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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reesing’s top 10: A subjective look at some of the Kansas QB’s best plays

No. 1 on the list: Reesing’s 26-yard pass to Kerry Meier that beat Missouri last Nov. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.

No. 1 on the list: Reesing’s 26-yard pass to Kerry Meier that beat Missouri last Nov. 29 in Kansas City, Mo.

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YouTube

Christmas comes early (2008)

With snow falling and both fan bases from the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi nervous beyond belief, Reesing and Meier traveled together all the way back to the playground and fixed a broken play with a 26-yard touchdown pass that will be replayed every time the teams meet.

YouTube

The Reesing Shuffle (2007)

Three steps back, seven steps to the left, 11 steps back to the right, five steps forward, seven steps back to the left and one more step forward and then a long pass completion to Dexton Fields in Stillwater. With the ball in mid-air, veteran play-by-play man Brent Musburger said it best: “Shades of Doug Flutie.”

YouTube

The Crow Hop (2008)

Never mind that Sam Houston State was the opponent and KU could have won the game without any heroics from the quarterback, this play belongs right near the front of Reesing’s highlight reel. Third and 25, Reesing goes left, then right, then back, then right, then forward, avoiding sack after sack. Then he has the presence of mind to know he won’t be able to get the ball there with a conventional plant and throw. So he does a little crow hop, a la an outfielder gunning a throw to the plate. The ball travels 60 yards in the air and he hits Dezmon Briscoe in stride for a touchdown.

YouTube

Run, Todd, Run (2006)

When the game started, Reesing was a red shirt. As the half neared the end and the Memorial Stadium scoreboard showed Colorado ahead, 9-0, Reesing began tossing a football. He ripped off the red shirt at the half and rallied his school to victory. His 63-yard run made him the toast of the town. He scrambled left, scrambled right, ran through a hole, cut back to the middle of the field, cut back to the right and was brought down at the three-yard line. Trace KU’s transformation into a football school to that play, even though Reesing fumbled soon thereafter.

YouTube

Knocked Out, Still Standing (2008)

Reesing rolled right and Nebraska’s Eric Haag rammed into him with all the force of a George Foreman knockout punch. Without the aid of smelling salts, Reesing somehow came to and tossed a pass to a wide-open Meier, who took it in for a touchdown.

YouTube

First-Play KO (2008)

Just in case anyone from Minnesota might have been wondering why all the hype, Reesing showed why when he took his first snap of the Insight Bowl, dropped back, slipped a tackle, sprinted left and lofted a pass down the left sideline. Briscoe caught it and took it in for a 60-yard touchdown.

YouTube

The Slant (2007)

“One that people forget about in Manhattan, two years ago on fourth and 1,” Warinner said. “He threw a slant to Dexton Fields for a (30-yard) touchdown. I don’t know if everyone remembers that, but I do. That was a turning point in the game. We were on a drive to try to come back. We were behind at that time. They had just gone ahead. He hammered a slant in there to Dexton and we scored a touchdown and won that game.”

YouTube

Defense Blitzes, Sparky Yawns (2007)

(clip starts at 1:12) Another Warinner memory, this one from Boulder: “Sprint-out, they were blitzing, he set his feet, turned and threw back to Derek (Fine), hit him for a touchdown.

YouTube

Back of the End Zone (2007)

(clip starts at 1:35) Oklahoma State’s defense jammed the field so well that all the receivers were covered. Plus, Reesing was being chased down, so this play had failure written all over it. Reesing knew his only chance was to throw a high ball and hope that Marcus Henry zipping from left-to-right across the back of the end zone could haul it in. Reesing put it in the only place that could save the play, Henry caught it for one of his three touchdowns, this one covering four yards and finding a permanent place in Warinner’s memory.

YouTube

Outruns Ralphie Again (2007)

It’s a sack. Oh no, wait, one, two, three slipped tackles later, it’s a 53-yard run that sets up a field goal in a 19-14 victory in Boulder. Most Big 12 coaches see Reesing’s passes at the end of long scrambles in their nightmares. Dan Hawkins sees Reesing tuck it and run. (Clip starts at :55)

Ed Warinner’s response was the only appropriate one: laughter.

The question: When you think about memorable Todd Reesing plays, which are the first to come to mind?

It’s a question akin to asking Don Rickles to name his favorite put-down. So many from which to choose.

After a couple of seconds of thought, Warinner rattled off a few: the pass to Kerry Meier to win last season’s Missouri game and three touchdown passes in three different road games in Big 12 stadiums were the first four that came to the mind of the innovative Kansas University offensive coordinator.

Warinner didn’t rank them and wasn’t asked to come up with any beyond the four that jumped to mind immediately. All four of those made the cut here, and so did six others in listing the 10 most memorable Reesing plays heading into today’s 6 p.m. kickoff against Northern Colorado, Reesing’s final season-opener. The game has been declared a sellout.

Some of the plays are memorable based on the importance to various games, others for the sheer thrills from watching Reesing pull huge gains out of what should have been sacks.

The top 10:

1. Christmas Comes Early (2008): With snow falling and both fan bases from the oldest college football rivalry west of the Mississippi nervous beyond belief, Reesing and Meier traveled together all the way back to the playground and fixed a broken play with a 26-yard touchdown pass that will be replayed every time the teams meet.

2. The Reesing Shuffle (2007): Three steps back, seven steps to the left, 11 steps back to the right, five steps forward, seven steps back to the left and one more step forward and then a long pass completion to Dexton Fields in Stillwater. With the ball in mid-air, veteran play-by-play man Brent Musburger said it best: “Shades of Doug Flutie.”

3. The Crow Hop (2008): Never mind that Sam Houston State was the opponent and KU could have won the game without any heroics from the quarterback, this play belongs right near the front of Reesing’s highlight reel.

Third and 25, Reesing goes left, then right, then back, then right, then forward, avoiding sack after sack. Then he has the presence of mind to know he won’t be able to get the ball there with a conventional plant and throw. So he does a little crow hop, a la an outfielder gunning a throw to the plate. The ball travels 60 yards in the air and he hits Dezmon Briscoe in stride for a touchdown.

4. Run, Todd, Run (2006): When the game started, Reesing was a red shirt. As the half neared the end and the Memorial Stadium scoreboard showed Colorado ahead, 9-0, Reesing began tossing a football. He ripped off the red shirt at the half and rallied his school to victory. His 63-yard run made him the toast of the town. He scrambled left, scrambled right, ran through a hole, cut back to the middle of the field, cut back to the right and was brought down at the three-yard line. Trace KU’s transformation into a football school to that play, even though Reesing fumbled soon thereafter.

5. Knocked Out, Still Standing (2008): Reesing rolled right and Nebraska’s Eric Haag rammed into him with all the force of a George Foreman knockout punch. Without the aid of smelling salts, Reesing somehow came to and tossed a pass to a wide-open Meier, who took it in for a touchdown.

6. First-Play KO (2008): Just in case anyone from Minnesota might have been wondering why all the hype, Reesing showed why when he took his first snap of the Insight Bowl, dropped back, slipped a tackle, sprinted left and lofted a pass down the left sideline. Briscoe caught it and took it in for a 60-yard touchdown.

7. The Slant (2007): “One that people forget about in Manhattan, two years ago on fourth and 1,” Warinner said. “He threw a slant to Dexton Fields for a (30-yard) touchdown. I don’t know if everyone remembers that, but I do. That was a turning point in the game. We were on a drive to try to come back. We were behind at that time. They had just gone ahead. He hammered a slant in there to Dexton and we scored a touchdown and won that game.”

8. Defense Blitzes, Sparky Yawns (2007): Another Warinner memory, this one from Boulder: “Sprint-out, they were blitzing, he set his feet, turned and threw back to Derek (Fine), hit him for a touchdown.

9 Back of the End Zone (2007): Oklahoma State’s defense jammed the field so well that all the receivers were covered. Plus, Reesing was being chased down, so this play had failure written all over it. Reesing knew his only chance was to throw a high ball and hope that Marcus Henry zipping from left-to-right across the back of the end zone could haul it in. Reesing put it in the only place that could save the play, Henry caught it for one of his three touchdowns, this one covering four yards and finding a permanent place in Warinner’s memory.

10. Outruns Ralphie Again (2007): 6. It’s a sack. Oh no, wait, one, two, three slipped tackles later, it’s a 53-yard run that sets up a field goal in a 19-14 victory in Boulder. Most Big 12 coaches see Reesing’s passes at the end of long scrambles in their nightmares. Dan Hawkins sees Reesing tuck it and run.

Comments

escaped_labrat 10 years, 4 months ago

Reesing is a unique football phenom that has helped transform a downtrodden program into a contender. He'll forever be a part of KU lore. I hope he does dedicated autograph appearaces soon because I'd love to get his autograph on a leather KU jacket I've been collecting big names on for my 5 year old son for when he's grown. I already have Roy, Coach Mangino, Coach Self, Mortenson, Rivera, Holt, Chalmers, Talib and best of all Coach Fam personalizing it for him. I wish I could get Manning and Coach Brown....who knows, maybe someday. I tried to get Gale Sayers, but he said he wasn't able to at the signing I went to and never responded to my email. Oh well, we can only try. Someday, my son (I guarantee he'll be a HUGE KU fan, will appreciate the history and have something nice to pass down through the generations!)

chezlog 10 years, 4 months ago

  1. Knocked Out, Still Standing (2008): I was in Lincoln surrounded by a bunch of Husker fans when I got to see this one. It was beautiful to hear the guy next to me shout "What the Hell???" My memory of Reesing looking so invincible at that moment over shadows the memory of the loss. The loss did suck of course and I can't wait to see Todd and the gang humiliate Nebraska this year.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 4 months ago

These need YouTube links to really do the article justice.

KGphoto 10 years, 4 months ago

One of my favorites is at the 35 second mark of Micah's great video tribute to 2007. Marcus did his thing and turned a short gain into a long TD, but to say Reesing threaded the needle would be an injustice. It was more like magic. I've watched it a hundred times and I still don't know how it got through there.

This vid also contains most of these other moments and lots of other plays too.

I'm giddy at the possibilities of the upcoming season. Today is almost bittersweet though, cuz I just know that it'll be over in the blink of an eye. And my gut tells me that no matter how great Kansas may become or how many bowls they win, we'll never again exactly experience the kind of crazy enthusiasm and pride we've been riding. It's like being the tree on the day it breaks through the soil and first sees the sun. Much to look forward to, but you're only born once.

Mangino is the architect but Todd has been the vessel on which this program has flourished. Even coach never imagined such a swift transformation. The redshirt he yanked on that fateful day might as well have been a giant red curtain in a Las Vegas blockbuster.

Thanks Todd. You are the greatest show on FieldTurf.

Gavin Fritton 10 years, 4 months ago

God bless you, White Chocolate. This article was/is a great idea, but it would have been so much better if they'd embedded the clips in the article itself. But thanks for your work in g etting them out there.

whitechocolate 10 years, 4 months ago

7 is embedded in this video. Begins at the 3 min mark. It's fun to watch to whole thing anyway.

10 is embedded in Micah Brown's 2007 recap video that KGPhoto linked to. Begins 55 seconds in.

My two favorite Reesing moments not on the list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0EIJ3-tuFg&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il0iRQxm3bs&feature=channel_page

pmohr13 10 years, 4 months ago

I'm with KG. The one that came to mind was the one at OSU where he somehow split everyone and Marcus did the rest. But without the throw Marcus couldn't have done it.

Jeremy LeMaster 10 years, 4 months ago

Beautiful! Thanks for posting the links to the videos too. I am psyched!

cwag 10 years, 4 months ago

I can't wait! Pre-pre-game watching now - KU vs. VTU Orange Bowl 1/03/08. Up next, KU vs. MU at Camarohead 11/30/08.

Ben Kliewer 10 years, 4 months ago

I know this is an article about Todd, which is awesome, and I can't wait to see what he does this year. But here's an observation. A lot of the included highlights, specifically in the last video, of the Jayhawks making BIG tackles are because Kansas does something that's not coached a lot in other college football programs. Or at least not listened to when it is coached. Wrapping up when tackling. That's one reason Todd escapes so many tackles. He's quick and scrappy, but the defense also thinks it's good enough to just get an arm on him, or hit him with the shoulder (Nebraska). That won't work. To take a guy like Todd down, you gotta make sure you wrap up. If you watched that horrible excuse for a football game between Oregon and Boise State a couple nights ago, you saw what I mean. No wrapping up whatsoever. But it appears that the KU D does wrap up, so...good for us! FOOTBALL!!!!!!

yovoy 10 years, 4 months ago

kleave, i agree about wrapping up. the best player i had (when i still coaced fb) seemed to do it instinctively. you teach it and preach it everyday, and through all levels and you're shocked when you don't really see it at this level (and above). i also agree about what a truly piss-poor performance that oregon/bsu game was. i got so tired of watching the turnover-fest i turned it off.

watching this video brought a question to mind, and maybe i have my own answer, but i'll ask anyway. do you think our development has anything to do w/ the fact that ourMangino seems to recruit skill players on both sides of the ball that were hs quarterbacks? look at it this way, you want the smartest, most confident, most competitive, most athletic, athletes you can get, so who do you recruit: quarterbacks. even if they aren't highly-sought, you can pick them up and mold them. look at those clips: hereford - COLLEGE qb, meier - college qb, was stuckey? marcus henry was a qb i think. so then, it seems like that might have something to do w/ what we've been able to do relatively quickly. who else in the last 5 years has been a hs qb?

i AM glad i waited to watch this. i'm fighting with myself as to whether i'm going to the game or not. before this i wasn't going -100%; now i'm 50/50.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Guys....What's the best place to watch the game on the internet if any? I can't get the game up here and about ready to go insane.

whitechocolate 10 years, 4 months ago

You may want to search www.justin.tv when the game comes on. Some people put the basketball games up there last season, so maybe they'll throw up this one.

kevinv 10 years, 4 months ago

I posted to this site the day after Todd played his first game and told you KU fans you had no clue the talent that was now yours to enjoy. Four three years I photographed Todd as he played alongside my son at Lake Travis High. Before Todd, the program was also downtrodden...only 1 win in two years and never a district championship. Another writer here said it is bittersweet. Boy do we here know that feeling. Even though Garret Gilbert (Texas) took Todd's place and led the team to back to back state championships and now we have this new star in Brewer and a third state championship looks very possible, none of it compares to those three years watching Todd along with Luke Lagera (Navy) and Fred Robinson( someplace in Oklahoma) lead their team to their first ever district championship and more. No matter how far KU goes, after Todd Reesing graduates nothing will compare to this season you are in! Savor every moment of this 2009 season. You will never experience anything like it again. God made him very special and he is Gods gift to KU. I'll say this, I bleed orange, a graduate from UT, but when you all come to Austin this year, I will be wearing a KU shirt screaming for you all to win in a sea of orange jerseys.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, whitechocolate. I'll check that site out. Hopefully somebody shows the game on the site. I've not had any experience in streaming live video, so I'm crossing my fingers. I am so pumped for the season to start....

Jim Baker 10 years, 4 months ago

Kevinv,

your heart is in the right place...you cheer for the gladiator! if i could be there for that game, i would like to be right along with you, screaming as well. once in a lifetime kind of player! Nuff said!!

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