Friday, January 13, 2012

Recruit impressed by Kansas’ NFL ties


A man who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 360 pounds is going to draw interest from football coaches whether he plays the game or not.

In the case of Carlos Lozano, a mammoth offensive lineman at East Los Angeles College, it just so happens that football also is one of his passions, and that was enough to entice new Kansas University coach Charlie Weis to offer the lineman a scholarship.

Lozano has not released his official visit date yet, but could come to Lawrence as early as next week. This year’s annual signing day is set for Feb. 1, less than three weeks from today, and Lozano also has trips to Utah and Washington planned.

In addition to those three, Lozano, who originally hails from Monterey Park, Calif., has scholarship offers from Kansas State, UCLA and Utah State and is drawing interest from more than a dozen others.

While that list gives Lozano plenty of options, few of them can offer what KU can in terms of NFL experience. Between Weis and O-line coach Tim Grunhard, who played 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, NFL experience is rich on KU’s staff, and that’s something that has caught Lozano’s eye.

“When I was looking up more about (Weis), it was cool to see he has been so successful in the NFL,” Lozano told “He’s someone I could learn a lot from.”

As for Grunhard, Lozano also was impressed by his track record, professional and otherwise.

“I know he also has NFL experience,” Lozano said. “I could tell how intense he was talking with him on the phone.”

Groh staying put?

One of the hot names for KU’s defensive coordinator position throughout the past couple of weeks has been Georgia Tech DC Al Groh. However, it continues to look as if the Jayhawks may go elsewhere.

Groh, 67, just completed his second season in charge of the Yellow Jackets’ defense, and sources with knowledge of Groh told the Journal-World they expected the veteran coach’s contract with GT to be renewed.

Venables leaving OU?

The addition of Mike Stoops to the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff could mean the end of Brent Venables’ days in Norman, Okla.

Venables, a native of Salina, evidently is preparing to leave OU and is shopping around for the best offer he can get. Reports indicate that OU’s defensive coordinator — who will become a co-coordinator with Mike Stoops if he stays — has been offered the same position at West Virginia and also is rumored to be in the mix at Clemson, which just fired its DC, Kevin Steele, on Thursday.

No direct links between Venables and KU have surfaced, and it may stay that way. However, at this point in KU’s search for a defensive coordinator, all avenues are worth considering, and both Venables and Steele have experience in and ties to the Big 12.

During KU’s search for a head coach, sources with ties to OU said Venables was interested in the opening and wanted an interview. Whether that feeling holds true for KU’s defensive-coordinator job is another question.

WR Butler to SDSU

It’s been expected for a couple of weeks, but former USC wide receiver Brice Butler’s transfer to San Diego State became official this week.

Butler, a senior with one year of eligibility remaining like new KU quarterback Dayne Crist, had considered coming to Kansas to play with Crist, but elected to stay on the West Coast to finish his college career. Butler visited KU a couple of weeks ago, but saw SDSU as a better fit.

“I liked everything about it,” Butler told “I liked the staff at San Diego State, and the situation there was better for me for that one year I have. I only have that one year, I don’t have years.”


kusportsdotcom 10 years ago

There's a picture of Lozano. 6'8" 360 is one huuuuge effing dude. He'd be a great get.

Ferd Magellan 10 years ago

If he's anywhere near 6'8, then he's closer to 400 than 360. That is one enormous college kid.

Public transportation must be a nightmare for that big fella.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

Southworst airlines would probably charge him the fare of 3 people rather than just two.

Come aboard Lozano, learn from an NFL lineman and arguably the best offensive coordinator in NFL history. Come see what 4 NFL superbowl rings look like.

texashawk10 10 years ago

Sam Adams (former NFL DT) went to the same high school I did and I had the privilege of meeting him a couple of times when he would come back to Houston during the offseason and I have never seen a bigger human being in my life. His nickname was the Man Mountain and he fully lived up to that name. Lozano is definitely a massive human being, but his height better distributes his weight than being 6'3", 350 lbs. like Sam Adams was in his playing days so Lozano doesn't look quite as massive as Sam Adams did 10 years ago when he was with the Ravens the first time I met him.

gripp42 10 years ago

You've never met the Big SHow then....dude is a beast.

Setherick 10 years ago

I'd like to see what he looks like when he gets into a DI weight training program and with Grunhard pushing him around at practice. I betting he'll turn that 360 of flab into 325-330 of solid.

Ron Prichard 10 years ago

I need some guidance from fellow fans. I understand why Crist is transferring, and I know Butler can transfer under the graduate NCAA rules, but why would he when Barkley is sticking around? Anyone know why he wants to leave USC?

vd 10 years ago

So you're saying that he's leaving USC for the same reasons that Crist left ND and Heaps left BYU, playing time?

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years ago

Doesn't mean they aren't good players. Let's save our judgements until the end of the season next year. These guys are going to come in here with a chip on their shoulder and I like that. Too bad we didn't get Butler.

Andy Tweedy 10 years ago

Joe Flacco left Pitt because of Tyler Palko and playing time. I don't think I could find anyone on this board who would take Palko over Flacco now.

Todd 10 years ago

Sometimes coaches or organizations find a better fit with someone else. Drew Brees was passed over by Rivers in San Diego. I'd take Brees though. Plenty of opportunity for Crist and Heaps to prove themselves.

Dirk Medema 10 years ago

And getting collegiate, Brees was passed over by a lot of colleges when playing HS in TX. He did great with FB on grass at Purdue.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 10 years ago


David A. Smith 10 years ago

I know, right? I feel like a bit of a freak, because I've always followed the football team more than the basketball team. I can't wait to see how we fare on Feb 1st!

jhox 10 years ago

I'm not sure I'd even want Venables as KU's D coordinator. OU has been giving up a lot of points even with all of the talent they have. On the other hand, he's supposed to be one of the best recruiters out there. That would be a tough call.

Jeff Coffman 10 years ago

He would have been the top of my list as a coordinator taking the headcoaching job. (He wasn't my top choice, I think we got one of my top choices out of nowhere).

As a defensive coordinator, I would definitely take him. He has done some pretty incredible things the past few years on defense and his intensity is what we need on D. If you saw the number of injuries this past year for OU, I was surprised they didn't lose a lot more games. Also, you have to think that he would know how to beat Texas, and he would know the offense of OU, to make it that much more of a game.

I guess when you have a DC, that knows the Big XII as well as he does, it isn't a bad gamble at all. I would guess though, he is going to be on the staff of K-State, maybe a coach in waiting type of a deal.

baldwinjhawk 10 years ago

Oklahoma had a ton of injuries on the defensive side this year and I think that was a big factor in some of their losses. I think Venables would be a great pick! He has a lot of Texas high school recruiting connections.

kranny 10 years ago

I agree with baldwinjhawk and also it sounds like there were a lot of in-house issues which led to the release and transfer of a lot of players. I like Venables' energy and intensity. I also like the possible "revenge" factor added as an outcome of his "leaving" OU because brother "mikey" is back in the saddle. The one negative is that ex-KState players who've become coaches haven't stuck around too long at KU i.e. Mitch Running and Travis Ochs. May not be an issue but interesting to think about.

Kansashawk 10 years ago

Agree, would rather look at Martinez, Groh, Nolan or others to TBA. It's seems any more trying to define all the re-treads as either having gotten the shaft or just not being good in that particular coaching position is harder and harder. Anyone else have the same thoughts?

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years ago

I like Venables. He brings a lot of intensity as a coach and he knows a lot about Texas, OU, & KSU (remember he coached under Snyder to begin with). I think he would be a great hire.

jay381 10 years ago

He would re define the meaning of intensity on the sidelines. I have seen him in person in Norman many times. One thing for sure he could have never worked for Gill. I am not a real big supporter of Venables (and I do know of the injury plagued Sooners on both sides of the ball this year). I felt his defense could always defend the run. However, his defense always had a problem with a good equally talented pro style passing attack. There is no doubt that he would be a serious upgrade to the defense post Bill Young. That was a major loss with Young took off to FL and now is at OSU. Venables to his credit also has a reputation as one bull dog of a recruiter and that is obviously a good asset to have as the program is rebuilt.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years ago

Yeah I'm not saying he is a defensive mastermind like Weis is on the offensive side. But I too think he would be a huge upgrade for us.

Clay Malloy 10 years ago

He is a beast of a man! I too love that there is so much football talk. Keep the stories coming.

Jack Joiner 10 years ago

I am a little bit skeptical of the big OL from Cal. My grandson plays on a college team and we got a 6'9" 330# transfer from a jCal. juco. He turned out to be a dud!!!! No feet, no speed, no agility, couldn't block anybody. I would have to see some film to believe he is very good. He probably is a longshot and a project.

As for Venables, I live in Okla and follow the program closely. I said before the year started that OU was overrated because all of the injuries they had on defense and things got worse as the season wore on. In my opinion he would be a good hire for DC and he would be stupid staying at OU since Mike Stoops is coming back.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years ago

That's where Tim Grunhard comes in. His NFL experience should benefit any Big Fella that wants to be a Jayhawk!!

Size can't be taught, but footwork and hand-positioning can.

Michael Maris 10 years ago

Judging by the picture, the kid played right tackle. So, he isn't protecting the blind side of a right handed QB.

Andy Tweedy 10 years ago

That might be true, but there are lots of guys on a good team that don't see the field. Just think how much better everyone on both sides of the ball can be by playing against a guy that size, even if he doesn't play a ton of snaps on Saturdays. It takes a full roster of 80+ guys to have a good team, not just two sets of 11 starters.

hawk316 10 years ago

bigdog, you're exactly right. While size does matter in football, obviously, technique, quickness and strength trump size in importance. This kid's measurements are very impressive, but I'm interested in those other factors.

Having said that, Grunhard had to excel in those very same areas in order to be successful in the NFL. If this kid is teachable, Grunny could definitely coach him up. The fact that we are even showing this much interest in him suggests that he is more than just a giant physical specimen.

wildjayhawk 10 years ago

Venables would be a life saving hire for Charlie and staff. This would put Ku up with the big boys.

JayHawkFanToo 10 years ago

If you browse the OU sports boards you will read that most OU fans think that Mike Stoops was the real force behind the OU defenses, and once he left the defense went downhill in a hurry. Now that Mike Stoops is back, Venables is pretty much toast. Venables name is mentioned for every opening in college football but no school (including KU, twice) has been willing to hire makes you seriously wonder..

Randy Bombardier 10 years ago

Venables would be good. I always thought OU was a dead-end for him. Now he is starting to see it. Watch K-State. Is Snyder the only one in this conference that gets it? A power run game with a good defense can dominate the conference. If Bryce Brown had panned out, there was a good chance K-State could have been playing in the NC game this year.

Too many programs have vested toward the spread. Why does OU play the spread when they can out-recruit everyone but Texas? Just goes to show you that Stoops is not really that good of a coach. The spread is basically a gimic to keep average teams in the game. It is exciting but that cuts both ways, meaning games in the past that would have been runaway wins for the home team are now "exciting" meaning too darn close for comfort.

All this to say that it is about time that Venables gets out of there. His intensity would be a good addition to our D.

danmoore 10 years ago

Find it odd that Venables was interested in the HC job here. That would be like Clint Bowen interviewing at mizwho.

I think he'll end up at his alma mater and will take over the reigns when Snyder calls it quits.

Bville Hawk 10 years ago

+1. Don't count on it being any time soon. Seems like every couple days someone writes a piece. That said, there is the long awaited press conference on Monday the 16th to look forward to. I presume the LJW will cover it?

JayHok 10 years ago

That presser should be interesting. I like the way Weis stays away from the press and spends the energy recruiting. It's certainly increasing the fanbase interest because we know real stuff is happening behind the scenes---we don't need to hear the head coach every day chatting to the press when the recruiting services are doing the talking for him.

JayHok 10 years ago


Any chance of getting an interview with Dorial Green-Beckham?

I'm having this vision of McCay on one side, Green-Beckham on the other, Pierson---get this man in the open field with the ball please--- in the slot. Crist back there staying in the pocket, flicking 25 yard lasers to the receiver of his choice.

Also here's another article suggestion----an article based on strategic points regarding the ingenuity of the pro set versus the spread. For supplemental information, perhaps include how Weis used Brady, his receivers, line and running backs during the three super bowl victories and why it worked against the most elite of defenses in the NFL.

Bville Hawk 10 years ago

Nice fantasy, JayHok. Did it also have Marissa Miller sitting on your lap while you watched the action on the field?

Matt Elliott 10 years ago

Matt T, Any word on an announcement today to name the DC??? I am hearing one may be in the works???

LAJayhawk 10 years ago

Dave Campo just annouced as new DC, according to a Jayhawkslant tweet:!/JayhawkSlant

FarSideHawk 10 years ago

LAJ, you beat me by a few seconds! :)

JayHok 10 years ago

Make that 7 super bowl championship rings on Weis' staff.

1 - Buffalo Bills 3 - New England Patriots 3- Dallas Cowboys

LAJayhawk 10 years ago

Campo also earned a National Championship ring under Jimmy Johnson's tenure with the Miami Hurricanes in 1987.

LAJayhawk 10 years ago

Tait just tweeted it now as well:!/mctait

"#kufball announces Dave Campo as new defensive coordinator. The search is over & KU has landed a big name... Story coming soon."

And KUAthletics officially announced it:

FarSideHawk 10 years ago

Just heard Dave Campo has been hired as the DC!

Jack Joiner 10 years ago

Campo is a better pickup than Venables. I'm ready to play ball!

beebe1 10 years ago

Another winner! Who would have thought it would be DC from Dallas.

Michael Maris 10 years ago

So, who is going to coach the linebackers? If Bowen is the secondary coach and special teams coach, looks like that is Campo's main specialty as well.

Randy Bombardier 10 years ago

To all you players with one more year, you have been through the crapper and now it seems like you will really have some people who know what they are doing. Last chance to work your tail off from now until that first game.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years ago

Come to KU big man! Learn from the NFL staff and take yourself to the next level!

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