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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tait

KU football’s Christmas gift? QB commit Berglund

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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.

Comments

omari1911 3 years, 3 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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mandomax 3 years, 3 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.

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Ben Kliewer 3 years, 3 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?

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KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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Doug Merrill 3 years, 3 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!

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Stephen Johnson 3 years, 3 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.

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Clarence Haynes 3 years, 3 months ago

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

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jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if Gill got a present from Santa, I don't think so, maybe a trip out of town would work. Merry Christmas everyone.

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RobbAkey1 3 years, 3 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.

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KU_Alumn_2000 3 years, 3 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 !!!

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 3 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.

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Robert Brock 3 years, 3 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.

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 3 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!

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amatxjayhawk 3 years, 3 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.

GO MATT TAIT! GO TURNER GILL AND STAFF!! GO JAYHAWK FANS!!!! GO JAYHAWK FOOTBALLERS!!!!!!!

Damn it feels good to be a positive person.

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100 3 years, 3 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:

Respect.

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.

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 3 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.

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Keith Hummel 3 years, 3 months ago

Great article!

I was one of those fans imploring Stoudt to come to KU. Funny - I'm glad he went somewhere else now. Berglund seems like a much better find, particularly in the long-term. It's really gonna be fun to watch this group develop over the next 3 or 4 years.

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KU_Alumn_2000 3 years, 3 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 !

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