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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kansas WR Chris Omigie hopes this is his breakout season

Kansas receiver Chris Omigie pulls in a pass for a 33-yard gain during the Kansas Spring Game on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

Kansas receiver Chris Omigie pulls in a pass for a 33-yard gain during the Kansas Spring Game on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at Kivisto Field.

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Who is the funniest guy on the Kansas football team?

We asked Kansas football players who the funniest person on the team is. One guy got more votes than all others.

Kansas University sophomore Chris Omigie is one of those guys on the Jayhawks’ football roster you probably should know something about.

This season will be his third in the program, and, because of his 6-foot-4 frame and sparkling high school resume, many paint Omigie as a guy who could’ve, and in some cases should’ve, made a splash long before now.

Not so fast.

For starters, Omigie’s still young.

Two seasons ago, when he appropriately decided to red-shirt, he was slotted behind two of the best wideouts the university ever had: Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier.

Last year could have been Omigie’s big season. With Briscoe and Meier gone, there was an opening for a big-play receiver. But a new coaching staff, a new offense — his third in three seasons — and his own uncertainty held him back, and the Arlington, Texas, native finished 2010 with just 73 yards on seven receptions while playing sparingly in 10 games.

Like many of his teammates, Omigie enters 2011 bigger, faster and stronger and ready to make his mark.

That’s really nothing new.

“I feel like every year’s the year I have to do it,” Omigie said. “Whenever I’m on the field, I feel like I have to do it.”

This might be the year he gets his first real opportunity to follow through.

Although nearly a dozen receivers are vying for playing time, Omigie currently sits second on the depth chart, behind third-year sophomore Christian Matthews, a player very much in the same situation as Omigie.

Erick McGriff, another sophomore who also is beginning his third season at Kansas, is trying to find his place as well.

While that threesome, as well as red-shirt freshmen Ricki Herod, Brian Maura and Andrew Turzilli, aim to break through, the KU coaches continue to stock the cupboard with young talent.

Through six practices this fall, true freshmen Marquis Jackson and JaCorey Shepherd already have turned heads.

Although senior wideout Daymond Patterson said he, too, had been impressed by the freshmen, he cautioned against overhyping them while writing off the others.

“In recruiting now-days, you get to see so much video and all their stats and you just have such high expectations for guys,” Patterson said. “Sometimes it’s not really fair to put expectations on guys who are that young. All those young guys, they are in that spot where they can have a breakout year or a breakout game any day.”

When he’s not watching film of himself or his teammates, Omigie likes to study a couple of pro football’s top pass-catchers.

“The receivers I look up to the most would have to be Calvin Johnson or Andre Johnson,” Omigie said. “Them both being big receivers, 6-4, 6-5 guys who go up and get the ball, I just feel like those are two receivers that I should try to mold myself into.”

His all-time favorite is another guy who wasn’t afraid to fight for what he believed was his, on and off the gridiron.

“My favorite all-time is probably T.O., Terrell Owens,” Omigie said. “When he came to Dallas, I started watching him a lot, and I just really started liking the way he played. He didn’t leave anything in the tank. He put everything he had out there.”

That’s what Omigie plans to do this year, regardless of what it yields or how often he gets the opportunity.

“Last year, we were all real young, and I think we were dealing with a lot of nerves,” he said. “We didn’t really have any games under our belts besides high school so we were all just coming in new and fresh. Now that we’ve knocked the cobwebs off, I think we’ll be a lot better this season. It’s not gonna be too much different, it’s just gonna be a lot more assignment sound. We all know the offense better now that it’s our second year with these coaches. Everything’s gonna be a lot smoother.”

Comments

100 3 years, 1 month ago

Beat....

McNeese.....

State!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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notigers4me 3 years, 1 month ago

I am excited about this years team. While they may or may not win a lot of games it seems like there is excitement among the players. It also seems that they are well on their way to becoming a true team.

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okiedave 3 years, 1 month ago

I will be very happy if we win 4 games and compete well against Texas and Oklahoma. That will show a great deal of improvement in the program and set us up for a breakout year in 2012.

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hawk316 3 years, 1 month ago

okiedave, I think that's a very realistic outlook. This season, in particular, we can't be discouraged by wins and losses. We may be much improved and our record actually not show it. What's important is that our program is taking a giant step forward with the addition of much young talent. An excellent coaching staff is more synchronized, and the growing pains of the initial season is now behind us. This program is on the rise.

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 1 month ago

Lots of options at WR, and the article doesn't even mention Pick or Beshears. Hopefully, they can flip some pancakes for the RB's as well.

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Matt Tait 3 years, 1 month ago

We've got another article — maybe more — about the WRs in the works and that one will definitely get into Beshears and Pick. This one was intended more to focus on the guys who you've heard a lot about but have yet to see break through...

If I'm ranking KU's WRs in terms of what I'm expecting from them this season, I'd go:

  1. Pick
  2. Patterson
  3. Matthews
  4. Beshears
  5. Omigie

So many other guys that could make a big impact, though. Should be a fun position to watch...

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Randy Bombardier 3 years, 1 month ago

Matt,

Was looking at last years schedule and was wondering if you could see if the start time for past games is posted. It tells me if it was a game under the lights, energy level, other intangibles.

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KGphoto 3 years, 1 month ago

You know, I would have been surprised at your choice of Kale at #1 if I hadn't just watched Micah Brown's "The Gridiron" from last year. The coaches simply couldn't get enough of him. Literally telling the other guys to watch what Kale does. Be like Kale. I can't wait to see him this year.

And I'm really, really dying to see if Jackson is as explosive as everything I've read. You don't have him on your list. You think he might red-shirt, or is it simply that lack of D1 experience?

I guess it won't matter much if we can't get them the ball though.

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 1 month ago

Matt - Sorry if that came across as cricism. Glad to know there are more stories coming. There seem to be so many: 1. The big (potential) guys (including Barlow eventually?) 2. The QB converts 3. The gitterbugs (DJ & DP) 4. The old unknowns (RSF) 5. The new unknowns (F)

Also interesting to see Kale first - I'd have expected DP there just b/c of experience, but love Kale's potential. KG - I'm guessing the F & RSF aren't listed b/c there really isn't any actual game experience to judge them. I still want to see pancakes.

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