There’s a pretty good football team lurking in Kansas University’s basketball locker room.
“We’ve got (Conner) Teahan at quarterback. I can be a tight end. I don’t know if Sherron (Collins) can play running back as well as Adrian Peterson can, though,” KU junior hoops center Cole Aldrich said with a laugh.
Collins, KU’s 5-foot-11 senior point guard, was a standout running back, wide receiver and defensive back at Chicago Crane High. He broke the Chicago Public League record with 250 receiving yards against Carver his sophomore season.
“I miss it. Yeah, I miss it a lot,” Collins, a quarterback in middle school, said of life on the gridiron.
Teahan was a standout varsity quarterback at Rockhurst High in Kansas City, Mo.
“There was a moment, a month right after my senior football season ended, that if Kansas football offered me a scholarship, I would have gone there (for football),” said the 6-foot-5 Teahan, who elected to walk on to KU’s basketball team rather than pursue football and basketball scholarship opportunities.
In basketball, he heard from Wichita State, Illinois State, Missouri State, as well as Tennessee, Mississippi, Washington State, Kansas State and Pepperdine. In football, he received some interest from Kansas State, Missouri, Wisconsin, Washington and Stanford, among others.
“Obviously that never happened. I’d say if I ever got a scholarship here, I’d probably be playing football here. I just love Kansas as a school. I love Kansas basketball more than anything, by far. Growing up here, I just love to represent Kansas,” Teahan added.
Aldrich did not play football at Jefferson High in Bloomington, Minn. Nonetheless, he’s a huge Minnesota Vikings fan and KU grid fan.
He and his teammates will be in the stands for today’s sold-out 6 p.m. football opener between KU and Northern Colorado.
“We always look forward to the football games,” Aldrich said. “It’s one of the things you are back at school and waiting for something to look forward to. Basketball season is a little bit off. Once football starts, it’s, ‘Hey, basketball is right around the corner.’ It’s always fun because they (Jayhawks) are going to do real well again this year.”
Freshman big man Thomas Robinson, who would be an imposing lineman or tight end at 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, is ready for his first KU football game.
“Our team will be real good this year. I’m going to show my support because I know they’ll do the same for us,” Robinson said.
Did you know?
Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self played quarterback in grade school through his freshman year of high school in the football-crazed state of Oklahoma.
“Football is great. Nothing does more for the enthusiasm or energy on campus than football. The home games are so exciting,” said Self, who enjoys tailgating with KU’s players and coaches, then sitting in his own suite during the games. “All our players go to the games all the time.”
Aldrich hits weights
KU’s Cole Aldrich recently hang-cleaned 305 pounds in the weightroom and now is second on the team in that particular exercise.
“Tyrel (Reed) did 308 this summer, so I’m closing in on him,” Aldrich said of his roommate and team leader.
Anything over 300 pounds is considered outstanding for a college big man.
“I’m not shocked,” said Aldrich, who hang-cleaned 286 last year. “I’ve worked hard to try to get stronger this summer. It’s really paid off.”
More on Cole, NBA
In a Sporting News Q and A, Aldrich was asked: “If you could only have one, what would it be: Winning a second national championship or becoming the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
His answer: “Let’s see. I’ve got my national championship right now. I’m a little greedy — I’d love both of ’em — but if I had to choose one, I’d say get another national championship and just have the opportunity to play at the professional level.”
The Aldrich Q and A is available at this link.