Saturday, December 25, 2010


KU football’s Christmas gift? QB commit Berglund


Last Monday night, shortly after hearing about prep quarterback Brock Berglund switching his commitment from Colorado to Kansas, I couldn’t help but think of Bubba Cunningham.

Odd, huh? I mean, it would make sense if Berglund’s commitment made me think about KU quarterbacks Jordan Webb or Quinn Mecham. Todd Reesing, even. But why on earth would the Tulsa athletic director come to mind?

Here’s why.

A little more than a week ago, the KU football community was obsessed with landing junior-college quarterback Zack Stoudt. Fans posted messages imploring Stoudt to come to Kansas. A couple of current Jayhawks even did the same on their Twitter pages. But Stoudt chose Ole Miss and left Jayhawk fans to lament over the idea of watching their team play another season — perhaps longer — without a Big 12-caliber QB.

There’s no telling if Berglund will change any of that, but, to quote the Magic 8 Ball, “all signs point to yes,” so far.

Although the Jayhawks didn’t get the first guy they went after, they might be better off in the long run. Sound familiar? It should. Because the same is true with the school’s athletic director search, which nearly ended last week with the naming of Cunningham but continued on after Bubba backed out.

Not to worry. As is the case with the quarterback position, KU will be better off when the AD search ends, too. Cunningham was an excellent choice. He seems like a great guy. But if he wasn’t ready for Kansas and didn’t truly want to be here, then Kansas can — and will — do better.

Think about it. When Berglund’s a junior, Stoudt’s college career will be over. And, by then, the Jayhawks could be on the cusp of becoming a consistent winner. Several of the top players from this year’s squad will be juniors and seniors in 2013. Guys like Tyler Patmon and Keeston Terry; James Sims and Jimmay Mundine; and a whole bunch of offensive linemen who, ultimately, will have a lot to say about how much the next quarterback will succeed at Kansas.

From the beginning, people said the combination of head coach Turner Gill and offensive coordinator Chuck Long would give KU an advantage in working with and recruiting quarterbacks. Just a year in, we’ve already seen that to be true.

Berglund is not the second-coming of Reesing, but he seems to be more talented than anyone KU had on its roster when Gill and Long arrived. Landing him shows two things. One, they were able to identify KU’s glaring need at the game’s most important position. And, two, they were determined to do something about it. While Berglund might not be Reesing, he’s also not chump change. He has an above-average arm, good size (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) and can do damage with his legs when a play breaks down.

What’s more, he’s not lacking in the confidence department. That might change when he gets to college and starts competing with grown men. But I doubt it. Berglund emits that “it” factor that quality quarterbacks always have. He’ll have to back that up with his play for it to matter, but talking the talk is a good start.

This is a great get for Gill and the Jayhawks. No box, no bow, just a Brock who can throw.

Christmas came early for the Kansas football program.


KU_Alumn_2000 7 years, 5 months ago

Good read Matt.

Now let's go after some 4 star defensive linemen !!!

We need to pressure the QB...which is something we havnt consistently been able to do since James McClinton !

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

Hopefully, Keba & Kevin are being transformed into DT's while we anxiously await signing day and September.

That beng said, this class could really use a couple DT's, another DE & TE, and a few quality DB's/WR's/Athletes. The rest is looking real nice. Most of the O groups are 15th or 16th in the nation according to Rivals; Big12 - 3 - QB, 4 - OL, 5 - RB, 5 - DB, 6 - LB.

100 7 years, 5 months ago

Yet another great article by Matt Tait. Really appreciate these daily articles about football recruiting & the ripples of positive these landed recruits are bringing to the Jayhawk football team.

The great thing about the way Coach Gill & his staff deal with players is the golden rule:


That means a stud coming in (like this QB from Denver) doesn't have to be "broken down & built up" by a bunch of older bullies on the football team & a bullying coaching staff, like can be seen so often in high school football & apparently was a huge reason Texas fell apart halfway through the season.

The young kids coming in, who really believe in themselves, need not change a single thing about who they are. They're winners already & already, by the sheer definition of the code of conduct & system of bird within the lockerroom & practice field, fit in perfectly within the gridiron mental fabric of the Jayhawk football team.

A confident young player will stay that way at KU as long as Gill is the coach. Why?

Because we are taught to believe in each other here. And encourage each other. And make each other better.

And feed off of each other's confidence.

And hey, if a freshman comes in with that edge already...

It just makes the team better.

I'm sure most of us have seen the kid's tape now; he deserves all the accolades & his confidence is a product of preparation, athleticism, skill, & simply being better.

This kid will flourish in Gill's system.

Absolutely flourish.

Rock Chalk Matt Tait & Merry Christmas to you & your family...

(You are helping with recruiting more than you know & that change in the way you & the LJW handle football articles 365 days a year has really been a tremendous gift to Coach Gill & also a wonderful Christmas present to the KU fanbase).

Thanks again Matt.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 5 months ago

OU (and Texas) both as perenial powers in the Big XII seem to me at least pretty good at the breaking down and building up methodology. I also think that it has made some pretty good football players. If I look at the record and the draft boards it seems like OU has a few more wins than we do.

I'm not saying that Gill's pat them on the butt when they do something wrong is a bad thing, but to say the break them down/build them up methodolgy is wrong seems way off.

Right now Gill is 23-39 as a head coach. I'm Hoping that we have a much improved season this next year, the problem is that the schedule gets a lot harder.

100 7 years, 5 months ago

Let's be clear about what we're talking about here: There's coach/player bullying. And then there's upper classmen treating newcomers like they have to go through some outdated "hazing" for a year before being part of the group.

Thankfully neither philosophy exists anymore at KU because that's a good way to never sign a high quality recruit.

Another thing. Yes at high profile traditional schools like OU & UT they can afford to go there a bit. But it is still much more about teaching than you are giving OU & UT credit for.

Take a look at the UT team falling apart midseason & you can see where the fundamental lack of respect for others in the lockerroom & on the coaching staff reared it's ugly head to go along with Brown's overinflated boost of $2 million per year.

Lastly to suggest that Gill & his staff pat kids on the back after a mistake is just flat out wrong.

This was a year of learning entirely new systems & teaching is done best when trust is established. Players learned this year as the season progressed but in the end we didn't have the horses.

But to end up late in the season 20-3 in Lincoln I'd say is quite a testament to the improvement, teaching & coaching that is going on at Kansas right now.

Kids are taught. Yelling does occur if that's your beef. Check the gridiron videos sometime & you'll see Gill lay into the players with some barking.

And if you kept up with the season, one vicious hit a KU player had that was a flagrant (dangerous) hit on another player was punished right there for everyone to see.

No compliments to him. Gill glared at him & pulled him from the game.

The trust & a premier coaching/ recruiting staff is established here. Stoops has that at OU for sure to go with solid coaching.

In the end our new QB from Denver had to choose between Stoops & Gill.

Guess who he chose?

Turner Gill.

Matt Tait 7 years, 5 months ago

Thanks, 100. Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well. I'm glad you're enjoying the increased football coverage. There's more where that came from.

Happy Holidays!!! - Matt

LAJayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Tait, I believe, is Gaelic for Super Awesomeness.

Actually, truthfully, it is a Scottish name dating back to 1100 that means "cheerful."

How apropos.

I also find it interesting that Matt, apparently, is a Scottish Rugby Union Player in his spare time....

Merry Christmas.

amatxjayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Where in the world are all the Gill knockers on this day? Where are all those who were so convinced neither Gill nor his staff could recruit?

I'll tell you where they are. They are out there on the edge of the road waiting for the slightest error, waiting for the chance to throw the first stone. The I-told-you-so guys, the naysayers, as opposed to real fans, are all alike, cowardly cheap shot artists. Part of the problem, never part of the solution. Here's to the season that keeps them on the side of the road sucking their thumbs, looking for an opening, looking for a chance to criticize, looking for a chance to go home in the third quarter. Here's to the fans that support their coach and their team during good times and bad.


Damn it feels good to be a positive person.

Jeff Coffman 7 years, 5 months ago

I would put myself as we were taking a real change with Coach Gill. I would say I wasn't happy with his resume. I did say though he would be able to recruit. My big question is whether or not he'll be able to coach these guys. He hasn't done a real great job in some aspects, but he was starting to show improvement towards the end of the season.

I hope that we are competitive in the games this upcoming year, but I am impressed with the recruits coming in so far by Coach Gill.

troutsee 7 years, 5 months ago

Your description of the naysayers also sounds like the whimperings of the national GOP legislators, long and loud on criticism and short on solutions, especially solutions that would fix societal needs (like universal health care). The GOP leaders are protectionists, protecting their bank accounts, and are supported by the elite of corporate industry (so they can stay in the same bed--it's one of those back scratching phenomena), making our country no more than an oliarchy, being run by a bunch of corporate executives, unable to see all the way across their moats to get a glimpse of what real life on the other side is all about.

Sorry for politicizing on a FB site, but I couldn't resist.

And, yes it does feel good to be positive about KU football and this staff and these players.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah that stimulus package is really helping our economy and employment isn't? Just wait until your new premiums kick in and you have to wait a year for a simple checkup or surgery and lets see how much you enjoy our new socialistic health care! Fix societal needs,Really? It's really working in countries that have tried that path isn't!

Sorry for the political rant on a FB site but I had to respond to our utopian lets all sing Kumbaya.

Now back to your regular programming.

rastameta 7 years, 5 months ago

Have you lived in "those other countries" and know that it isn't working? I have actually lived in a place with public health care and it was simply awesome compared the crap health care in the USA. Stop believing all the propaganda you hear on Fox News.

minnhawk84 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I have lived in several countries with public health care. Great Britain's system sucks, no if, ands, or buts. I have British friends who have scraped together the money to fly to the US and get non-elective surgery performed because their quality of life was so bad waiting in line to get the surgical work they needed. How about Mexico? Germany's system is great unless you are an "Unter Menschen" i.e. Turkish and then, boom, no health care for non-citizens. Also, look up the percentage of the population in Germany that is on the welfare system, then look at the US percentage. Wanna try the German system here, mein fruende? I don't watch Fox News much, but your statement is a "knee-jerk" reactionary mumble from a non-thinking Liberal if I have ever heard one. What crap health care are you talking about in this country? Do you mean "care," or "coverage?" There is a difference. Now quit posting your BS on this site.

beenahawk 7 years, 5 months ago

"REAL FAN"? What exactly is a real fan? Perhaps one who is "REALISTIC"!

In all honesty it's this FAN POLICE mentality that divides the Jayhawk Grid Nation, not debate about the merits of the staff.

I've lived through the "real fan" crap before. Let's see, if one wasn't behind the GIFT that was Bud Moore back in 77 when things began to wasn't a "real fan". Had to stand by and watch Gottfried rape the program while "real fans" applauded. "Real" fans kept telling us all Gameball just needed time.

Blind devotion to our staff and KAI doesn't make a person a "real fan." It simply makes them a blind follower.

Ben Kliewer 7 years, 5 months ago

I think being a real fan means supporting the program. Of course, if you want to bitch about everything and call other people idiots for actually wanting to see what a man who is currently working at the school you are a fan of can do, then go right ahead. I'm a fan of Jayhawk football, and I choose to have hope and see what Turner can do with the program before I ask for his head. Now, if he manages to screw everything up, then of course I'm going to ask for his head. He'll have screwed up our program. But I'm not going to make that judgement after his first year. And I'm certainly not going to pretend to know what the future will bring, like a lot of posters seem to claim they do. It's not like he's intentionally trying to screw up our program. This is a sweet gig for him, and I'm sure he's going to do whatever he can to make a name for himself and hold on to it for as long as he can. I mean, am I wrong to think that could be on his mind? Some people act as if Turner is some saboteur who is intentionally trying to screw up our football program. Why would anybody do that? Especially in his position! I feel like there was a lot of improvement from our first game to our 12th game. Some people didn't see it. I played some college ball, I feel like I could see it with a pretty good perspective, not that I'm saying people who didn't play college ball can't, I just feel like that gives me some perspective to see how the players responded on the field this year. That makes me feel a little bit better about our future. I can't guarantee anything either way, but I feel better now than I did after the K-State game... But, I suppose some people out there get their jollies from constantly bitching. I guess you can if you want to, but that's not the way I wanna live my life.

texashawk10 7 years, 5 months ago

A real fan supports the team and coaching staff regardless of what their own personal opinion is of that coach. I was not the biggest fan of the Turner Gill hiring, but I will give him his fair chance at this and I know one year is not long enough to fairly judge him as KU's coach. Despite not being the biggest Gill supporter when he was hired, I want him to succeed as a coach because that means KU as a football program will be successful and that's what we all want if we are all truly KU football fans.

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 5 months ago

Cool, Christmas spirit is having its effect on Tait too who is belting out a rhyme or two! Love the "No box, no bow, just a Brock who can throw."

Merry Christmas, everyone... and a Happy New Year!

Robert Brock 7 years, 5 months ago

Every successful move helps and success begats success. Now, if we could just get the receivers to throw blocks...

Just kidding. Merry Christmas, Y'all.

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

Knock knock amatex! We've made a move up to 43 on the rivals big board. Keeping good company with minn. (the U if your Keegan) who I'm not sure if they have even hired a coach yet and ahead of SMU. Who one day we will be playing in conference thanks to TG.

tdub 7 years, 5 months ago

Ladies and gentlemen, the grinch has arrived!

And we get it, you don't like Gill (or possibly KU). Isn't there a wall you could be banging your head against? Maybe a dead horse that needs beating?

Dan Harris 7 years, 5 months ago

Did Santa leave you a lump of coal again?

ahpersecoachingexperience 7 years, 5 months ago

Lol Daniel! Wishing you and your's all the best.

John Beck 7 years, 5 months ago

Not clever, go spread your negatism elswhere, KU supporters are sick of this crap you spew.

Ben Kliewer 7 years, 5 months ago

I believe we're now 41st in recruiting, which is 7th in the Big 12(10) and ahead of Mizzou and Kansas State (8th and 9th respectively...or should I say, disrespectively). Also, when did Beebe give Turner Gill the reigns on deciding who to put in the conference? I know Beebe is a pushover, but really? Also, for the 2003 season, Mangino's 2nd year, Kansas finished with the 70th ranked incoming recruiting class. In fact, Mangino never had a recruiting class ranked higher than 47th (2006), according to So, you're right, we are in just such worse shape, aren't we?

KU_Alumn_2000 7 years, 5 months ago

Just waiting for the other three Grinches to chime in...hawknhutch...sooballs...and the jayhawkinnbraska (or something like that) to show up in this message board at some point.

Have a wonderful Christmas Jayhawk Nation !!!

RobbAkey1 7 years, 5 months ago

"Although the Jayhawks didn’t get the first guy they went after, they might be better off in the long run."

Sorry Matt but this is incorrect. We recruited Brock much longer than we recruited Stoudt. We only recruited Zach for about a month.

Gary Wirsig 7 years, 5 months ago

I still read every day - just don't post very often

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 5 months ago

Matt, Any news regarding January matriculation for Berglund? Happy holidays all!

Stephen Johnson 7 years, 5 months ago

Matt - Another awesome article on KU Football. Gill & coaches have been working the recruiting trail hard. Mitchell is a great recruiter. Long did a great job with getting Brock to understand that this a program that provides opportunity. Let's hope we can see some improvement this next year, even though they are all freshmen.

Doug Merrill 7 years, 5 months ago

Merry Christmas, all! I remember that many 'fans' were badmouthing the choice of Bill Self and even to this day are ludicrously emphatic on about how badly he is screwing up the team with all his "errors", ranging from decisions about playing time to starting line ups.

Posting on the internet is the opportunity to opine without facts (or self-restraint, or simple politeness), a place we can read about the problems of the GOP and all about Head Coach Gill single-handedly caused the entire Big 12 re-organization (I did not know that!!! I am looking forward to hearing how he screwed up the housing market...) in reply to an article about a high school QB recruit. I come here for entertainment and it flows freely.

In short, its awesome to be alive and a Jayhawk fan in this day and age - everybody enjoy and Happy Holidays!

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 5 months ago

Matt, nice job, as always! Got me excited for next season. I am looking forward to seeing Berglund.

Ben Kliewer 7 years, 5 months ago

I think my Christmas present was ahpersecoachingexperience informing all of us that if the recruiting season ended today, we'd have our highest ranked incoming recruiting class in nearly 20 years. How appropriate that ahperse's picture is of Turner Gill hoisting a trophy into the air. Could it be prophecy? Who knew that ahperse was a closet Gill supporter all along?

100 7 years, 5 months ago

Nice post. For the sake of clarity this is our highest ranked recruiting class in the history of Kansas football.

The best news?

This class is only gonna get better in a few days!!!!

Rock Chalk Kleave!

mandomax 7 years, 5 months ago

I am very excited about Berglund, but considering how much weight he needs to put on his frame and the time it will take to get him up to speed, it would have been nice to have Stoudt around for two years. Yes, Berglund will be a RS Sophomore or Junior when Stoudt's college career ends, but how often do NCAA QBs play before then anyways? We tried to start a RS Frosh and RS Soph last year with limited success, and only by bringing in an experienced Juco transfer in Meacham did we find any offensive stability. Stoudt was a big miss for the Hawks, but once we get outr O-line bulked up and comfortable, Berglund should be a solid Big XII QB.

texashawk10 7 years, 5 months ago

Todd Reesing made his first on-field apperance as a frosh and lead a comeback over Colorado in that apperance and was a sophomore the Orange Bowl season so class affiliation isn't a big issue. Either a QB can play or they can't and Webb and Mecham are subpar at best Big 12 QB's.

Omari Miller 7 years, 5 months ago

Coach Gill and staff won another verbal. Dallas DB Kenneth Lynn switched from ISU...

Cornerback Dallas, Texas Kimball Ht:5'11" Wt:165 lbs 40:4.45 secs Shuttle:4.12 Vertical:36 inches

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