Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dugan Arnett’s KU football notebook



2009 Big 12 Media Days

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2009 Big 12 Media Days

Briscoe update

On Tuesday, during the second day of the Big 12 Conference’s media days, Kansas University coach Mark Mangino issued a vote of confidence in Dezmon Briscoe, saying he expects the recently suspended player to be eligible for the start of the upcoming season.

At the same time, Mangino made it clear that if the standout receiver fails to meet expectations, the team has no qualms moving on without him.

“I anticipate that he will (be there when practice starts in August),” Mangino said. “He has work to do (academically), and he's not the only one. There's several players that have work to do. I tell him, ‘It’s pretty simple: You get your work done, you're with us in August. You don't get your work done, you’re not.’ And we don't cry about it, and we don't feel bad about it — we go to the next player.

“But I don't anticipate any issues.”

Briscoe, who set school records last season for receiving yards (1,407) and touchdowns (15), missed most of spring practice due to suspension, but has since been reinstated and is in the process of working his way back into Mangino’s good graces.

Briscoe emerged as one of the nation’s top receivers as a sophomore last season, thanks largely to his ability to gain yardage after the catch, and on Tuesday, teammates didn’t seem too concerned with the immediate future of the preseason all-Big 12 receiver.

“I’m pretty confident he’s going to be there and report Aug. 6,” said fellow receiver Kerry Meier. “He’s just like all the (rest) of us — he’s gone to take the summer classes and he’s come to the workouts to put the hard work in.”

Lueken’s status

The status of Ben Lueken, a sophomore offensive lineman who was recently hospitalized with undisclosed injuries, is currently up in the air, according to Mangino.

Lueken was injured in April during an early-morning incident outside Lawrence’s Jayhawker Towers, when he was either struck by or fell from the hood of a vehicle. Kansas running back Jocques Crawford, who has since left the program, was questioned immediately following the incident.

Mangino briefly alluded to the incident Tuesday, voicing his displeasure with off-the-field issues, but didn’t indicate what Lueken’s health concerns were or when he would make a final decision about Lueken’s return to the lineup.

“Anytime you have a situation where players are not conducting themselves the way they should, it’s disappointing,” Mangino said. “But Ben, his situation is such where he still needs attention (physically). His health, we’ve got to confer with our doctors and his family, and we’ll just see. We’ll do what’s best for Ben.”

As a true freshman last season, Lueken played in nine of the team’s 13 games, seeing significant action as a backup on the offensive line.

Meier’s positional fate

Mangino said Tuesday that he should know whether receiver Kerry Meier will be moving full-time to receiver shortly after the start of August training camp.

Meier, who set a school record for receptions last season in his first full year at receiver, has been splitting his practice time between quarterback and receiver, although Mangino has said he hopes the progress of backup quarterback Kale Pick and likely No. 3 quarterback Jordan Webb will allow Meier to be permanently phased out of his quarterback duties.

“I’m going to do that rather quickly,” Mangino said. “We're going to get into training camp and we're going to go about a week or 10 days and study that pretty carefully. If we feel good about Kale and Jordan, then we're going to go ahead and make (Meier) a full-time receiver.”


Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 5 months ago

good grief, what could possibly be wrong with Lueken? He had to have broken something.....tore a shoulder, broken leg, something. it's been over three months since the "incident"....and his health is still an issue?

that's too bad because Lueken looks like a promising guard. He and Williams in the middle of that line with Hatch at center....i think they would move some people. but we have other folks for sure. Just get well Ben.

Rivethead 11 years, 5 months ago

My understanding is that he cracked open his skull and had a severe concussion. You don't recover from that like you would a broken arm or leg.

jchief40 11 years, 5 months ago

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mdfraz 11 years, 5 months ago

As rivet points out, mv, Leuken was in bad shape, and at one point it was touch and go as to whether he would even survive, if some rumors were true. I think playing football would be the least of someone's worries in that situation. I don't know every detail, but all indications in the news after the incident were that this was an extremely serious injury. It would be great to see him on the field again, but his priority, and ours as fans, should be to see him get well enough to get back to a normal life. If that includes football, that's great, but he's got more to consider than just that.

Jeremy LeMaster 11 years, 5 months ago

Why would you not redshirt Jordan Webb and use Kerry Meier as your emergency QB? Take the Redshirt off of Webb if you absolutely have to but would hate to lose a year of eligibility on a third string.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree Ta,

Redshirt Webb if at all possible. It is the best way to keep continuity at the position. If he redshirts this year, then he can challenge Pick for the starting job next year. If he loses it and Pick holds on throughout his career, then Webb will have the chance to win the starting job one more time as a senior.

I know that Reesing didn't get a redshirt year after he came in late in the season against Colorado, and he almost saved our season in 2006. I wonder if he would have started after that Colorado game if we'd be going for our 4th consecutive bowl game this year. I also wonder if he had redshirted that year if he'd still have had the same swagger in 2007 that led us to the Orange Bowl.

Jfanallways 11 years, 5 months ago

could it be possible meier has a drop off in his production? if he switches to full time reciever because he is no longer involved with the quarterback position so he doesnt get the benefit of knowing exactly what the quarterbacks are thinking

Dirk Medema 11 years, 5 months ago

TA & Plastic - Being a 3rd string quarterback, or even 2nd string does not effect your eligibility. Those are just positions on the depth chart.

What does effect your eligibility is whether you play or not. That was exactly the case with Todd his freshman year. Before the CU game, he was still eligible for a redshirt even though he was on the depth chart. It was only when he played that he lost his ability to redshirt. I'm looking forward to Kale getting lots of second half reps this year.

Jfanallways - Do you really think Mangino would mess with any change if it wasn't going to possibly improve anyone's production, much less that of one of his best receivers? ven without his track record for changes, you gotta give his some cred just as a D1 coach.

Joe Ross 11 years, 5 months ago

Im not being fecetious or mean-spirited here, and Im certainly not poking fun. Quite seriously, the best thing for KU football is Mangino's being here for a while. Gastric bypass surgery is the best thing for KU football. Its the best thing for Coach Mangino personally. I want to see him stick around for HIS sake. I respect the man.

ShazzyD 11 years, 5 months ago

Great point dagger.

So Webb can be the #3 quarterback all year long and still redshirt as long as we never need him. Hopefully we won't.

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