Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Don’t forget Reesing


Anybody around here remember a guy named Todd Reesing?

All the hullabaloo surrounding Kansas University’s seven-game losing streak, the forced resignation of coach Mark Mangino and the hiring of Turner Gill has diminished Reesing’s legacy.

That’s unfortunate because I believe in 10 years, perhaps even as long as two decades from now, Reesing will remain entrenched as the greatest quarterback KU has ever produced.

Yeah, I know there have been plenty of talented Kansas QBs. John Hadl, Bobby Douglass, David Jaynes, Frank Seurer, Mike Norseth, Bill Whittemore, etc., but Reesing surpassed all of them statistically.

Moreover, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder from Austin, Texas, accomplished something no other Kansas quarterback has ever achieved.

Perhaps you read that Reesing had been in New York City and had earned some kind of graduate scholarship. You probably didn’t pay that much attention, though, because of all the coach-search buzz.

Well, let me tell you about that grant. Reesing received $18,000 from the National Football Foundation, and he was — are you ready for this? — the first KU football player to receive an NFF grant in 32 years.

Only three other men who wore KU football uniforms have ever been gifted with an NFF scholarship, and all three went on to become doctors.

The first was Ron Oelschlager in 1964. A halfback, Dr. Oelschlager was a practicing radiologist in Lawrence before retiring a few years ago.

The second was Mike McCoy in 1971. Dr. McCoy is a well-known orthopedic surgeon based in Topeka. At KU, he was a starting center.

By the way, I ran into Dr. McCoy at last Saturday’s KU-La Salle basketball game at the Sprint Center, and he remembered his trip to the Big Apple vividly.

“What I remember most is Clarke Wescoe being there,” Dr. McCoy told me. “He had been KU’s chancellor and was working in New York then. When he saw an athlete from Kansas would be there, he bought a ticket. And they were pretty expensive, too.”

The third NFF grant winner was Tom Fitch in 1977. A defensive back, Dr. Fitch practices internal medicine today in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Pretty impressive company, huh?

Reesing, as you probably know, does not plan to become a doctor. He will, however, graduate this month with a double major in finance and economics. His grade-point average going into this semester was 3.64.

Mike Strauss, KU’s football liaison in the sports information office, accompanied Reesing to New York and shared a story.

“Todd was at a table, and he picked up a copy of USA Today sitting there,” Strauss related. “Now you would expect most football players would pick up the Sports section, but not Todd. The first one he read was the Money section.”

Chances are Todd Reesing’s football playing days are over. He plans to give the Canadian Football League a shot, but eventually he’ll no doubt put that NFF grant to work.

And it’s a good bet Todd Reesing will be just as successful in the business world as he was when he threw for more than 11,000 yards and 90 touchdowns for the Jayhawks.


100 10 years, 6 months ago

Huge Congratulations Todd -- we're all proud of you.

And great article Chuck -- very well researched.

Good stuff.

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 6 months ago

I agree 100 the article was great.

Congratulations Todd, I wish you the best success in your life to come.

Blake Post 10 years, 6 months ago

I will never forget Todd Reesing. Number 5 is the only one I was ever motivated to wear to a KU game. He had some Doug Flutie and a little Fran Tarkenton game in him. Tremendously exciting. I guess I will keep wearing number 5. Might pick up a number 10 too. I will not forget Dr. McCoy either. He fixed my broken leg some years back. Works fine.
You remember Jaynes threw to Emmet Edwards and Bruce Adams. All will remember gunslinger Reesing throwing to Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe. Haven't felt a loss before when players moved on. This time is different. I believe that I will really be watching any NFL teams for which any of them plays. Quite a testament to these guys.

Ted Toulouse 10 years, 6 months ago

Thank you for this article Chuck. For a school and fan base that loves to see its seniors graduate and move on to bigger and better things, we have (understandably) lost focus over the last few weeks. Reesing, Meir, et al. were the winningest senior class in the history of KU football. It is sad that they had to go out amidst the controversy of a coaching change and falling under .500.

Despite what your personal opinion is of Mangino and his tactics, the previous regime needs to be honored for their contributions to the program and the university. Only time will tell if the foundation Mangino laid was enough to start and keep the football program moving in the right direction. He certainly left it better than he found it.

FSUJHAWK 10 years, 6 months ago

The Reesing Era will never be forgotten. Like him or not Mangino was keen on finding talent and harnessing the best out of his players. Todd, Kerry, Dez and the entire team during this period ought not to be forgotten. They, along with the coaching staff, made KU football relevant again. To all I say: Thanks for coming to KU and sacrificing for the fans and our University. Best of luck to all.


BTW, nice article.

escaped_labrat 10 years, 6 months ago

I was hoping he'd be conducting one of those autograph sessions like other players have done, ala Aqib Talib and Mario Chalmers etc... I'd like to get him to sign my jacket.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 6 months ago

I headed off to KU from Omaha in 1986. As long as I can remember, I can't recall a QB more exciting or more productive than Todd Reesing, and that includes all the Nebraska QBs I watched growing up. Granted, there were many different styles included in that list, but this guy was simply AWESOME!!! He will be missed!

Mike Kendall 10 years, 6 months ago

I am from the David Jaynes and Frank Seurer era. The Todd Reesing era will never be forgotten. This might be a dumb question, but I wonder how Todd could have done under the direction of Turner Gill? KU's run to the Orange Bowl was possible because of Reesing. I hope there are more seasons like the 2008 campaign!

r1ckjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

escaped_labrat...It looks like QBTR will be at BWW tonight. You might be able to get an autograph there.

Thank you Todd Reesing, you are the embodiment of STUDENT-athlete. You took full advantage of your scholarship and also gave us quite a show and many memories. Good luck in whatever it is that you decide to do with your life.


shelleysue 10 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations Todd. Thank you for everything you did for KU football - most especially how much fun you've made it these past years. Everything you've done both on the football field and in the classroom should be an inspiration to every player who comes to KU. Best of luck to you. Rock Chalk!

kranny 10 years, 6 months ago

One of the most exciting QBs in Big 12 history. Take a look at the scramble/pass plays against OSU and Sam Houston, and of course against Mizzou last year on YouTube. Too bad he was hurt this year. I definitely feel that affected his play. He simply didn't have the same mustard on his passes after the CU game.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 6 months ago

"I believe in 10 years, perhaps even as long as two decades from now, Reesing will remain entrenched as the greatest quarterback KU has ever produced."

I think I would word it more as Todd Reesing will go down as the greatest quarterback ever to play at KU. I don't think that KU produced Todd Reesing, but Todd definitely produced for KU. He will definitely be remembered with the greats, no matter where his career takes him. Someday he'll probably be a billionaire businessman and a KU donor; he might even have the next football stadium named after him.

bpjhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

I too have been a patient of Dr. McCoy's (one of the toughest appointments to get in town). One of the interesting things he told me, after he found out I was an engineer, was he was a semester short of graduating with an engineering degree when he started over with pre-med.

yed 10 years, 6 months ago

We need KU to produce a dvd of Todd Reesing highlights...I'm not sure how long youtube will hold them! Until then, I've always got my favorite memories...bouncing off a kill shot from a Nebraska defender to throw a long TD, the nasty quick slant threaded through 3 defenders against Okie State which Henry took to the house, and of course the 4th and 7 from the 27...

He produced enough memories in 4 years to last us 40.

Thanks, Todd, for all of the memories, and good luck in the future. I have no doubt that you will be a great success in whatever you do. You will never be forgotten around Lawrence as the greatest competitor we've ever seen on the gridiron.

hawk82 10 years, 6 months ago

Kudos to Chuck for his terrific timing. Todd must not, will not, cannot be forgotten. One of the all-time greats in Kansas football history. Orange Bowl win was something, but I put his pass to Meier to beat Mizzou as my favorite Kansas football memory of all time.

I know you want the chance to beat the market, Todd, but you can do that and play/coach football too. I think you'll be a killer at whatever you choose. Don't give up on the gridiron just yet!

justanotherfan 10 years, 6 months ago

Much respect and congratulations to Todd. He deserves the accolades.

MitchumMan 10 years, 6 months ago

Hats off to you Todd. You and the rest of this senior class were amazing to watch. You will no doubt be remembered for a very long time!

Sally Presson 10 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Chuck for the wonderful article. Todd is indeed the best as is Meier. Our team had a rough last half of the season, but lets not forget all the great games and seasons. I just wish we could show them how much we love them and appreciate all they've done.

Matt Tait 10 years, 6 months ago

escaped_labrat ---

Reesing (along with Sharp, Meier and Stuckey) will be signing autographs from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Good luck!

shelleysue 10 years, 6 months ago

hawk82. Totally agreed!! My favorite memory too - and my grandsons. In fact I went to see my grandson last night and we were looking at the photo of Kerry scoring that touchdown and talking about how it was the best play of all time. He is 10 and he will readily admit that he cried after that play! :o)

Todd: In response to an earlier comment you made, please know that you, Kerry, Jake, and the rest of the 2009 seniors will always be remembered for the many great things you did and not for the last half of this season. To be honest, the only things I remember are the good things. I also appreciate that you were great young men off the field as well. I can't stress enough how much fun it has been to watch you all - great, great times.

Kerry: I respect so much the way you embraced your new role with the team - you were always amazing. You make me proud to be a Jayhawk and I couldn't be happier that my grandson looks up to you.

Thank you all!!

jkanev 10 years, 6 months ago

Much love for Todd Reesing. However, I am not ready to ordain him the "greatest quarterback KU has ever produced" based on statistics. I don't have time to go into great detail about my reasoning. However, long explanation made short, the offensive systems were VERY different when Hadl was quarterbacking the Jayhawks. I take nothing away from the success of Todd Reesing, his leadership abilities, his intelligence, or his talent. I will always remember his time here as nothing short of spectacular, and I think that he is ONE OF the greatest quarterbacks that KU has ever produced. Congratulations, Todd. Rock Chalk.

55jayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Chuck, I too thank you for the comments on Todd, I could not have said it better. I want to expand the honors to all the Seniors who are leaving this year for a geat 3-4 years!

dtownhawkfan 10 years, 6 months ago

I guess I didn't realize Bill Whittemore is a KU legend

kureader 10 years, 6 months ago

I threw up all over one of your recent articles. This one makes up for it. Besides the fact that it was positive, it contained information that most of us didn't know. Very interesting. As for Reesing, his success is probably just beginning. Thanks, Chuck.

kureader 10 years, 6 months ago

Hey jhokfan, yesterday you rode my butt because you thought I was one of the people who always criticize LJW sportswriters. Not so, huh? Maybe we can agree to disagree that sportswriters aren't exempt from scrutiny any more than the coaches, teams and fans they write about. How 'bout a truce?

jhokfan 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure riding your butt is an apt description. I'd say more like a civilized disagreement. I never hold grudges against fellow Jayhawks so a truce sounds fine by me. RCJH

milehighhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Fantastic article, of the best I've seen on here in awhile.

Steve Brown 10 years, 6 months ago

"from the David Jaynes and Frank Seurer era." mikendal says. ditto and so I'll say among Hadl and these two - Todd was among our best, and great memories, yes we need a highlight Utube of Todd's best plays with the Arrowhead pass to complete the finale' ... ADept. let us know when it is up and running.

what ifs are silly yet if Gill had arrived last year, this senior bunch could have reaped the rewards of their talent and still be practicing for a bowl. Thanks seniors for helping us turn a corner in the program.

funny now, the FB v. BB 'debate' exposed MadMark heavy hand and his true nature came out and we never won again since his General Custer/Bob Knight 'trust me' it's over mandate to the team. so in some ways we have a girl and TTaylor to thank for getting us Gill....for those who don't believe this ramblings, no sweat.... it was meant to be.

back to what is important: T Reesing the little engine that could. . . . . THanks seniors!!

troutsee 10 years, 6 months ago

Todd, you are a hell of a competitor. You gave it your all...all the time. Congratulations on this honor. You have good company.

scholz 10 years, 6 months ago

What you don't hear is how Reesing would party all the time in the bars even though they had workouts the next day. Thanks to his pal Meier for getting him to those practices on time. Not to mention the couple times he probably left the bars and went straight over to the KU facility to sleep so that he would already be there for those ass morning workouts. He should have continued to party like he did the first 3 years. Maybe he would have done better his senior year. The ONLY year he finally took seriously.

John Boyle 10 years, 6 months ago

Ressing was the beneficiary of a great offense and terrific receivers like Henry, Fields, Briscoe, Meier, Wilson, MacDougal, Fine and so on. He was an exciting and gutsy performer but he also did not have a strong arm and took unneccesary chances (i.e. against South Florida last year in the last minute of the game throwing a ball up for grabs which resulted in them being in FG range to beat us instead of us going into OT with a chance to win.) No one is perfect and obviously he wasn't. He was a great competitor but to just look at numbers to compare QBs from different era's doesn't make a sound argument. I have really enjoyed the Ressing years and wish him the best in whatever he decides to pursue. I think Nolan Cromwell could be added to the list of great QBs at KU. He was more of a runner than a passer but he was exciting as was Bobby Douglas.

roc_chalk_a_fella 10 years, 6 months ago

we're gonna miss you Todd!

any time you come back to Memorial for a game, you know there's gonna be people wanting to shake your hand and give you a beer!

KUSkip 10 years, 6 months ago

Didn't some of Ralph Miller's records set in the 1930s last until Todd Reesing came along? That illustrates that Miller should be mentioned in a list of all-time great KU quarterbacks. Beyond that, it is amazing that Reesing basically rewrote the Kansas record book for career passing in just one season, 2007. Best of luck to Reesing, who made me proud he played for the Jayhawks.

Mike Kendall 10 years, 6 months ago

lighthawk--thanks for agreeing with me--that was a good one: "we have a girl and TT to thank for us getting Gil."

JayhawkJohn-- Man, how could I forget Nolan Cromwell--he was very good, too.

If Reesing, Sharp, Stucky and Meier are signing autographs tonight @ BWW, that would be simply too cool! Again, congrats to all of the Seniors and the ones that are moving on to the next level. RCJH.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

dtownhawkfan, I don't get the rip on Whittemore. The guy was flat-out amazing. In fact, if he hadn't gotten hurt he would have had similar statistics for his two years at KU as Reesing for his best two years. At the time Whittemore was my all-time favorite KU player, and in a lot of ways he was as exciting to watch as Ressing. More than anything, he was a tremendous competitor.

I agree with hawk82 and ShelleySue: as special as that OB season and game were, that Mizzou game last year was a true classic and my favorite KU football game of all time. I'll never forget the feeling of seeing Meier catch that pass.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 6 months ago

When hearing about Todd Reesing, I think about that bomb he threw to Briscoe during the 2008 season when we played La Tech. Now that was a shot ! That was also the game when Stucky ran down the speedy La Tech RB at the 3 yard line...and we held them to a missed field goal.

I also think about his TD pass to Meier in the final moments of our Mizzou win at Arrowhead. That was one of the best KU football moments ever.

Ron_Kellogg 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks, Todd. We will forever remember you as "Our Chase Daniel."

djgratt59 10 years, 6 months ago

Reesing is a legend. I hope to shake his hand one day.

gchawk 10 years, 6 months ago

Congrats Todd, I wish for you the very best. You are one of the gutsiest players I've ever seen. Wish this season would have turned out better, but that doesn't diminish the respect I have for you. Being a fellow economics major I'm also impressed with your academic success. Good article Chuck.

DSommersby 10 years, 6 months ago

Congrats and Thank You to the Texas Gunslinger!

Number 5 will always be a favorite of mine! TR was a magician on the field and made things happen. Helped lead KU to new levels and brought excitement back that we all needed. You know he will do great things moving forward in his future endeavors!

Kirk 10 years, 6 months ago

Reesing was terrible this year. But he IS our most recent good-to-great quarterback, and media types ALWAYS put the latest star at the top (consider Jordan's ubiquitous spot over Chamberlain as all-time top hoops player).

It will be interesting to see how people a decade from now will remember the Mangino years. Will he be the guy that turned the program around so that Gill could "take us to the next level"? Or will his departure have been the closing of what had seemed a promising era?

We tend to oversimplify things looking back. I think we will remember that Reesing defined Mangino's success. When he took over as starting QB, that's when Kansas started winning games. When his game self-destructed (through injury or whatever), that's when Kansas fell apart.

Reesing will be remembered as THE pivotal KU player of his era, with a sad footnote.

actorman 10 years, 6 months ago

Well said, Kirk -- although I still would say Jordan was the best player, even over Chamberlain. Consider the huge difference in the level of competition.

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