Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook


Recruiting update

One of the most intriguing positions Kansas is pursuing in the final weeks of recruiting is running back, with the loss of Brandon McAnderson to graduation still on the minds of KU coaches.

Kansas currently has two high-profile targets for the position: DeSoto (Texas) High star Cyrus Gray and Cisco (Texas) Community College product Jocques Crawford.

Crawford originally committed to Texas Tech, where his brother Aaron plays, but backed out after Tech revealed it planned to use Jocques at safety. indicates that Kansas, TCU and Mississippi may be battling for the NJCAA's leading rusher, who plans to graduate from junior college in May.

Gray, meanwhile, has an even more complicated recruitment going on. He is considered one of the top 100 recruits in the nation and visited Kansas on Dec. 7. Rivals now is reporting that Gray is nearing his decision, but seems to be keeping his favorites close to the vest. Texas A&M;, Notre Dame, Florida and Kansas are possibilities.

More Young talk

KU defensive coordinator Bill Young appears to be a popular man in the wake of KU's Orange Bowl victory.

Young is considered a candidate for the defensive-coordinator opening at Washington. now is reporting that Miami may be interested in Young for its coordinator vacancy, as well.

Young has been at Kansas since 2002, Mangino's first season. He recently was a finalist for the Broyles Award given to the nation's top assistant coach.

The competition

Tuesday was the last day underclassmen could declare for the NFL Draft, and more than 40 early entrants have declared.

That includes KU cornerback Aqib Talib and offensive tackle Anthony Collins, who announced their plans Jan. 7.

As for their competition? Obviously there are gobs of seniors. But the unofficial underclassmen list includes five cornerbacks: Talib, Virginia Tech's Brandon Flowers, Wisconsin's Jake Ikegwuonu, Penn State's Justin King and Oklahoma's Reggie Smith.

In addition, there are four offensive linemen coming out early: Collins, Virginia's Branden Albert, Boise State's Ryan Clady and Mississippi's Michael Oher.

ESPN's Todd McShay recently listed Talib as the 17th-best prospect, underclassman or not, in the 2008 NFL Draft.


Alan Halvorsen 12 years, 10 months ago

You're right about scout JBurtin, they suck.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 10 months ago

Rivals has Gray with A&M listed as "high" on the list...and everyone else is i think he'll be an Aggie.

JBurtin 12 years, 10 months ago

Accoring to scout, Gray committed to A&M already. Then again, they do a pretty crappy job with covering recruiting so maybe that can't be taken too seriously.

Still, if it is true, Crawford would be a good pick up.

Dyrk Dugan 12 years, 10 months ago

on the other hand, Crawford has the Frogs and KU high on his list. Between us and TCU...that would seem like a no brainer to me about which would be the better school to attend for showcasing talent. He's 6-1, 220 lbs...what a load he'd be!

Kenny George 12 years, 10 months ago

Don't forget about our own Angus Quigley.

He came back from an injury and performed quite well.

He is about 6' 1" and 225 lbs.

Also a load!!!

Michael Leiker 12 years, 10 months ago

Who cares about the RBs....if the hawks lose Bill Young that would be worse than losing Mangino.

justanotherfan 12 years, 10 months ago

This is the time of year where football success is determined at the elite level. There is a reason that fans at schools like USC, LSU, Florida and Ohio State are just as rabid in January and February as they are in October and November. We need players, big time, playmaking type players.

I've always found it hard to follow football recruitment because outside of the top several prospects, there are just so many guys to track. There are guys that are overrated, underrated and unheard of. Competition and systems vary so widely at the high school level that its hard to figure if a guy will be ready to come in and contribute early in his career.

With that said, we need to land more guys that are ready to contribute immediately. To rise to an elite level, we can't be entirely dependent on waiting for guys to be juniors and seniors before they contribute. We took another step towards that this year with true freshmen like Harris and Briscoe playing big roles, not to mention sophomore Reesing at QB and Sharp at RB.

rolo2383 12 years, 10 months ago

I would hate to lose Young.

I would like to get Gray but I'm not sure if we need a juco guy coming in here at that position. We have four solid running backs (Bean, Boyd Anderson, Quigley and Sharp). Since we are limited on the number of people we can sign I'd like us to get another defensive tackle or offensive linemen. We've got a lot of defensive ends coming in but I think we need more depth at d-tackle.

kuelguapo 12 years, 10 months ago

agreed - losing young would hurt - a lot! but i don't know why he'd want to leave KU for Wash. or Miami and all of the problems with that program... the coaching staff have a great opportunity to build something at KU from the ground up. moving somewhere else - unless you're talking a traditional power - seems pretty unilateral, careerwise...

Will Hamilton 12 years, 10 months ago

I agree withe shelleysue - back up the Brinks truck to keep Young here. We already lost one good coach/recruiter to Nebraska. Let's make sure that's the only coaching loss this year! Not sure if that's Mangino's call or Lew's arena! Whoever is in charge of keeping Young needs to move on it!

thiknthinhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Ditto---- we really need Lew to negotiate hefty contracts for all of the assistants, and I Mangino needs to have a contract that is second to none nationally. They did their parts to bring us national respect. They need to have contacts that can''t be topped anywhere.

troutsee 12 years, 10 months ago

Lew, please, we simply cannot lose Bill Young.

Angus Quigley showed in the ISU game that he can be a beast.

Dan Harris 12 years, 10 months ago

Lew, It's taking us 40 years to get to this point in our program,and Young is a big reason for that. PAY THE MAN!!!!!!

JBurtin 12 years, 10 months ago

Everybody keeps talking as if Young is already gone or something.

Other schools have expressed interest in him, that doesn't mean that he's expressed interest back. I have no problem with him hearing them out if they want to make him an offer. Then whatever that offer is, Perkins should top it and keep him here.

Also, it wouldn't be as much of a tragedy as some people are making it out to be. I love having Young here but please don't discount the fact that we would still have CO-DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR Clint Bowen.

Yes, that's right, he's the co-coordinator, not some flunky underling.

He's also a KU grad that is loyal to the school, and played on the excellent teams of the early 90's. Young is probably getting fairly close to retirement so Mangino has already promoted his protege and replacement to an equal status.

Young is certainly a great coach and recruiter and I don't want to lose him just yet, but I take peace of mind in knowing that a contingency plan is already in place if he should decide to finish out his career elsewhere.

Young certainly deserves our respect, but that does not mean that Bowen should be disrespected and ignored.

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