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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Pat’s back: DT Dorsey hustles to return from injury

Kansas University defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey swoops in to hit a tackling dummy during the team’s first practice in this file photo from Aug. 4. After sitting out the first three games due to a broken foot, Dorsey expects to make his season debut Saturday against Texas Tech.

Kansas University defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey swoops in to hit a tackling dummy during the team’s first practice in this file photo from Aug. 4. After sitting out the first three games due to a broken foot, Dorsey expects to make his season debut Saturday against Texas Tech.

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Patrick Dorsey returns from injury

Patrick Dorsey will return to Kansas University's defensive line against Texas Tech on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011.

KU coach Turner Gill works with the punt returners during Wednesday's practice

Kansas coach Turner Gill works with the punt returners during practice on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2011, at the KU practice fields.

Jayhawks welcomed bye week

The consensus among the Kansas football team was that its bye week could not have come at a better time.

Because of a broken foot that had kept him out of action since Aug. 17, defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey was forced to watch Georgia Tech dismantle his Kansas University football team from a television set in Lawrence.

One day after the loss, with a bye week staring the Jayhawks in the face, Dorsey decided it was time to do something.

With the help of head trainer Murphy Grant, who carefully monitored Dorsey’s progress during his down time, the senior from Houston entered KU’s off week determined to get back to work. With his own mind primed for a return, Dorsey’s next step was to make sure that his teammates were on board as well.

“I came in with (senior center Jeremiah) Hatch (the day after the Georgia Tech loss), and they still had the bios of the Georgia Tech players up on the board,” Dorsey said. “So I just flipped it over and wrote, ‘Georgia Tech is over. Let’s move on to Texas Tech. Let’s beat ’em.’”

For Dorsey, moving on to Texas Tech is as much about bouncing back personally as it is as a team. After starting 11 games a season ago and proving to be one of the KU defense’s most valuable interior linemen, Dorsey entered the offseason focused on making his senior season different from 2010. He put in time last winter to get bigger, faster and stronger. He worked all spring to become a leader and turned it up a notch during summer workouts when the Kansas heat provided the ultimate test for the entire KU roster. And then — boom! — just like that, all the hard work was wiped out and Dorsey was on crutches.

“It’s been hard watching my team go through everything without me,” Dorsey said. “It’s been hard just watching because you’ve been there through the two-a-days and the summer workouts. But to be able to comeback now feels good.”

Dorsey, 6-foot, 273 pounds, is not the only Jayhawk excited about his return. KU coach Turner Gill said he gladly would add Dorsey’s 12 career starts and 20 career appearances to a defense that features 15 guys with one year or less of starting experience on its two-deep depth chart.

“I think it’ll help us,” Gill said. “He’s an experienced player and has some skills (and) can make plays for us. At the D-line, you have to be able to get off blocks and make plays, and I think Dorsey will help us in that phase.”

Senior co-captain Steven Johnson said Dorsey’s return would help the team’s mentality as much as anything and added that the timing was great considering the Jayhawks (2-1) were forced to play their last game without junior John Williams, a starter who picked up a lot of the slack during Dorsey’s absence.

“It’s gonna be a big lift for us,” Johnson said. “It’s gonna provide some good run support for us. It’s gonna provide some good pressure on the quarterback. I know we lost big John, but it’s kind of like we made a trade or something like that.”

While the Jayhawks moved on without him, Dorsey worked hard to get back onto the field as quickly as possible. Initially expected to miss six to eight weeks, Dorsey jumped back in five weeks after being injured. He shed the crutches three weeks ago and went through his fifth practice of the season Tuesday.

“I knew we needed the help because we were dropping D-tackles like flies,” he said. “So I pushed rehab even harder to come back now.”

Asked where he stood physically with his season opener just four days away, Dorsey sounded like a man ready to play 70 snaps.

“It’s good to go,” he said of his injured foot. “I’ve been practicing, I’ve been planting on it, I’ve been rehabbing with Murphy Grant, and he’s got me ready to go, ready to move. I’m healthy.”

Surely Dorsey’s conditioning won’t be up to speed just yet, right? Wrong, according to him.

“I’m good,” he reiterated. “I’ve also been doing cardio with (Grant) every day since I’ve been off crutches so he’s been helping me get right.”

Dorsey said he injured his foot during a freak accident in practice. One minute he was digging in for leverage and leaning on an offensive lineman, and the next he was down on the ground.

“Working a little too hard, man,” said Dorsey when asked how it happened. “At first I didn’t (think it was that bad). I thought I kind of tweaked it a little bit. But I was very concerned. At the same time, Murphy sat me down and told me it wasn’t over and that I’d have another chance. At that point in time, I got my mind right to just do whatever I had to do to rehab and get back on the field.”

While he was out, Dorsey said he saw the game in a completely different way. He focused more on technique than ever and even got to try out his chops as a coach while watching his fellow defensive linemen do work.

“Yeah, he’s always in our ears, telling us to pick it up,” senior defensive tackle Richard Johnson Jr. said of Dorsey. “If he sees we’re not doing something right, he lets us know. We’d definitely rather have Big Pat playing. He’s a big factor in our defense this year, and he was last year, so another piece to the defense is always good to have back.”

Now that’s he’s close to 100 percent again, Dorsey said he’s ready to put the injury behind him and focus on the future.

“My goal is just to help the team in any way I can,” he said. “It’s up to coach however he wants to play me. Whenever he puts me in, whenever my number’s called, I’m just ready to help the team. As far as what I learned, just being grateful for everything and every day because you never know what could happen.”

Cornerback questionable for Tech

Gill said senior cornerback Isiah Barfield was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Texas Tech. Barfield, who opened the season as a starter in KU’s secondary, left the loss to Georgia Tech early because of injury and did not return. Red-shirt freshman Dexter McDonald picked up extra snaps in Barfield’s absence, and defensive coordinator Vic Shealy said McDonald was in line for more playing time this weekend because of the way he performed against the Yellow Jackets.

As for the rest of the Jayhawks who were battling injuries, Gill said he expected all of them to be ready for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff vs. Texas Tech.

Bakare ready to rumble

One of those players who missed most of the Georgia Tech game was junior linebacker Tunde Bakare, who suffered a neck injury during KU’s victory over Northern Illinois in Week 2. Shealy said Bakare was back to 100 percent and, more importantly, was dying to get back onto the field.

“He’s had two great weeks of practice, and he’s pretty fired up right now,” Shealy said of the 5-10, 215-pound outside linebacker. “If you talked to him, he may run right through your camera. You ask him about football, you’ll see that twinkle in his eye pretty quick. He’s pretty fired up. Had he not had some injuries, I think some of his numbers would’ve spoken up. But Tunde’s obviously a fast-forward guy. Keeping him healthy is hopefully something we’re able to do because we’re a different defense when he’s in there.”

KU-Texas Tech by the numbers

The Jayhawks are 1-11 all-time against Texas Tech, including an 0-6 mark in games played in Lawrence. KU’s lone victory against Tech came in 2001, when the Jayhawks won, 34-31, in overtime in Lubbock, Texas. This week’s match-up with the Red Raiders will mark the 2011 Big 12 opener for both teams. KU is 6-9 all-time in Big 12 openers, and Texas Tech is 9-6. The Red Raiders have opened conference play on the road during five of the past six seasons and also have lost their past two conference openers. Texas Tech opened as a 12-point favorite in this one, but, by Tuesday night, the line had dropped to Tech -6.5.

O-Lineman dismissed

Gill also announced that freshman offensive lineman Cooper Kerns, 6-4, 315, of Rockhurst High, had been dismissed from the team due to a violation of team rules. Kerns, a walk-on, was arrested Sept. 3 on charges of possessing a fake ID and misdemeanor battery on a law-enforcement officer because police said he was accused of striking the officer in the face with his arm as he pulled away and ran. Kerns’ attorney entered a not-guilty plea on Sept. 19.

Comments

odc213 10 years, 2 months ago

nice manginorh, very funny to those following lately

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

How does a line go from 12 to 6.5 in, what, two days? That's pretty bizarre. I would have thought the line would have been around 7 to begin with, so initially setting it at 12 seems pretty strange.

jhawk23 10 years, 2 months ago

Probably because so much money was bet on KU with the points. The bookies adjust the line because ideally they'd like the dollar amounts betting both sides to be equal. Then they get their 10-15% vigorish with no wory about a big loss.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

I understand the math behind the change; I'm just wondering why the line was so off in the first place. How often do you ever see that drastic a change in such a short time?

Mike Kendall 10 years, 2 months ago

Wow--0-6 against Tech in Lawrence. Time to snatch a victory from the Red Raiders. Good luck, Jayhawks!

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago

With all the Mangino maniacs out there one would think that he would have beaten his ole buddy Leach, but I guess not.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

One of those losses was the biggest blown lead in KU history, which I was "lucky" enough to be at. KU was up 30-5 in the second quarter, and for some bizarre, inexplicable reason went for 2. They missed the conversion and ended up losing 31-30. I knew one of the players on the team and asked him why KU had gone for 2 when they were up by 25 points, and he said that none of the players had had the nerve to ask Mangino about it. That was just one of countless similarly bizarre moves that Mangino made. For all the glory he had in that one season, he cost KU countless other games with strange choices like that one.

vd 10 years, 2 months ago

How can you speed up the healing of a broken bone? I'm afraid he will never be 100% this season, especially if they bring him back too soon.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Sorry to burst your bubble ahperse - that really wasn't a "slick" answer - it was the truth.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

The Kansas Posters Movie Sequel: "Type and Wipe".

ahperse..................Seth Rogen mangiorh00lz...........Lewis Black Jaybate...................William Shatner kushaw...................Sir Antony Hopkins 100.........................Brad Pitt Ralster....................Denzel Washington OakvilleJHawk..........Tom Selleck [plus 100 or so pounds] vd...........................Charlie Sheen

We still need more actors. Please audition if you are interested.

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Oavkville, you're a genius.

Cannot wait to tell my grownup grandkids Brad Pitt is playing me in a movie... I think, like JK Rowling, we should definitely be there for the shoot... Just to make sure things are done right.

Now we just need a script...

A director...

A producer...

Shooting locations...

Actresses?

Trailers...

Craft service?

Hotels....

Coffee...

Saturdays off....

A cable provider for our days off to watch Jayhawk Football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Keep bringin 'em in Coach Gill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Glad we'll finally get to meet in person, Ahperse... I'm thinkin Craft Service needs to make a special K sandwich for you everyday. And I'm not talking about the serial special K. It really is a very tasty sandwich!

Also, and this is meant in the most respectful manner possible...

But I really think Nick Nolte should play your character. There's just something about him in his most recent pictures that makes me think he'd be great playing you. Of course you'll have to coach him up on the right type of mannerisms and the like.

Also I'm getting a bit concerned about our budget on this film.

Any chance Turner Gill could play himself?

That might free up about $2 million in production costs...

Plus it could really help him recruit some more

"Speeeeeeeeeeeeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

100 10 years, 2 months ago

It's meant to say cereal, not serial... But could cereal also equal serial if Nick Nolte is playing your part?

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Anybody know somebody who knows how to write a movie script?

I know we can have a good behind the scenes look at "what happened behind the scenes at this movie shoot" using Josh Swade. He's the Jayhawk grad/documentary filmmaker from NY who filmed Booth outbidding the Smithsonian for Naismith's rules.

First thing's first: gotta have a script & get some money behind this once in a lifetime opportunity....

I'm thinking part of this script needs to take place in Barcelona....

justinryman 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm in for the Maui Classic, I will take the hit and go to Hawaii in November.

100 10 years, 2 months ago

Hey that sounds great, Justin. I have no problem with a week or so of shooting in Hawaii, as long as we get time off to watch the good guys play Naismith's game in the tourney, as well as Gill's game on Saturday.

If we can all get a couple weeks off for the shoot in Spain, that really could be something. I'm thinking for part of the Spain shooting, at least one scene where we're all on our laptops typing while dodging running bulls might be a nice touch.... Thank God for actors....

A scene like this really could cement Gill's football fans as the best all over the world.

Also a scene in Hawaii with a few of our actors simultaneously surfing in a Tsunami while calmly & confidently chattering with our wives/kids/grandkids on cellphones about what to type into KU sports message boards regarding Gill bringing in the #1 recruiting class in the nation...

"Oh no, I'm fine, the weather is beautiful here.... #1 recruiting class? Better than Alabama? Honey sit down. Go to the ku message board... Type this right now under the story.... "Jayhawk nation is proud of you Coach Gill!!!! But dont forget to recruit for next year too!!!!!!!! Keep bringin 'em in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

[[big splash sound followed by an electrical shock & busy signal]]

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

Since I'm "actorman," I will, of course, be playing myself.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

I have no idea how that comment ended up here. It was supposed to go under the Oakville cast list above.

actorman 10 years, 2 months ago

Whoops, now I see how long the Oakville thread went. As Emily Litella (aka Gilda Radner) used to say, "Never mind."

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 2 months ago

I saw on the ticker today, that one of the Defensive Ends HCTG was recruiting chose another university.

Gotta find a way to start recruiting the defense as well as the offense else we will continue to struggle. As much as I see people switch and be successful, typically you have to bring in a few people to play the line.

Good Luck on other recruits.

troutsee 10 years, 2 months ago

Come on D. Come through for your teammates and all of us this weekend. Let's put a good shellacking on Tech this weekend for all the miseries that they have caused us over the last few years.

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