Originally published March 31, 2010 at 03:25p.m., updated April 1, 2010 at 12:00a.m.

Back in the saddle: It may be a long shot, but Teahan jumps into QB battle

Conner Teahan turns to throw as he works out with the quarterbacks during the Jayhawks' practice Wednesday.

Conner Teahan turns to throw as he works out with the quarterbacks during the Jayhawks' practice Wednesday.


Gill talks spring football

KU football coach Turner Gill discusses the team taking to the field for spring practice.

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KU coach Turner Gill — March 31

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Early (very early) scouting report on KU's quarterbacks

The guys (Tom Keegan, Matt Tait, Jesse Newell) give their observations on KU's top three quarterback candidates after watching part of the Jayhawks' practice on Wednesday, March 31. The guys also discuss Conner Teahan's decision to try football and the role Jeff Spikes will play on this year's team.

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Conner Teahan aims for QB spot

Conner Teahan is trying out for the starting quarterback position on the KU football team. Turner Gill said the staff would evaluate Teahan's skills to determine where he falls on the list of potential starters.

After missing the first two days of spring football practices, Kansas University basketball player Conner Teahan made his debut on Day Three.

Wednesday, decked out in a red No. 9 jersey — but devoid of pads, unlike the rest of the KU quarterbacks — Teahan went through his first football practice since his senior season at Rockhurst High.

Although the 6-foot-5 shooting guard stood out because of his obvious height advantage, Teahan was not afforded any special treatment from his new teammates or coaches.

“He’s out here. He got right in the mix, and I just told him, ‘Start in the back of the line and copy what the guy does in front of you,’ and that’s what he did,” offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. “You could tell he’s played quarterback.”

Added freshman wide receiver Erick McGriff: “He’s a KU athlete. He’s all good with us. He looked good out there.”

The bid to replace Todd Reesing appears to be wide-open, with as many as six quarterbacks in the mix to compete for the starting job. Most expect returning backup Kale Pick, junior-college transfer Quinn Mecham and red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb to fight it out at the top. But freshman Christian Matthews, junior Jacob Morse and, now, Teahan also could factor into the battle.

“I want him to have an opportunity to come out and try,” KU coach Turner Gill said of Teahan. “(Kansas basketball) Coach (Bill) Self gave him his blessings, and I was willing to give him an opportunity. Obviously (it’s) a long shot. We’re already two days in, and he’s catching up on some terminology and all those things.”

This past year, Teahan, who was not made available to reporters Wednesday, played in 19 games for the Kansas basketball team and averaged 1.1 points per game.

“Conner and I talked about this, and I think it is a great idea that he go through spring ball to see if there is interest by both parties,” Self said. “I know three years out of football is a long time, and it will be difficult for him, but his body is ready for football. He’s in the best shape he’s been in his life.”

Self said Teahan’s appearance on the gridiron did not mean he was thinking about leaving the basketball team. Gill said he and Self agreed that Teahan deserved a chance to see if he could cut it.

“I’m open to it,” Gill said. “But his first priority is basketball. Coach Self and I have talked, and I’m a guy who’s open to being able to play both sports. I’m a person who has come out of being able to play football and baseball (at Nebraska), so I’m definitely open-minded about having football players play other sports.”

Self noted: “This doesn’t change anything. I just want him on the basketball court when the football season is over. If he makes the team, he won’t be out until after football season. I encouraged him to try this. I think he has an element of interest and also curiosity. He’d probably be disappointed in himself if he didn’t try this and give it his best shot.”

Should the experiment work, Gill said Teahan, a junior, would have three years of eligibility remaining. Teahan recently told the Journal-World he was offered a football scholarship from Tulsa and was recruited heavily by Missouri and Kansas State his senior year of high school.

Injury update

Gill told reporters that sophomore D.J. Marshall, who missed most of last season after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, had been ruled out for spring ball. In addition, Gill said linebacker Drew Dudley, defensive end Jake Laptad and defensive tackle John Williams all were dealing with shoulder injuries and would be limited throughout spring drills.

“Those guys probably won’t participate in any full, live scrimmages,” Gill said. “But they will be participating in practice.”


nobody1793 10 years ago

Who does he think he is? Greg Paulus?

MitchumMan 10 years ago

Great stuff! I didn't think he would actually do it though. 3 years is a long time but he will definitely be in shape. The question is, will he have the QB mentality that he needs to have to compete. Only time will tell.

Jonathan Briles 10 years ago

Well he has the height and athletic ability. Its now a matter of if he has the ability to throw and read defenses. My guess is that after this long away from the game, and the steep jump in competition he is almost more inexperienced than a true freshman. I will root for him to do as best as he can, but I do not see him cracking the starting line up or even the two deep. I do however hope he can bring even more competition to the battle and force people to step up even more.

justinryman 10 years ago

Good luck and thanks for keeping it in the KU family of sports!!!!

jhox 10 years ago

I doubt he'll beat out Pick, but you never know. He definitely has the size and athletic ability, and basketball has been good for his agility. I have a feeling he would have been highly recruited as a QB out of Rockhurst if it hadn't been known he preferred basketball. I know he did have some pretty good FB offers despite basketball clearly being his favorite sport. Also, from what I hear he's extremely bright, and should pick up things quickly. I'd like to see him give it a go, even if he doesn't have a shot to play next year. Perhaps he might be ready to challenge for the starting job in 2 years if he hangs in there. It's pretty clear he's not going to play in the NBA, or get significant basketball minutes, so he may as well try a sport where he has the physical attributes to possibly play professionally. Unlikely, I realize, but there's no shortage of demand for 6'5" athletic QB's.

jhokfan 10 years ago

Smart move. Assuming he makes the team how much eligibility does he have?

basty 10 years ago

Let's not forget that HCTG said that our offense was going to be 60% run 40% pass, so his playmaking abilities probably won't be as important.

That being said, being able to read defenses in this scheme is probably even more important b/c you have to make those passes count and audible well. I am definitely more unsure about how the long break effects his football IQ and reaction (not to mention he still has never seen the speed of the college game) than I am about the arm.

Regardless, best wishes

jhwk215 10 years ago

Conner Teahan was recruited by a ton of schools in football and was a heck of a QB in high school. He was recruited by K-state in football AND basketball, however he turned down every offer he got and decided to be a walk on at KU instead, so I say if the kid wants to help the program out to go for it. Remember the good ol' 88' championship team? They had a football player on that team....

gchawk 10 years ago

I wouldn't be surprised if Conner moved over to the tight end position, could be the next Tony Gonzalez !

jdhawk 10 years ago

So they know April fools is tomorrow not today.... right

markster956 10 years ago

How is this news? Connar Teahen isnt a real football player. Hes barely even a real basketball player

milehighhawk 10 years ago

Markster, don't type when you don't know what the hell you're typing.

He was recruited for football by some decent schools coming out of HS.

KUbsee69 10 years ago

If I remember correctly, Stanford offered him a football scholarship, among others.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

Maybe they are going to use a football scholarship on him, and free one up in basketball for someone else.

JHawk74 10 years ago

Conner Teahan was offered a scholarship by Tulsa for QB. Missouri, K-State, Wisconsin and Stanford showed significant interest but didn't offer a scholarship since he wanted to play basketball. Conner had 840 passing yards and completed 60% of them his senior year. Conner will have tough competition to make the team, but he did make the team on one of the best basketball teams in the country. Good Luck Conner!

mackdaddy 10 years ago

I'm sure Teahan was a decent QB prospect.... 3 years ago. More than likely he will never play significant minutes for the bball team so this probably isn't a bad move.

Bryan Summers 10 years ago

Teahan has been playing/practicing for three years against some of the most competitive athletes in the country. That competitive attitude alone could rub off on the football players who are exposed to him and, consequently, elevate the competition. Besides, he is one of my son's and my favorite players. Team first, give all you've got. Gotta love him! My best to him and the effect he has on the football team.

Marcia Parsons 10 years ago

Someone above asked about eligibility, and I was hoping there would be an answer. I was thinking I read that if you changed sports your eligibility started all over again for that sport. I don't know if that's true. If someone has the facts, please let us know.

hammerhawk 10 years ago

Hey. Back in the day we had a lot of basketball players on the football team! I will never, ever forget watching huge Vernon Venoy playing D-end. Wow. He was one awesome dude.

Nothing wrong with some new blood on the football team.

MrPilot 10 years ago

Good luck, Conner! I'd love to see you on either team!

mjprcjh0314 10 years ago

As a Dodge City native I want Kale to get the job. It would be nice to have Conner on the team though he could help keep the football players from beating up the basketball players, haha, I am just kidding, good luck to him. I love the jayhawks football and basketball, baseball and all the others, so just kidding about that, haha

Andy Tweedy 10 years ago

hammerhawk, I love the John Brown pic!!!

yovoy 10 years ago

marvin maddox (sp?) was a fb player on the '88 nc team as well.

if sherron doesn't get drafted like he'd like, and doesn't like offers let's get him on the baseball team (i've heard he played fb as well).

i believe that if mario kinsey would've been more "susceptible" to mangino's system, he could've contributed much better than he did. he clashed with the former bb coach as well. clashed with everyone, i guess. that's why he ended up at sam houston.

tophawk1983 10 years ago

I saw Conner at an airport last year and my jaw dropped. I know a lot of the students on here probably see him all the time so it isn't so shocking...but he looks small when he's standing next to basketball players. He looked like a freaking athlete in person. Really good football body. There's probably a good chance he's at least getting a little bored of not playing any meaningful time and why not give football a go? I agree with the poster above, if he can't break through at QB, give TE a try. Could be the next Kerry Meier...obviously that's optimistic but he COULD be.

TRUEHEART 10 years ago

It's been awhile, but KU also had Steve Renko - QB for football team, starter in football, basketball and baseball - lettered in all three. Different times but maybe still doable.

Ryan Richey 10 years ago

Conner seems like a good kid and I want nothing but the best for him and KU. But it can't be a good sign if he wins the job.

Ryan Richey 10 years ago

Conner seems like a good kid and I want nothing but the best for him and KU. But it can't be a good sign if he wins the job.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years ago

Heck yeah. Go for it and have a great time. The college experience, beautiful.

100 10 years ago


besides Clint Normore (who by the way allowed us to win the championship game, played a perfect 7 minutes), we had Marvin Branch, a huge 6'8" power forward from the football team.

You are thinking of Mike Maddox who was on the '88 team as well as the '91 runner-ups, and also took down Kentucky 150 to ninety something, with multiple dunks on passes from Kevin Pritchard in Dec of 1989, thrashing apart Pitino, as well as Tubby Smith & Billy Donovan's Kentucky Wildcats, the latter being assistants under the bird flipper.

100 10 years ago

Marvin Branch had one of the best quotes after we won it....

Holding the pristine '88 trophy beside manager a bespeckled (and glasses taped by the way) Bill Pope (now an assistant coach on the Detroit Pistons), Marvin said:

"This is better than giving birth!"

... in a flash, I still remember Bill Pope instantly collapsing to the floor in a heap of exploding laughter, his taped glasses bouncing off the floor into two pieces, Bill now curling up into a ball to hide his head from the cameras, hyperventillating & squashing his laughter, like a grade school kid who had just been kicked out of class...

This incident aside, the '88 team was one of the coolest ever, with Marvin Branch & Clint Normore, two players from the worst team in college football, birthing & bringing home an immaculate NCAA trophy!!!

It was Marvin, Clint, Pritch, Milt, Scooter, Mike, Pipe, Danny & "Keith!" &....the Miracles....

Thank God for KU football -- because without it, we never win the '88 championship.

HawkTronic 10 years ago

It was Marvin Mattox, not Marvin Branch. Mr. Branch left KU after having some trouble. Mattox's other claim to fame was blocking a field goal to preserve the "Toliet Bowl" tie in 1987 vs K-State. Mattox ended up with the Chargers for a year, I believe.

Also, love the multi-sport openness from Coach Gill. Maybe McGriff can play a little baseball after spring drills. He was a good player in Florida and he's got a little family history in the sport.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

This could all be a set up. What better way to overcome any questions about FB and BB players feuding and infighting than to have such an infusion. Teahan would be the most likely choice with his background. Also, if he did get hurt, the BB team wouldn't suffer significantly. And, if he did, by some chance, get afforded the opportunity to be a third string QB, he would be missed on the court, but, we're pretty stacked at his position there. Plus, it would open a scholarship, as someone else mentioned. With Mario Little and Releford coming back, this theory makes even more sense. If he doesn't make the FB team, nothing is lost, however. He simply puts on shorts instead of a helmet!

(BTW, Oliver Stone was my inspiration on this theory) In the real world, there could be no such shenanigans by a major university's atletic department,,,,or, could there be?

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

My next theory includes C.J.Henry and cleats!

Clarence Haynes 10 years ago

Given what he went through, it is encouraging to see that DJ Marshall is out there period

Marshall Ballard 10 years ago

"Should the experiment work, Gill said Teahan, a junior, would have three years of eligibility remaining."

Just thought I would throw (pun intended) this info out there from the article for all of you posters who obviously cannot read!

rolo2383 10 years ago

The article said he would have three years of eligibility left.

Foster Coburn 10 years ago

Connor is a walk-on in basketball so how does his playing football open up a scholarship?

KGphoto 10 years ago

It doesn't. People just don't read the article if there is a picture. Half this post was spent asking questions that were answered in the article.

KGphoto 10 years ago

Okay, it doesn't say Teahan is a walk-on, but if you don't know that, you probably need some remedial fanship classes, and talking about how many schollies are left is way over your head.

I can't wait to see how he does. The speed of the game should actually be an advantage to some degree. He's experienced speed. He's experienced physical play with 250 pound college athletes. The fact that he gets to wear pads now might actually give him an edge.

Don't forget that Paulus (6'1" 195 pounds) was the starting QB at Syracuse after spending 4 years away from football. And he played great.

At 6'5" 220 pounds, I think Conner has gotta shot.

GridironHawk 10 years ago

It would be nice to get a new article/update on DJ Marshall. I thought he wasn't planning on coming back until the 2011 season.

thut 10 years ago

The article says he has 3 years of eligibility am I wrong? Why are so many people asking that question?

Matt Tait 10 years ago

Our first version of this story was posted around 4 p.m. Wednesday. At that time, we did not have all the information and were still gathering quotes and info to create the final story.

So, to be fair, a lot of those posts posing the question about Teahan's eligibility were from yesterday before we got all the info.

But Coach Gill did say in his pre-practice meeting with reporters yesterday that Teahan would have three years of football eligibility.

hawksince51 10 years ago

Jay Roberts was an F on the 1961/62 BB team, end on the FB team and also KU's number 1 tennis player. I knew Jay, he was a friend of mine, but it was a different time and one of our poorest BB teams. We lost to OU 3 times and they were just a football school back then.

trueblue9 10 years ago

Wow, turned down a scholarship from Stanford? Probably going to regret that at some point down the line...

hawksince51 10 years ago

Didn't Normore bank in a critical 3 in 1988 with Larry screaming "NO, NO, NO...YES!!!

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

In the late 60's Vernon Vanoy was named the Big Eight Soph of the year in basketball. The next year he played football as a defensive end opposite John Zook and basketball as well. I think his senior year he played only football, but I could be wrong.

His basketball skills diminished as his football skills were developed. [his two teams were the 5-5 team that beat Nebraska in Lawrence and the Orange bowl team of the 69 season.]

He had the potential to be a fantastic power forward but went a different direction. Just wanted to note for all of you that maybe Conner is truly a football player playing basketball and he may find his true calling at Quarterback

Tony Bandle 10 years ago

In the late 60's Vernon Vanoy was named the Big Eight Soph of the year in basketball. The next year he played football as a defensive end opposite John Zook and basketball as well. I think his senior year he played only football, but I could be wrong.

His basketball skills diminished as his football skills were developed. [his two teams were the 5-5 team that beat Nebraska in Lawrence and the Orange bowl team of the 69 season.]

He had the potential to be a fantastic power forward but went a different direction. Just wanted to note for all of you that maybe Conner is truly a football player playing basketball and he may find his true calling at Quarterback

hawksince51 10 years ago

I believe Vernon Vanoy (aka Pickles) played D end for the Packers for a couple of years.

hwker 10 years ago

typical ku football.....where are the real football players??? Another long long season.

hawkward1 10 years ago

Conspiracy theory > Maybe this is just a grande guise to infiltrate the football team and seek revenge for Tyshawn's dislocated finger from the brawl in the Fall. He waited until Mangino was gone b/c he does not like being poked in the chest. Now's his chance to avenge the injustice! Furthermore, he want's the attention of the girl Tyshawn was fighting about. I think I am on to something here. His motto - "Forgot Tyshawn; I'm Deion!

Matt Tait 10 years ago

Right. Gill means three total years of eligibility for football and I believe he's counting this, his junior year.

antikoolaiddrinker 10 years ago

Wondering why they keep removing post about April Fools? I guess they want to make some fools at the Journal World.

JBurtin 10 years ago


What exactly is wrong with the other 5 or 6 quarterbacks vying for the postion?

The coaches have stated in no uncertain terms that Teahan would be a longshot to win the spot.

Little tip: If you're dumb as a box of rocks and don't care about KU footbal then feel free to skip the article.

jhokfan 10 years ago

Wasn't Nolan Cromwell a 2 sport star? I know he played both offense and defense at KU but did he ever play basketball? Seem to remember hearing from some NFL types that he was considered the best athlete in the NFL at one time.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years ago

ralster -

Actually, I was thinking more about cleats of the baseball variety.

SInce we were talking about "crossover" sports, it dawned on me that CJ would actually benefit more from revisiting his primary sport of choice, baseball. Maybe Cal and the Yankees had something going. You know, some sort of a "favor" that might have been owed for some unsavory reason and repayment was to let CJ onto the Memphis team to help insure that Xavier would join him. Anything is possible!

Clydecito 10 years ago

Nolan Cromwell was a State Champion hurdler, so I'm thinkin' he may have done some track at KU for his second sport. I heard that Gill actually contacted Conner, after discussing it with HCBS. Either Coach Gill thinks the position needs help, or the presence of 'help' to push the others, but in any event, the more talent you've got on the turf the better. And Conner was/is talented and has the size, is 'in the best shape of his life', and hasn't been taking football hits for three years. But as a basketball player, he is certainly smart enough to get back in the groove of football. DJ, keep believing in your dream son, Hodgkin's is just a nasty bump in your road of life. Take another season off to put the chemo and radiation well behind you and then go take what is yours. Rock Chalk ya'all.

kerbyd 10 years ago

Clyde I hope you are joking about Cromwell. He was an all-american in track.

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