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Friday, February 10, 2012

KU football still working on ’12 class

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Saturday marks the first of a handful of “junior days” for Kansas University’s football program this offseason.

However, as the program’s recruiting attention starts to turn toward the Class of 2013, there remains some work to be done in the Class of 2012, most of which officially signed with the Jayhawks on Feb. 1.

One KU target who remains unsigned is Tevin Shaw, a senior running back from Piscataway (N.J.) High, who will make his official visit to KU’s campus this weekend.

The Jayhawks began recruiting Shaw, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, in mid-January and appeared to lose out on him as Shaw had planned to sign with Iowa on signing day. However, when the Hawkeyes ran out of room in their current class, that opened the door for KU coach Charlie Weis and company to step in, and, as of now, it appears that KU is the favorite for Shaw.

Both Weis and KU recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello have led the charge in recruiting Shaw, who ran for 1,600 yards and 24 TDs as a senior last fall and is billed by some who have seen him as a stellar athlete.

Shaw, also a standout wrestler, will be joined on his official visit by members of his family, several juniors from the Class of 2013 and East Los Angeles College cornerback Nas Moore, who signed with KU on Feb. 1 but just now is taking his official visit.

KU pro day set

KU’s annual pro timing day will take place at 9:30 a.m. on March 14. That’s the day scouts from around the NFL will come to Lawrence to watch several of KU’s outgoing seniors — along with a handful of former Jayhawks — run through a variety of drills that test their timing, agility and strength in anticipation of the April NFL Draft.

KU has a few players who figure to draw interest from the NFL. Included among them are: linebacker Steven Johnson, tight end Tim Biere, offensive linemen Jeremiah Hatch and Jeff Spikes and cornerback Isiah Barfield, whose speed could earn him a look.

The event will take place in the Anderson Family Football Complex and Memorial Stadium and will not be open to the public.

Martin worked with Weis

Last weekend, former New England Patriots running back Curtis Martin was one of six players selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

For his career, the tailback from Pitt finished fourth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 14,101 yards. He also ranks third in rushing attempts (3,518) and 12th in rushing touchdowns (90). Not bad for a guy who began his 11-year pro career under the tutelage of a man known for developing quarterbacks.

A lot has said and written about Weis being known as a quarterback guru. But, when Martin broke into the league in 1995, he ran for 1,487 yards and earned offensive rookie of the year honors under Weis, who at that time was the Patriots’ running-backs coach.

This, of course, was before Weis went on to become a successful NFL offensive coordinator, first with the New York Jets and later with the New England Patriots.

So enamored was Weis with the running back that after spending one season in New York without him, he influenced the Jets to trade for Martin before the 1998 season. During his two seasons with Weis in New York, Martin ran for 1,287 and 1,464 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. He also caught 88 passes for 624 yards and one more touchdown.

At the induction ceremony in August, Martin will join Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf as the latest NFL greats to make it to Canton, Ohio.

Rivera to stay with Patriots

Former KU linebacker Mike Rivera, who spent the second half of the 2011 season on the New England Patriots’ practice squad, has agreed to a contract to stay with the club in 2012.

Rivera, who has been on five teams during his first three years in the NFL, was one of five practice-squad players the Patriots signed to futures contracts just days after losing Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants.

Comments

KjayhawkprideU 2 years, 2 months ago

Great stories Matt!!! I am really pumped and ready for next season to start but one thing I would like you to post on (if you don't mind) is how the workouts are going. I want to hear from the players and how they feel this next season is going to go. Would you mind doing some research and posting something about what they are going through right now and where they feel they are heading?

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JhawkalumJB 2 years, 2 months ago

Glad we got Shaw. Wonder what side of the ball he'll play? His stats on Rivals list defensive and offensive stats. Sounds like an athletic kid.

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Tom Pritchard 2 years, 2 months ago

@JayhawkSlant: Breaking: Confirmed Tevin Shaw is a Jayhawk. Great pick-up. All-state NJ RB could be steal of class

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Steve Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

LJW update our junior day please- any word on Tevin Shaw?

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Steve Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

K.State I want the date. Im going to manhattan and wear the most obnoxious crimson and blue I can find and even if we win or lose it is the start of a new day, our gauntlet is down, it's a new day, State owns the past, we dominate the future of football in KANSAS!

can't wait. game on!

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 2 months ago

Whenever BYU comes up, I usually hear football only. Maybe we bring in BYU for football and find someone else to make 12 in the other sports. Just thinking out loud.

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shelleysue 2 years, 2 months ago

I too would like to see a schedule. I couldn't wait any longer to set a date for a trip with friends for the fall. I am going to be really disappointed if I'm gone for a home game!

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AirCapJay 2 years, 2 months ago

BYU is too far west and would stretch the conference too wide. Traveling would be hard for a WVU-BYU game don't you think?

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LSHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Agree 28, Louisville and BYU would make great additions for both football and basketball plus it would make the big 12 solid again.

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 2 months ago

100% agree on Louisville, I'm assuming (never safe to assume on this subject) that FSU, Clemson is a lot of talk and so I would take BYU also. If we have to work around their schedule, let's do it because not only do they have good sports programs, they bring the academic pedigree as well.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

KU fans should be hoping that Louisville gets into the Big 12. They are a decent football program but they wouldn't be a "probable loss" most years like Oklahoma and Texas are. The basketball side of having them in the Big 12 would be AWEOSME! The added competition in basketball would be a LOT of fun.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

How about we add Tulsa and Tulane and put them both in the North to run up our record! Joking... Kind of...

Here is my unpopular and borderline cowardly opinion... I know it would be good for the conference to add Clemson and Florida State, but I don't like the idea of having to go through a gauntlet like that to get to a bowl game.

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Terry N Tom Denner 2 years, 2 months ago

Bring on FSU, Clemson & ND along with Louisville !!

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bradh 2 years, 2 months ago

Matt had a question and answer session yesterday, 12/9. Anyone have the link? I haven't been able to find it.

I hadn't seen anything about it, but had a little time after 4:00 yesterday and saw the first 3-4 questions in the session before I needed to leave. I was hoping to read the rest of the session. It wasn't advertised very well, which was somewhat surprising as past sessions have drawn a lot of interest.

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

Bummer that the weather will stink this weekend for the recruiting visit. It figures we'll have some of the coldest weather all winter.

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LogicMan 2 years, 2 months ago

The latest expansion rumors:

$20 million WVU exit fee, $9 million to be paid by the Big 12. Today so that schedule can be released.

Big 12 to get serious about expansion again after settling. Louisville on tap, and very likely going back to 12.

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank goodness! I NEEDED a football article! I was starting to shake, get headaches, and become moody.

Congrats to Rivera... Great guy!

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