Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Irving, Texas 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.”
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.”