Originally published January 19, 2012 at 09:59a.m., updated January 20, 2012 at 12:00a.m.
Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis on Thursday named DeMontie Cross as KU’s linebackers coach, the final piece to Weis’ coaching-staff puzzle.
Cross, who recently finished his first season as special-teams coordinator and safeties coach at the University of Wisconsin, arrives at Kansas with college and NFL experience.
Prior to his one season at Wisconsin, Cross spent the previous five seasons in various positions with the Buffalo Bills. He joined the Bills as a defensive/special-teams assistant in 2006 and was promoted to assistant linebackers coach/special teams for three seasons. In 2010 Cross was promoted again, coaching the Bills’ inside linebackers.
Cross made the jump to the NFL after spending the 2001-05 seasons as Iowa State’s outside-linebackers coach and special-teams coordinator.
While at Iowa State, Cross’ unit made major contributions to the Cyclones’ record-setting defenses during his stint. He helped develop Jeremy Loyd into an All-Big 12 performer; Loyd went on to play for the St. Louis Rams.
Cross, a St. Louis native, began his coaching career as the outside-linebackers coach at his alma mater, Missouri (1998-99).
A 1997 Missouri graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Cross made 415 career tackles at free safety for the Tigers from 1994-96. He led Missouri in tackles as a junior and senior and earned second-team all-conference honors from the Big Eight in 1995 and the Big 12 in 1996.
With the hiring of Cross, Weis’ Kansas football coaching staff is complete: Jeff Blasko (assistant special-teams coordinator/tight ends), Clint Bowen (special-teams coordinator/defensive backs), Dave Campo (defensive coordinator/defensive backs), Tim Grunhard (offensive line), Rob Ianello (recruiting coordinator/wide receivers), Reggie Mitchell (running backs), Ron Powlus (quarterbacks) and Buddy Wyatt (defensive line).
Berglund issues statement
Former KU quarterback Brock Berglund, who was dismissed from the team Monday for missing Sunday’s mandatory team meeting, issued a statement through his attorney Thursday which explained that KU still had not released Berglund to transfer to another school.
Berglund’s request for release was made in an email to various members of the KU athletic department a couple of hours before the team meeting and is currently being reviewed by KU’s Student-Athlete Appeals Board.
“The SAAB inquiry will focus on whether the decision was fair and just given the circumstances,” wrote Berglund’s attorney, Vince Linden. “Any objective observer, shown all the facts, will know that the decision was not only unfair, but was arbitrary and capricious, and should be overturned. It will be very interesting to hear KU’s explanation, particularly in light of the fact that it so gleefully courted players who were granted releases from their own respective programs, and wished the best of luck by their former coaches.”
A KU spokesperson said university officials had no comment because the matter is pending an appeal. A decision is expected in the next week or so.
The press release also revealed a couple of things about KU’s quarterback plans, past and present: For starters, Berglund claims that he was told by the previous coaching staff that he would compete for the starting job immediately. What’s more, the release indicates that Powlus, the current KU quarterbacks coach, told Berglund that Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist would start in 2012.
Crawley visit ongoing?
Washington, D.C., cornerback Kenneth Crawley, a four-star prospect out of H.D. Woodson High who recently backed out of his commitment to Tennessee, announced Thursday on Twitter that he was on a flight bound for Kansas.
Crawley, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, is teammates with former KU commitment De’Jon Wilson, who had pledged to join the Jayhawks but backed out after the firing of Turner Gill and now is orally committed to Colorado.
According to Rivals.com, Crawley is the No. 2-ranked cornerback in Maryland and the 21st-ranked player at his position overall.
With just two weekends remaining before signing day (Feb. 1), KU, which has oral commitments from a dozen players in the Class of 2012 — plus three already on campus — figures to turn things up a notch in an attempt to fill out Weis’ first recruiting class.
Some recruiting analysts have said that KU could have as many as 10 visitors in town this weekend. Included among them are: Crawley, Florida linebacker Schyler Miles and East Los Angeles CC cornerback Nasir Moore.