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Thursday, December 22, 2011

KU might land offensive lineman Thursday

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Thursday could be a big day for the future of Kansas University’s offensive line.

After originally expecting to announce his college choice in January, Orlando offensive lineman Duaron Williams now plans to choose between KU, Iowa State and Central Florida on Thursday.

Although each school appears to have a solid shot at landing Williams, KU coach Charlie Weis was the last to visit Williams. Weis, who had hip-replacement surgery Monday in Florida, stopped in to say hello to Williams last week on the final day of the recruiting period.

“That showed me something,” Williams told Rivals.com. “He told me he really wants me at Kansas. He showed me how important I am. The visit was a lot of fun. Coach Weis is a good guy and has a lot of fun.”

Williams, 6-foot-4, 298 pounds, had been on KU’s radar prior to Weis’ hire. Interim head coach and former recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell had been in contact with Williams throughout KU’s transition, and Williams said the attention helped KU stay in the mix.

“I always believe you commit to a school and not a staff,” Williams told Rivals. “The staffs can change just like they did at Kansas. So you have to know you will like the school. Coach Mitchell did a great job keeping me up-to-date when the staff changed. He has been recruiting me for a long time. He has let me know everything to keep me informed.”

Williams projects as a guard in college and ranks as the 29th-best player in the nation at his position in the Class of 2012. He has narrowed his choices to a final three from a list of offers that included: Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi, Rutgers, South Florida, Washington State and others.

Coaching staff a work in progress

There has been grumbling about the slow pace with which Weis has gone about hiring a defensive coordinator and filling out the rest of his coaching staff. But according to KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger, the delay has been by design. Monday night, during his time on “Hawk Talk with Bill Self,” Zenger talked about the ongoing quest for assistant coaches and shed light on Weis’ timetable.

“I’m watching him go through this process, and it’s really an old scientific term that we used to use in data collection of sifting and sorting through the folks and trying to get just the right combination,” Zenger said. “Sometimes I find myself shifting into fan mode when he shares names with me: I kind of go, ‘Well, hire him, hire him and hire him,’ but that’s not what he needs to do. He needs to make sure he gets the right puzzle pieces together to make this thing really work.”

Zenger, who has been a part of football coaching staffs at Kansas State, South Florida and Wyoming, says there is more that goes into putting together a coaching staff that many might think.

“That’s what he’s going through now,” Zenger said. “We’re going through background checks, and you gotta make sure the spouses would be happy in Lawrence. People don’t think about that, but when you bring together a staff of nine full-time assistants, you’re also bringing together nine families. And that’s critical to the chemistry of the staff.”

Jayhawks in the playoff hunt

With two weeks remaining in the NFL’s regular season, playoff positioning is the talk of the league. That’s good news for a couple former KU players whose pro teams are on the brink of postseason play.

The player whose team appears to be in the best shape is running back Moran Norris of the San Francisco 49ers. Although Norris has been inactive for the past three weeks, the 49ers have continued their improbable run under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh. San Fran, at 11-3, has clinched the NFC West division title and is battling New Orleans (11-3) for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

Wide receiver Kerry Meier of the Atlanta Falcons (9-5) needs just one more victory, or a loss by Chicago, Seattle, Arizona and New York, to lock down a spot in the NFC playoffs.

In the AFC, cornerback Chris Harris, a part-time starter for the Denver Broncos (8-6), leads the way as the Broncos currently sit in first place in the AFC West and are attempting to hold off former KU safety Darrell Stuckey and the San Diego Chargers (7-7), Oakland (7-7) and Kansas City (6-8) for the division title.

Offensive lineman Anthony Collins and the Cincinnati Bengals, at 8-6, are tied with the New York Jets for the final wild-card spot, but would lose the tiebreaker if the two teams finish with the same record.

Tampa Bay (4-10), with cornerback Aqib Talib and wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, is the only team containing former Jayhawks that is out of the hunt.

Comments

Billy Derringer 2 years, 11 months ago

sign on the dottied line son, may all your dreams come true with ku blue....

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 11 months ago

Big boy...let's land 'em coach.

The more I hear about Mitchell the more I like him. Recruits always comment on his consistent approach, and always speak of him with utter respect.

Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 11 months ago

If I was going to commit to a school, I would want it done before Christmas so I could relax and not stress about anything..Of course I'm not so...

FSUJHAWK 2 years, 11 months ago

Mitchell is a class guy who excells in his job, given the resources he has. When we turn the ship around Mitchell and HCCW will bring in some really big guns. Ok, I guess I'm on the bandwagon now.

Mr. Williams, as a fellow Central Floridian, I can assure you there's no place like KU. You'll love it!!!

RCJHGKU!!!

NebraskaJayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Would be a decent pick up. More DT though please! :)

KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 11 months ago

With NebraskaJayhawk - hopefully we hear news about getting some big nasties on the defensive line soon.

Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 11 months ago

Dayne Crist just commited to KU ROCK CHALK!!!!

BigJayhawkPhan 2 years, 11 months ago

Do you have a link!?!? Awesome news if true.

Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 11 months ago

He just announced it on his official twitter page!!!

jamill4 2 years, 11 months ago

Per dcrist10 on twitter: "After long and difficult decision making process, I'm incredibly excited to join the Kansas Football team. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

JayHok 2 years, 11 months ago

Go Weis and Welcome Crist!

First five star for Kansas, ever?

Let's go Grunhard, let's bring in some big guys who know how to move in pocket!

Andy Tweedy 2 years, 11 months ago

Has anybody ever mentioned Kelly Donahoe as a position coach possibility? Just curious...

Andy Tweedy 2 years, 11 months ago

Oops, thought I was posting on the other football article...oh well!

LAJayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Not to turn attention away from Duaron Williams, as he would certainly be a great pick up. But Pitt has officially hired Paul Chryst.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/7378440/pittsburgh-panthers-make-wisconsin-badgers-paul-chryst-coach

The stars appear to be aligning....

LAJayhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Here's Crist's twitter:

http://twitter.com/dcrist10

Rock Chalk Freakin' Jayhawk!!!!!!!!!!!!

lawrenceboy3 2 years, 11 months ago

Come to Lawrence Duaron. Big things are happening. You can be a huge part of it.

Ryan Michael 2 years, 11 months ago

Wow... Huge get for Weis. It's going to be an exciting year next year!

okiedave 2 years, 11 months ago

Is KU about to become a football school?

ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 11 months ago

hello ku bookstore, i'd like to order a #10 ku football jersey!

In Charlie we trust!

bville_hawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Charlie is certainly making a splash. We've been in the national football headlines now for a couple weeks. Hope it all translates into a presentable product on the field in coming seasons.

JayHok 2 years, 11 months ago

We want Weis!

We want Crist!

We want Heaps!

We want Dieter!

We want Butler!

97jhawk 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, looks like only bad things come in 3's. First Crist, then Heaps. Kid just picked Iowa St. He said they have a great fanbase. Unreal. Wonder if he ever went to a game there or saw the stat that there are 3 guys for every girl at ISU. Oh well.

sfbevo 2 years, 11 months ago

Williams committed to ISU this afternoon.

Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 11 months ago

Puke. Of the three schools...that would be my very last pick! This article was a jinx! Haha...

bossman1962 2 years, 11 months ago

Where are you finding this news about Williams ? I have been on rivals, scout and espn and googled it and nowhere is there anything about him going to Iowa State. He is not even on the committment list. Let me know where you found this because on scout it says he has changed and will make his decision friday.

Cmill1221 2 years, 11 months ago

If he was talking about commiting to a school and not a coach, staff, or system.... How can you pick isu over KU. Hahaha.

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