will be made after the season, and leave it at that. 2. I would be much more adamant about point #1 if we didn't have so much coming back next season, regardless of the status of Talib and Collins!

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

I hate it when college athletes leave early in any sport from any school ... but sadly it is a fact of life, and for KU football - this comes with the newfound success!

Aqib Talib's stock could not get any higher, and this young man more than picked up where Charles Gordon left off ... best of luck to him!

As for Anthony Collins, I've heard that his stock might increase with another year ... but so does the possibility of injury!

Isn't it WONDERFUL to have this dilemma with football now, as well?!? :D :D :D

roshi12 11 years, 9 months ago

Whatever you guys decide is best for you is what you should do. Thanks to both of you for everything you have done for KU football. For the hard work and energy you have given to our program can never say Thanks enough. Good luck to both of you in whatever directions you go.

jayhawkinATL 11 years, 9 months ago

I basically agree with these posts...Talib couldn't be in a better position, but Collins' status is a bit iffy...I think his late-season injury (and lasting effects as shown by his limited effectiveness in the Orange Bowl) may be a setback to his draft status. Either way, I support these two studs regarding their decisions. Hope the best for them...they represented KU well.

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 9 months ago

I heard that ESPN reported late Sunday night during its GMAC Bowl telecast that Talib, as expected, will head to the NFL.

okjhok 11 years, 9 months ago

Well, if that's the case with Collins, perhaps he found out, through his investigative paperwork, that he probably wouldn't be a first day pick, and that he'd be better off staying another year. If I had to choose between the two, considering the depth chart, I'd take Collins. I also think he has a good attitude about it (not that Talib doesn't). He knows Mommas gonna eat eventually, and he seems perfectly content tearing it up on the college level.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 9 months ago

KC Star reports this morning that Aquib's brother says he's leaving early. No report on Collins....although they've both said they'd leave or stay together. That's usually not how it works...especially since one is an OT and the other is a CB. Two totally different demands on an NFL field. Good luck to them both, if they go for the draft...otherwise, they'll be very much appreciated in their senior years.

Nutflush21 11 years, 9 months ago

Jimmy_Dean, I also heard similar information. In fact I think I read it in paragraph three of the article above.

jackhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

My wish is that the media would stop asking these guys what they are going to do while still early in the season. How about waiting until it is in time to announce. A day or two ago before one of the tv basketball games, an announcer stated that the upcoming game was "big" in case they are on "the bubble" come March--Ridiculous.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 9 months ago


I read that same information in paragraph five! What a coincidence

As for Collins, I'm confident he could come back and have a monster of a year for KU. The problem is that it will be difficult for us to have the same level of success next year, though the great thing for Collins is that now all of the NFL scouts know who he is so even if we don't win 12 games, as long as he dominates he stock should go up. But of course, coming back is risky which is why if he's predicted in round 2 or even in round 3 in my opinion we can bid him farewell.

If they have Mangino's blessing then that's good enough for me. Mangino loves his team and he knows that both of them are ready to be NFL players.

63BC 11 years, 9 months ago

No matter what, Talib will always be the guy who made the biggest play in what was at that time the biggest win in program history. Nothing can change that. All the best, Aqib...

TtownHawk 11 years, 9 months ago

No matter what you do Talib and Collins, we all thank you both for what you've done for KU football and helping to get us to the point where we are a National power in both Football and Basketball.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years, 9 months ago

i read it in paragraph 3 and 5, must've been big news...certainly the football being played during the GMAC bowl wasn't newsworthy...did Mel Tillis do the reporting?

John Percival 11 years, 9 months ago

I'll take the wrath for saying this, but I'd rather have these guys leave after they've been here for 4 years (red shirt), following the biggest win in our program's history, while both are All-American, than lose a 2-year basketball player who averaged 7.5 pts. & 4.5 rebounds in our 2 biggest games last year. At least these guys have proven themselves & aren't being given millions based on potential.

John Percival 11 years, 9 months ago

oh, he kinda fits into the category of guys who said they were staying...

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 9 months ago

Aqib has a kid and I think he will be a first round pick which should guarantee him a minimum of $5m. If he were my friend or relative I would encourage him to bolt.

I'm not sure of the draft status of AC but if he is not a first round pick it might be in his best interest to stay. Sacrifice one year of income to guarantee a lifetime of financial security.

grantmvb 11 years, 9 months ago

There is no reason at all to believe that Anthony Collins is a 1st or 2nd round pick. He had a very good year and was mentioned as an Outland Trophy Finalist, but there are a good 3-4 O-lineman that would be drafted in front of him.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 9 months ago

Here is the link to the KC Star article which sites Aqib's brother as saying Aqib is entering the draft.

It also says that the Draft Advisory Board gave him a second-round grade.

areyouserious 11 years, 9 months ago

This is a no-brainer!!!!!!!!!!!! If u can get a guaranteed contract, u must go!!! I would.....and you would too!!

Don Everett 11 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to both, thanks to both and good luck in the future. You have both done great for KU. I will enjoy watching both on Sundays for hopefully many years to come.

speedy 11 years, 9 months ago

i hope both they continue to be great! just watched ESPN ,s stupid herb no-brain street put usc goriga ahead of ku again. no respect as usual. how about banning corso and deadbrain herb st. from ku on any level!!!

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 9 months ago

Here's how I think the final poll will read tomorrow. LSU, Georgia, USC, mizwho, and Kansas. But I won't be surprised if the Luckeyes edge us out of the number 5 spot.

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