Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back on his feet: Senior Jeremiah Hatch healing, hoping for one last go against K-State

Kansas offensive lineman Jeremiah Hatch is taken off the field on a stretcher in the first half of Kansas’ game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. Hatch returned to the Kansas sideline late in the second half.

Kansas offensive lineman Jeremiah Hatch is taken off the field on a stretcher in the first half of Kansas’ game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011. Hatch returned to the Kansas sideline late in the second half.


Kale Pick says Jeremiah Hatch feeling good

According to Kansas receiver Kale Pick, Jeremiah Hatch has bounced back quickly from a scary injury sustained against Oklahoma.

Tim Biere picked KU over Kansas State

Kansas tight end Tim Biere gave his reasons for picking the Jayhawks over their in-state rival.

You’d never know from watching him at Tuesday’s football practice that Kansas University senior Jeremiah Hatch recently had been strapped to a stretcher and forced to wonder if he’d ever walk again.

As a cool wind blew through Memorial Stadium and the Jayhawks got ready for another week in the competitive Big 12, Hatch bounced around the field fulfilling his role as a team leader.

“It’s K-State week,” he yelled repeatedly to his teammates. “Let’s go.”

KU coach Turner Gill said Tuesday that the senior center from Dallas officially is listed as questionable for this week’s game against No. 12 Kansas State. The fact there’s even a chance he might play after suffering a neck injury that required him to be taken to the hospital for evaluation during last week’s loss to Oklahoma makes Hatch feel as if he’s already recovered.

“You go through something like that, it makes you appreciate the little things in life,” Hatch said. “You start thinking about the smaller things that really mean a lot to you, not just football. You start thinking about everything like just walking and being able to move around.”

After Saturday’s game, Gill said Hatch temporarily lost feeling in his arms and legs and could not move them on his own. That function had been restored by game’s end, and Hatch even returned to the sideline in street clothes to support his teammates in the final minutes.

Upon his return, Hatch said he saw relief in the eyes of his teammates and answered several questions about specific situations on the field. He welcomed both.

“I was eager to see my teammates compete out there,” Hatch said. “Just being back on the sideline felt good.”

Hatch wasn’t the only one who thought that way.

“It was definitely scary to see him out there like that,” sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb said. “He’s one of our biggest leaders, and you never want to see somebody taken off on a stretcher. It kind of does something to you mentally.”

Like Webb and many other Jayhawks, Hatch admitted to fearing the worst when he first went down. But the 6-foot-3, 299-pound O-lineman never has made a habit out of letting things he can’t control get the best of him. With Hatch, it’s always been about taking life as it comes and doing the best you can with it. Although he seemed to be the same happy-go-lucky team leader he has developed into during Tuesday’s practice, Hatch is a long way from being cleared for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff. While he waits to see if he will be allowed to face K-State for the final time in his career — he’s 2-2 against the Wildcats — Hatch tries to pass the time by helping the rest of his team get ready, with or without him.

Asked if he wanted to play, Hatch answered without hesitating.

“Of course,” he said. “It’s my last year. I want to get out there. I’m doing everything I can. Two games you can’t miss: K-State and Missouri.”

Should Kansas be forced to play without him on Saturday, Gill said the offense would use the same five players it did when Hatch went down last week. Left guard Trevor Marrongelli would slide into his spot at center. Left tackle Jeff Spikes would move into Marrongelli’s spot at guard. And reserve Riley Spencer would fill in for Spikes. Although it took the new-look line took a little time to work out the kinks against OU, the group earned plenty of praise from the KU coaches. Marrongelli was named the team’s offensive player of the week and the rest were applauded for fighting through a tough situation.

“I want to commend our guys for the switch we had in the OU game,” offensive coordinator Chuck Long said. “We had three changes along the offensive line and to have that against the No. 1 team in the nation, I thought they did a nice job. I was proud of what they did.”

Hatch agreed with Long’s assessment.

“They did pretty good,” he said. “I think they held their own. When we came in on Sunday and watched the film, they did better than I expected.”


okchawks24 2 years, 6 months ago

i think its funny that all the ksu mildcats fans are talking trash yea your 7-0 but who have you played nobody and ku has played the 3rd toughest schedule in the country trust me on saturday kansas will be ready to play and the 7-0 will be gone and kansas wins 28-21 over the mildcats


Keith Hummel 2 years, 6 months ago

For anyone that doubts the heart and commitment of this team, check out this week's episode of the Gridiron.

Steven Johnson's speech was epic! Made me want to suit up and go hit somebody.

No matter what you think about Gill, you've gotta hand it to these kids for playing their tails off. They gave it everything they had in that OU game. I have no doubt they will do it again against K-State. Keep supporting this team and good things will happen. I have a feeling this Saturday could be the turning point.


babyjay1 2 years, 6 months ago

Nice post from Extremesports! Glad to see someone who is actually a true K-State fan and not just someone who wants to be nasty toward my Hawks. The posters who can't spell and just do their best to think of ridiculous things to say are almost too funny!! Let's see... didn't OklahomaSooner also promise they would have 50,000 fans at the KU vs OU game? Didn't see that.... I'm sure that KState will bring their share of fans, and I'm also sure that KU fans will turn out to support our Hawks! Looks like a great day for a great rivalry game... ROCK CHALK!!!!


Extremestunts 2 years, 6 months ago

As a K-State fan...I personally have a good dose of respect for Hatch and his abilities on the offensive line. I am glad that nothing serious is going on with Hatch! I am a football fanatic but it is just a game and how sad would that be for Hatch to have questions about simple things like walking. scary stuff! Glad he's not there anymore.

Also said I want KU's best shot and while the other lineman performed...this team is much better with Hatch.

so good luck to both teams this week. Let's keep both squads healthy because let's face it. If you wish injury on any players you are a low low human being.

I know their are times I SELFISHLY wish their recovery to be a little slower so my team doesn't face a superstar.


Kirk 2 years, 6 months ago

To "KState_Wildcats" --

Much respect. Not to KSU, but to you yourself. We all know that you're not a KSUck fan, but a disgruntled "hater" of Gill.

All good. To be a sports "fanatic" is pure entertainment and escapism.

You're getting the most comments in return. You and Keegan piss off so many people, they just can't resist telling you about it. How dumb you are!

But really it gives people something to do, which is totally fine.

Hats off.


Kirk 2 years, 6 months ago

The article says Hatch is still "a long way from being cleared" to play. And I don't doubt it.

I'm always happy when an injured player turns out fundamentally okay, especially when it's so obviously an awesome guy like Hatch.

I'm guessing he sits this one out. Oh well. There's no way KU can beat KSU without him, but in the grand scheme of things, I can live with that.


Ethan Berger 2 years, 6 months ago

Luckily for us the K State offense is poor. Unluckily for us, their defense is very stout.


Mike Kendall 2 years, 6 months ago

Really scary when Hatch didn't get back up. Get well soon. I know you want to play against the Mildcats but there is life after football. Rock Chalk Jayhawk--Beat KSU!!!


Keith Hummel 2 years, 6 months ago

I'll be surprised if Hatch plays, but I sure hope he does. There was a very noticeable drop-off in our offensive production against OU, especially with the running game, after Hatch got injured. Get well soon Jeremiah.


KState_Wildcats 2 years, 6 months ago

Glad you Jayburds will be at full strength.

We are reading each one of your articles and noting your fan comments. You are a laughable football fanbase. Get ready for your stadium to be full of purple because we bought nearly all of your tickets. Get ready for some national TV football Lawrence!

Our loyal Cats can't wait til Saturday! KU is awful in the 3rd and 4th quarter! Awful! No halftime adjustments! LMAO! Dont you worry Snyder will make his. Will be a lot worse than 59-7 this year! EMAW!


Dirk Medema 2 years, 6 months ago

It will be nice when the clydes grow so that we have enough tru depth so 1 player down means 1 change and not the majority of the line.


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