Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reesing’s goal to play professional football



Kansas University junior running back Daniel Porter keeps an eye on the power saw as he and Lawrence volunteer Steve Hillmer cut a board for the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home on the west corner of 15th and Elmwood Saturday, July 11, 2009. The home will be given to the Mendoza family of Lawrence. Porter and several of his teammates went to work with local volunteers to help speed up the process of construction.

Kansas University football fans hoping to see Todd Reesing on a football field following a distinguished collegiate career could very well get their wish.

If the quarterback has his way, that is.

During a community service outing Friday morning at Langston Hughes Elementary in Lawrence, Reesing said his goal is — and has always been — to play football professionally.

“It’s definitely something that’s in the back of my mind,” said Reesing, set to begin his senior season at KU. “It’s not something that I’m going to stress about or worry about until the season’s completely done. But it’s something that I strive to do and something I really want to do.”

For the past two seasons, Reesing has been among the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks, leading the Jayhawks to a first-ever BCS bowl victory as a sophomore in 2007 and finishing his junior campaign ranked in the top 10 nationally in passing yards (3,888), passing yards per game (299.08), total offense (4,112) and completions per game (25.3). In the process, he has broken nearly every significant passing record at KU and gone an impressive 20-6 in his two years as the team’s starter.

At the same time, Reesing understands the reality of his situation. Due to a lack of prototypical size — he’s listed at 5-foot-11 in the team’s media guide — he knows he’ll be fighting an uphill battle in his quest to advance to the next level.

The NFL has long been unkind to undersized signal-callers, the most recent example being former Missouri quarterback and Heisman finalist Chase Daniel, who, at only 6-feet tall, was passed over in last spring’s NFL Draft before signing a free agent deal with the Washington Redskins.

Despite the obvious roadblocks, however, Reesing said his desire to play pro football — in some capacity — has never wavered.

“I know people, at times, thought that I didn’t want to play (professionally),” he said. “But it was more of a realistic thing, where I’d have to weigh my options knowing that people might overlook my height. But I definitely want to play, and I know there are options out there besides the NFL. Obviously, the CFL is a thriving league with a lot of fan support.”

“All I can do is play the best I can in the games we have this season,” he added. “And when the time comes, put my best foot forward and see what happens.”

Until then, he said, his focus is on the Jayhawks’ 2009 season and a first-ever berth in the Big 12 Championship.

“It’s a bridge we’ll cross when the time comes,” Reesing said of his future in the sport. “But for now, it’s all about KU and the season ahead.”

l Players relish break from summer workouts: Under normal circumstances, engaging in three hours of manual labor under an unforgiving summer sun would not qualify as an easy-going morning.

But when the alternative is a summer conditioning regimen that has been known to be particularly grueling, Kansas players were happy to spend Saturday morning helping construct a home near the intersection of East 15th and Elmwood Streets as part of the Habitat for Humanity program.

“It’s good to get away from football for the weekend, and do other stuff outside of (the sport),” said sophomore defensive tackle Darius Parish, one of a dozen or so players who took part in the event. “It’s still football-oriented, but it’s fun.”

“It’s something different, because we talk about things (other than) football,” added Dexter Linton, a true freshman safety from Arlington, Texas. “So it’s real good.

“Football’s tiring.”


dmitch86 10 years, 9 months ago

Listed as 5'11"? Maybe if he's wearing platform shoes. But the fact that he has put up the numbers he has with his size should be a true testament to his ability. He's incredibly elusive. I hope he gets drafted to rub it in Chase Daniel's Quarmire-esque chin for not going pro after his Junior year.

63Jayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

dmitch86, I'm glad Chase Daniel returned for his Senior year. Otherwise, he would have won the last game he played against the Jayhawks. As a Senior, he could not beat the team that he and his teammates most hated. He lost the BIG one!

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 9 months ago

CFL Toronto Argonauts! The CFL's wider field would suit Reesing's mobility. Equally important, Toronto is the financial capital of Canada and during the offseason, I can see Reesing hooking up with a major Canadian financial institution there and further honing his skills in finance and business!

Kman_blue 10 years, 9 months ago

The CFL worked for Willie Pless, I guess it can work for Todd Reesing too. Then again, I'd bet Todd would rather follow Doug Flutie's route through the CFL to the NFL if he had to. Although, you'd think some NFL GM out there would of learned their lesson with the whole Flutie thing to realize sometimes there's more to it than just how big the player is. Who am I kidding, we're talking about NFL GM's(Carl Peterson anyone?) who NEVER seem to learn!

Jeff Worthington 10 years, 9 months ago

If Todd needs any extra motivation of so-called "experts" doubting his NFL or Pro potential, he should pick up a copy of Phil Steele's magazine. He is ranked the #32 in the nation among Quarterbacks. Here is a list of some guys that are ranked ahead of him... and I'm a somewhat knowledgable football fan, but a few I've never heard of, and the others haven't accomplished nearly what Todd has.

  1. Tim Hiller (W Michigan) 15. Case Keenum (Houston) 20. Adam Weber (Minnesota)21. Trevor Vittatoe(UTEP) 25. Willy Korn(Clemson) 27. Pat Devlin (Delaware) 29. Zach Frazer (UConn) 31. Thaddeus Lewis (Duke) and one spot behind Reesing is John Brantley (Tebow's backup at Florida)

Seriously Phil Steele, I know I'm a KU homer, but looking at this objectively there is now way any of these guys are better than Reesing. Not a chance. If Todd decideds to play pro football, he's gonna make it.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 9 months ago

Reesing will go head to head with Vittatoe and Lewis and prove Steele wrong again!

Jonathan Briles 10 years, 9 months ago

Phil Steele is a fool and I have no respect for him at all. cshjhawk that is exactly what I was thinking. Reesing is going to destroy Vittatoe and Lewis and by the end of the season Steele is going to be looking pretty stupid. I cannot wait for this season. I have season tickets and wont miss a single home game. Rock Chalk.

Martin Shupert 10 years, 9 months ago

Reesing has always reminded me of Theisman (sp?) from Notre Dame. Joe played in Canada for a long while and was very successful, then wound up with a great career before the all too famous leg break. Let's hope Reesing finds somewhere he can play immediately so he can continue to hone his skills. I believe he can play in the NFL, but it may take some perseverence.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 9 months ago

Theisman played for Toronto before playing for Washington!

hailtoku 10 years, 9 months ago

How many QB's under 6' feet have tried the NFL... and how many times does everyone say, "Thiesman did it, Flutie did it"...

Its not happening. Not tall enough. No mechanics. No speed.

Love him as a Jayhawk and his passion as a college football player. Not NFL material.

jayhawkinATL 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah...Steele is a fool! Some of the other pre-season mags have Reesing in the top 6.

JJHawq 10 years, 9 months ago

cshjhawk (anonymous) says...

"and be an astronaut in between... ...except the nights he's fighting fires".

Lance Hobson 10 years, 9 months ago

Ive stood right next to him, he's definetely 5'11. If anything he's a little taller than that.

Jeff Worthington 10 years, 9 months ago

The thing I don't get is that Steele doesn't necessarily just rank the QB's according to their "Pro Style" ranking. Last year Chase Daniel was ranked in his top 5, and he is definitely not a NFL QB. Reesing's stats and makeup are very comparable to Daniel's and yet Reesing is ranked in the 30's for the 2nd year in a row. I would say Steele hates KU, but he has Briscoe and Meier in his top 10 for WR's. And Stuckey is in the top 5 at Safety. So he's not totally ignorant. BUT, KU is not ranked in the top 40 of his poll, and we're picked 4th in the North behind Nebraska, Colorado, and K-State (No that's not a typo). Last year I hated where he had us in the ranks, but he ended up being pretty I hope he is way off this year!

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 9 months ago

JJHawq (anonymous) says... cshjhawk (anonymous) says...

"and be an astronaut in between... ...except the nights he's fighting fires".


Brian Skelly 10 years, 9 months ago

I could see Reesing hooking up on a practice squad or CFL team. I cant see him cutting an NFL paycheck for any length of time though.

As much as I love the guy, any throw over 20+ yards looks like punt half the time. He just doesnt posses the arm strength he'll need to play.

I credit Reesing for what he's done, and how can you not? He'll leave the school as the most decorated QB ever to play here. Which is awesome. It's so nice to have pride in the Football team now. We'll miss him when he leaves for sure.

You have to credit the coaching staff as well. The playbook we run now is perfect for a guy who can move a little bit and hit his spots. But the reality is, he rarely checks off the first guy unless its by design. Most college QBs are guilty of that, and I believe he CAN do that... but he cant throw the OUT off the 3rd or 4th check down because he cant throw it hard enough.

We should be thrilled for what he brings us as a team and fans. But the idea he's going to be playing on Sundays seems a little far fetched to me.

Kman_blue 10 years, 9 months ago

I'm just glad Todd didn't listen to all the people pointing out his obvious problems with trying to be a legit Div. 1 football player and I doubt he'll let anyone tell him he can't play pro ball either. The guy has every touch and finesse pass in the book, better than most NFL QB's do(i.e. game speed accuracy),he makes good decisions on the fly at game speed better than most NFL QB's can, and he's got more than enough arm strength to thread the needle or throw it 60 yards on a scramble(see Sam Houston State game). Lastly, he's got "IT" and you can't coach "IT" and you can't measure "IT" until game time.

Chad Dexter 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't about you guys, but I don't think this pass looks like a punt.

Eric Schneider 10 years, 9 months ago

While I love Reesing and his heart and competitiveness, don't compare him to Flutie. Flutie had a gun while Todd only has an average arm. There is no way Reesing makes that Hail Mary throw against Miami. He'll will get a look with an NFL team, but I don't see him sticking.

And Kman_blue, college and NFL game speed aren't even in the same universe so that's not a good comparison either.

waywardJay 10 years, 9 months ago

Does anyone doubt him at this point ??? If they do, they shoudl be SHOT.....

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

You may be right about the stats, jayhawkfan, but you ignored the other part of Kman's commentary. There can't be anyone who's ever seen Reesing play who can doubt the size of his heart -- and that can go a long way towards making up for physical limitations. While I'm not sure if he can make the NFL, I think if they give him enough playing time in preseason games, he could really surprise some people, as he would probably show more in a game situation than in practice.

But seriously, the #32 QB in the country?!?!?!?!? And KU FOURTH in the north, behind KSUck?!?!?!?!?!? Clearly, Steele believes that marijuana has been legalized, but it would still be better if he did his toking AFTER he made his predictions. I think both of those predictions definitely qualify, to quote Keith Olbermann, as "WTF Moments."

jhox 10 years, 9 months ago

Anyone who says Reesing hasn't got a gun, hasn't seen him play much, or is listening to the talking heads on TV who also haven't been watching him. I saw a talking head comment on him not having a strong arm last year and that just confirmed my suspicion that the guy hadn't been watching any KU clips.

I've seen him connect on 30 yard lasers that I wouldn't have thought had a snowballs chance of getting past a close defender, to a 60 yard pass while back peddling. He didn't connect on that one but I remember thinking "Did I just see what I thought I saw?", so I actually counted the yardage to confirm, and it went over 60 yards in the air. People see the small stature and they have the incorrect perception that he must not have a gun. That's the mistake defenders make too.

Who out there honestly believes Sam Bradford or Colt Griffin could put up the kind of yardage Reesing put up with the weak Kansas running game and young offensive line he had last year? Griffin might come close because of his mobility, but definitely not Bradford (and that's not to diss Bradford, I think he's great. I'm just saying deal him a weak O-Line and running game and he'd struggle.) Conversely, can you imagine the yardage he would have in the Texas or OU offenses? He is the closest thing I've seen to Doug Flutie in college since Doug Flutie. He's got great intellect to boot. If an NFL GM gave the kid a chance, I don't believe they would be disappointed. I can't remember ever seeing anyone as accurate throwing on the run as Reesing. He's phenomenal at that. And toughness...that goes without saying. When was the last time a KU QB stayed relatively healthy for 2 full seasons?

I'm glad he's openly stating he wants to play pro football. Maybe the pro scouts will actually take the time to watch him now.

KURiggins 10 years, 9 months ago

Thank God jhox. I am glad someone finally said it. I wondered what game some of these folks were watching, cause its not Football. They should stick to Soccer or maybe the Olympics but not Football. First, "no speed" Reesing only uses the run when he has too. He is smart, keeps his eyes downfield. No mechanics..sorry wrong again, or else who cares!!! When his career completion percentage is over 60%. No arm strength. How strong do you think Joe Montana's arm was. I mean really, make an argument, four rings later. In fact Marino's main weapon was not even his arm strength, it was good reads and a very quick release from elbow to wrist. The only one of that class noted for a strong arm was Elway..who by the way could not get it done in the Super Bowl until he had Terrell Davis. Saying that Div I speed is no comparison to the NFL is dumb argument too. All, and I mean all QB's and every other position player has to make that adjustment. If arm strength, speed and all the tangibles is all it takes, why is that Vince Young spent last year behind Kerry "Icy Hot" Collins. Just think, these same arguments have been made before, and I'll give you a more recent example...Drew Brees. And somebody please stop all the idiots who say these "Spread Offense" QB's won't work in the NFL. Really, how many plays does New Orleans run out of the shotgun..and they have the perfect RB for it in Reggie Bush. How about Indy? Its just dumb. Most teams in fact have switched, or are switching to a spread offense. Reesing cannot help it if his coach, namely Mangino was ahead of the curve. In fact Reesing would be a perfect fit for New Orleans, same body build, arm strength and skills set as Brees. Its a weak argument argument to say Reesing would not work in the NFL, its really, really reaching. Cause if he were 6'3 with the same arm strength, mobility and stats everyone would be in love with him. He deserves the Heisman too. If he is suppose to suck at any level(see his HS stats too, every level he has raised his the "Reesing can't play at the next level argument is a reach at best". I am not even going to comment on the dude who said Reesing cannot check down..that dude is thinking of Josh Freeman. The only reason Reesing want make it on Sunday's is lack of opportunity. Lake Travis HS gave it to him, KU gave it to him ..if an NFL team does..they will never regret it. He is the Human Highlight Film. Oh Yeah, and here is another one for ya, Detroit is STILL GOING TO SUCK with that supposed perfect QB Matthew S. and he has all the tangibles. I hope Reesing gets his chance and laughs all the way to the bank. What about Ryan Leaf, Vince Young, Kyle Boller...on and on ..and on. You want to talk big time(6'0 and over busts we can). Reesing career numbers at KU Totals Passing Rushing Year Comp Att Yards Pct. TDs Int Rating Att Yds Avg TD Totals 618 964 7,578 62.2 68 23 147.81 231 527 4.0 9 Stuff that in your calculator .

KGphoto 10 years, 9 months ago

Every winning QB in the NFL has their own style. Reesing wouldn't be like any other player, ever. He would be Todd Reesing. His own combination of traits and skills that form into wins. I think that's why we love him so much. There's nobody else like Todd. And he's ours.

The comments here suggesting that Todd will never make it are only based on their best guess that the NFL will never give him the chance he deserves. They may be right, but to try and back it up with "weak arm" or "no speed" is just a cop out. Todd is only here because he's smart enough to "burn after reading" that crap.

Tom Brady had a below average arm, I thought, until he launched a 70 yard rocket to Moss in the superbowl in a last ditch effort. Who knew? Brady knew. And he didn't have to show it off to anybody, he only had to use it when he needed it.

Montana's most famous pass ever was a flip of about 15 yards. He wasn't athletic at all. So he slid around. He had a weak arm, but they ran the west coast offense and took advantage of short passes.

Peyton Manning's best asset is his mind. He knows everybody's position better then they know it themselves. He's one step ahead before every snap. He couldn't run out of a wet paper sack, but he doesn't have to.

Dan Marino and John Elway just couldn't stand to lose. Brett Favre just loved winning, and celebrating with teammates.

Reesing's got everything those guys have but he's a little shorter so it looks different when he executes his winning drives. The NFL should be embarrassed if it doesn't give him at least a fighting chance.

KGphoto 10 years, 9 months ago

By the way. VS channel is running an ad during it's Tour de France coverage. It's a self promotional piece about underdogs. It's so good I want to cry every time I watch it. And it features at least two KU games amidst the montage. Both I believe are of Jake Sharp during a run. They should've added a shot of Todd.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.