Monday, December 26, 2011

Well-positioned: Ex-Jayhawks Reesing, Whittemore excited for future KU QBs

Former Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing greets Jayhawk fans after a 44-16 win over Duke in this file photo from Sept. 19, 2009 at Memorial Stadium. Reesing said he is impressed with new KU coach Charlie Weis and the potential of KU’s recent quarterback recruits.

Former Kansas University quarterback Todd Reesing greets Jayhawk fans after a 44-16 win over Duke in this file photo from Sept. 19, 2009 at Memorial Stadium. Reesing said he is impressed with new KU coach Charlie Weis and the potential of KU’s recent quarterback recruits.


As the starting quarterbacks in three of the 12 bowl games the Kansas University football program has played during its 121-year history, Todd Reesing and Bill Whittemore certainly are qualified to talk about what it takes to play quarterback at KU.

And both are more than impressed by the upgrade that new KU coach Charlie Weis has brought to the position during his first three weeks on the job.

By adding former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist and former BYU QB Jake Heaps — both transfers and five-star prospects coming out of high school — Weis has returned to the program the kind of hope and excitement that Reesing and Whittemore once made common during their five combined seasons as KU starters.

With the pieces in place, it’s time to see if the new guys can deliver the same type of results. Reesing and Whittemore believe that’s possible, even if they can’t quite believe KU now has two blue-chip QBs on its roster.

“If they were recruiting five-star quarterbacks back when I was around, I wouldn’t have been there, so I’m obviously glad that wasn’t the case,” said Whittemore, now a quarterbacks coach at a private high school in Nashville, Tenn. “But I think KU has always had potential to recruit those types of kids. It’s a great college town, it’s a great school and there’s no reason why they can’t compete at that level. Obviously, they don’t have the backyard that Texas and schools like that have, but I think it’s an exciting time, with a new coach, and I think this just proves that.”

Reesing, who owns every major passing record in KU history, said the addition of such high-profile players not only brings talent to the field but also provides a sense of pride for the program.

“These guys still have to go out and play and prove themselves,” Reesing said. “But when you have guys that have the five-star ratings, whether they live up to them or not, they still bring that kind of attention. They’re the guys that are talked about, fans know their names and they’re being recruited by all the big schools. So when you get those kinds of guys to your school, and beat out schools like Texas and Florida and Alabama, it means a lot.”

Reesing, a former three-star recruit out of Lake Travis, Texas, and Whittemore, a former three-star recruit out of Fort Scott Community College, brought stability and skill to the team’s most important position during their stints at Kansas.

Whittemore, who started during Mark Mangino’s first two seasons at KU and led the Jayhawks to the 2003 Tangerine Bowl, threw for 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns while bringing grit, toughness and leadership to a team that had cycled through QBs with regularity during the decade that preceded his arrival.

Reesing, KU’s starter from 2007-09, led the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowl victories — including a 12-1 record during the 2007-08 Orange Bowl championship season — and threw for 11,000 yards and 90 touchdowns while delivering three consecutive seasons of more than 3,400 yards.

Both were leaders on their teams, and both operated as KU’s unquestioned, first-and-only choice at quarterback throughout their careers. While having that kind of a role helped them perform on the field, both said it also helped their teams tremendously.

“I do think there has to be a guy that the coaches believe in and back, and, as a response to that, I think it’s important that the players do, too,” Whittemore said. “The team has to believe in the quarterback or else the defense will be playing for just their side and not for the team and things become more individualized.”

Added Reesing: “When the team knows who their quarterback is, who their leader is, it makes everybody else around them play well. They have the ability to motivate people, to lead, to get everybody excited. It’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a tough position to play. And most of the teams that have been really, really successful have had a good quarterback.”

While it’s too early to tell if either Crist, who will play one year at Kansas and will be eligible next season, or Heaps, who has to sit out 2012 and will have two years remaining beginning in 2013, will match, or even exceed, what Reesing or Whittemore were able to do, Reesing said both will come to KU with a huge advantage.

“The thing is, these two guys are seasoned veterans,” Reesing said. “They have played a lot of college football and they’ve been around Charlie Weis. Dayne Crist knows Weis’ offense, he knows the system, and he’s going to come in and be miles ahead of everyone on the team, which is going to give him the ability to step in and be a leader right away.”

Will all of the impressive traits along with the incredible hype surrounding his arrival mean more pressure for Crist from the start?

“For a young guy who’s been playing at Notre Dame, with the attention that that program gets, he’s not going to feel any pressure,” Whittemore said.

While the two former Jayhawks were impressed by the new players who will step into their old positions, that paled in comparison to the thoughts each had about KU’s new head coach.

“I was actually at work and I got online and happened to read it somewhere, and it just completely caught me off guard,” said Reesing, recalling the moment he first heard about the Weis hire. “It was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh. Where did this come from?’ It kind of takes your breath away. You know who Charlie Weis is. You know what he’s done, you know what his pedigree is and it’s exciting that he’s bringing that to our school.”

Added Whittemore: “I think we’re probably catching him at the right time. I think he’s figured out the college game and realizes that he only has some much time to spend with the kids, so he’s probably tweaked his offensive schemes for them. I’m interested to see what they do and how it evolves.”

With his coaching staff only half complete and somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 new players still on his wish list, there clearly is more work for Weis to do. But both Reesing and Whittemore said, from their perspective, one of the hardest things to achieve already is in the bag.

“I don’t think there’s been this much buzz surrounding KU football since the middle of our 2007 season,” Reesing said. “And that’s exciting to see.”


Funhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I always thought Todd Reesing saved Mark Mangino's job.

Marc Frey 9 years, 9 months ago

And would Scottie Pippen have a few rings without MJ? It is all about matching players with the system. We will find out with Crist and Heaps.

dylans 9 years, 9 months ago

What does the ah stand for? a.h. per se coaching experience

JakeBarnes 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't know, but you're a piece of work!

JakeBarnes 9 years, 9 months ago

Just an expression, not something you do. BTW, I've noticed that you are mellowing.

Steve Corder 9 years, 9 months ago

Funhawk, Yogi Berra is reported to have been asked, "What makes a great manager?" To which he replied, "Great players."

You may be correct with your comment.

NJHAWK 9 years, 9 months ago

There is a difference between a manager and coach.

Funhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I have heard Bill Self admit to the press, at least once, that his players make him look good, that his success is due to recruiting, not necessarily his coaching. Whenever KU gets upset in the NCAA tourney, I suspicion that the better coach won, because the winning coach of the game won with lesser talented players. Example: KU installing a full court press way too late in the Northern Iowa loss.
And, Todd Reesing was not Coach Mangino's first choice. Mangino took off Todd's redshirt midway through the season and thrust him into the starting roll out of desperation. Kerry became a success story after being demoted. They jelled and saved their coach's butt.

blackhawkjayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Right again. Mangino is massively overrated.

Todd 9 years, 9 months ago

You could say I mean Chase Daniel saved Pinkie's job. The mizzery fools here in St. Louis were calling for his job prior to their 2007 season. It's all perspective. But who cares. I'm enjoying the buzz around KU football, especially during basketball season.

danmoore 9 years, 9 months ago

Mangino was smart enough to recruit Todd and smart enough to start him over Kerry who at the time was the QB to beat. Not every coach is perceptive enough to make that move. Marty Shottenheimer assembled a great team but was not perceptive enough to see that he should have started Rich Gannon over Elvis Grbac. Give the man the credit he is due.

shelleysue 9 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. And smart enough not to leave Kerry Meier off the field as a back up QB.

Michael Thorp 9 years, 9 months ago

Great article! Can't wait till next season. RCKJHK

Todd Simpson 9 years, 9 months ago

as always I will be at the First game of the season every year I go.

gardenjay 9 years, 9 months ago

That was a great article - thank you!

gardenjay 9 years, 9 months ago

That was a great article - thank you!

Andrew Bary 9 years, 9 months ago

Downloaded that song as soon as the article popped on a couple years ago. Still on my iPod for nostalgia.

VaJay 9 years, 9 months ago

Keep these articles coming Matt! Thanks! Nice to hear our favorite experts talk about the impact rather than the armchair versions!

chicagoeddie 9 years, 9 months ago


TenaciousD 9 years, 9 months ago

How is a guy like Reesing not on KU's staff in some way? Assuming he wants to stay involved in the game, he should be an assistant. Having him on the sideline would amp up the excitement even more. He's got to be getting bored of that desk job. Bring him in Charlie!

Robert Brock 9 years, 9 months ago

It's gonna happen sometime. I think we can bank on it.

Andrew Bary 9 years, 9 months ago

Doesn't he play Canadian Football League? Does he seem like the type that wants to coach? Never met the guy so I don't really know.

texashawk10 9 years, 9 months ago

Todd Reesing works for David Booth (the guy who bought Naismith's rules) down in Austin, TX.

number1jayhawker 9 years, 9 months ago

No it's called money. Todd is and will be making much more money than he could as a lower ranked coach for KU. Also there are a lot of great players that don't make good coaches.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 9 months ago

Todd got cut from the Rough Riders in June of 08. As far as I know, right now he's just a free the CFL. That being said, it doesn't sound like he's making a lot of money right now. Apparently great players don't make good players either. He should get a coaching job.

Phoggin_Loud 9 years, 9 months ago

"12 bowl games the Kansas University football program has played during its 121-year history"

Ouch!! Those futile numbers are staggering.

It's time to turn it around. Go get 'em, Coach Weis!!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 9 months ago

No doubt--the futile numbers are staggering. I remember listening to the K-State/KU game on the radio (can't remember what year}, where it ended in a 0-0 tie. Back then, of course, there was no tie breaker in place. One really had to be a "true" fan to listen to that game. Better times ahead, thank goodness!

Mike Kendall 9 years, 9 months ago

Then, it must have been before 1987. I just remember the Final was a 0-0 tie.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 9 months ago

I remember that game, too. That's when I made the comment, "College football needs an Overtime when games are tied."

Funhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

The memorable Toilet Bowl is documented on the Sports Page of the LJW, November 8, 1987. Click here to see it. You can blow up the page with a mouse click.

Phoggin_Loud 9 years, 9 months ago

I remember that game too. I listened to the whole thing. Wasn't that one dubbed "The Toilet Bowl"? I don't recall ever hearing that phrase before that game. It sure lived up (or down) to that name.

It's time to build a perennial winner. I agree with Whittemore's quote: “But I think KU has always had potential to recruit those types of kids. It’s a great college town, it’s a great school and there’s no reason why they can’t compete at that level."

Charlie is showing this so far.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 9 months ago

Okay, looking at the records books here. In 1966, KU tied K-State, 3-3. I believe that was the game I listened to on the radio. I was only 7 years old at the time. The team was coached by Jack Mitchell and the game was played in Manhattan. That was also, before I became a serious KU fan, which one can tell looking at my avatar.

Funhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Apparently you and the sports editor have the same birth year. Both teams were horrible that year of 1966. I believe K-St did not win a game and I think KU only won two.

hawksince51 9 years, 9 months ago

I was at that game in Manhattan with my KSU relatives. As I recall KSU led 3-0 and had the ball with a few seconds left. They fumbled on a kneel down, we recovered and kicked the tying field goal. As bad as it was, that made it seem like a win. After that year, we got Pepper and they got Ol' Vince and both fortunes changed for awhile--Bobby Douglas, John Riggins, Lynn Dickey, etc. But as usual it was shortlived.

VaJay 9 years, 9 months ago

Most recent low score tie was 1966 (3-3)

The last 0-0 tie was in 1923, I assume the game might have been on the radio - so what are you, a hundred years old??

David Robinett 9 years, 9 months ago

Yes, in a perverse way, that was awesome -- both teams sucked so bad neither one could win.

A movable object met a resistible force...

Mangino_Maniac 9 years, 9 months ago

And four of those bowl games were under Mangino.

Phoghorn 9 years, 9 months ago

That is very nice
I am now supporting Weis Please take my advice

LAJayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Tangerine Bowl (now Capital One Bowl) - Started in 1990 Fort Worth Bowl (now Armed Services Bowl) - Started in 2003 Insight Bowl - Started in 1989

I'm not trying to take anything away from Mangino's accomplishments -- as I would be ecstatic if we start regularly going to the lessor bowls with an occasional big name bowl mixed in -- but he had the benefit of having many more bowls to attend than most of his predecessors. Considerably more bowls have come into existence in the last 25 years or so. Being the coach who got us to 33% of our bowl appearances is a great thing, but understand he had many more options and opportunities than coaches who came before him.


Chris Bailey 9 years, 9 months ago

Yeah well I believe this is KSU's 8th bowl game in school history so I guess we're still ahead of them even though it seems they think they are a national power!

Ryan Gerstner 9 years, 9 months ago

I love how people say that to try to make KU look bad. 1. There hasn't been bowl games for 121 years. Bowl games have exploded the past decade. Even in the mid 90s, there was only 17 bowl games compared to 34-36 today (the number goes up every year so it's hard to keep up with). Even KU went to 4 bowl games the past decade and would have went to 4 in the 90s under the current set of bowl rules (and bowl set up).

gchawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Great article, and welcome back Matt. Just a little side note, please lose the "Ex", just too many connotations.

Steve Brown 9 years, 9 months ago

When we lose the track and add a complicated yet needed drainage system under the turf how many seats will that add?

Charlie will have to explain to students how staying for the whole game helps recruiting and building blocks for future.

Let's recruit some big mean and fast D players.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 9 months ago

Washington State has a track and they seemed to be able to land a big name coach too...

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 9 months ago

Correction. Washington. Actually, a better example.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 9 months ago

Alright, crow time. UW is removing the track...however, in doing so, they are reducing the capacity by 2000 seats...not sure how that works. Anyway, I stand corrected.

741hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Google Huskie Stadium to learn all about it. Building a new stadium on the site. New stadium will not have a track, leaving KU and Duke as the only BCS schools with a track.

Engineering study says 7,000 seats c an be added at Memorial Stadium by removing the track. (Actually, the track should be removed AND the horseshoe torn down and replaced with stands across the end zone.)

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 9 months ago

This issue is a red herring. If you look a the different college stadiums around the country, you will see that many, if not he majority, have about the same space between the sidelines and the stands. Look at MU's stadium, it could easily fit a track around the field, same for Bill Snyder's Family Stadium. It does not seem to have hurt their recruiting and/or attendance. Check Google maps if you do not believe me. The cost of lowering the field to add additional seating is prohibitively high as is the ongoing maintenance; the entire horse shoe section would have to be re-built to get the seats close to the actual field. It might be cheaper to built a new one from scratch. If the objective is to get more seats, lets fill the seats on the existing stadium first and then think about expansion. BTW, the easiest way to add more seats is to complete the upper tier of the horse shoe section where it meets the east and west sections, That is about 10,000-15,000 seats right there. If you don't like the track, simple place some astro turf over the track on game days and the stadium will look like many others around the country.

741hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

What you DON'T want to do is add seats in the horseshoe. Think about how far away Those seats would be!

Colorado took out their track years ago, left the horseshoe, and slid the field to the horseshoe (so it wasn't so far from the field.) They compromised the issue.

Still, the best solution is to lower the field and replace the horseshoe.

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 9 months ago

"Still, the best solution is to lower the field and replace the horseshoe."

That is one solution but likely not the best solution or maybe even a feasible one. What you are suggesting would cost no less than 100 million and probably considerably more. Just because something can be done does not necessarily means it should be done. How many sellouts have we had in the last 10 years? ever? Let's sell out Memorial Stadium on regular basis before we start talking about spending that kind of dough.

Ben Kliewer 9 years, 9 months ago

I agree. JHFT isn't saying it's not feasible to change the stadium, just that we should wait until there is a reason to. We fill those stands, they'll have the cash to redo the stadium. The sad thing is, it's historic. The oldest college stadium west of the Mississippi still in use. Perhaps we should pull a State and keep Memorial and build a new stadium...although, the positioning on campus is pretty nice.

Ryan Gerstner 9 years, 9 months ago

Good to see the LJW catch up with these two. Whittemore married Dave Ramsey's daughter.

Hopefully we'll see both back for games this year.

rockchalkblock 9 years, 9 months ago

Slant is reporting another coach is staying ne one know who it is?

LAJayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Through Slant, it sounds like it's Buddy Wyatt.

willie_fu_fu 9 years, 9 months ago

Beaty was the only one up in the air wasn't he?

Kansashawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I remember that was what LJW was reporting. The only coach that CW mentioned retaining was Mitchell. So maybe something didn't pan out. Total speculation at this point

Jim Jackson 9 years, 9 months ago

Hopefully it's Beaty. The man can coach and can crecruit Texas very well. Anyone have any concrete info on this? Any news on Darrian Miller? We need that dude to stick around. He will be playing on Sundays somewhere if he can stay healthy.

Mike Ross 9 years, 9 months ago

Items left to be resolved: DC = ?? 2nd coach to be retained = ?? current players to transfer = ?? def recruits coming in = ?? receivers coming in = ?? bowl invite in '12 = ???

Anything i missed?

LAJayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago


Slant is reporting Brian Wagner -- the Akron kid who led the MAC and was second in the nation in tackles before his last game where he was hurt and didn't play (he finished 4th) -- is down to KU, Arizona and Indiana to transfer. For those who don't know, he's the same situation as Crist: 1 year of eligibility, but has graduated making him able to play immediately. He is an excellent LB, and would be a great addition to our D.

Also, it looks like we might be taking another JuCo DT (although, I'm not finding a name), and we're in line on a handful of high school DLs. In fact, it looks like we are not actually out on De'Jon Wilson, the kid that committed, but then switched to CU. We shall see......

Geekinout 9 years, 9 months ago

South Florida: DE containment on Reesing. Never the same team after...

VaJay 9 years, 9 months ago

Actually - never the same after the Reesing groin injury.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 9 months ago

If these 5 stars are as good as Reesing it's happy days again for KU fans. Since 1950 there have been two really great KU quarterbacks, John Hadl and Todd Reesing. Cromwell and Bobby Douglass were very good, but not the quality of Reesing.

JayHok 9 years, 9 months ago

Just noticed on scout a KU fan posted that Dieter sent a tweet after Crist announced. Dieter apparently really wants to announce now, but is waiting. Considering the timing of the tweet, it very much appears Weis has a great shot to sign Dieter.

Receivers that are serious about running perfect routes is a key for Weis. Dieter certainly does that. Reminds me a lot of Jordy Nelson and a taller version of Kerry Meier.

RCJ Weis!

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