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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Keegan

Kansas RB Taylor Cox immune to hype

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Think of Taylor Cox as the anti-Jocques Crawford, and keep your fingers crossed that he remains the polar opposite of the hyped bust when he takes the field Saturday for Kansas University in its football opener against South Dakota State in Memorial Stadium, 6:06 p.m. kickoff.

Crawford came to Kansas as the junior-college player of the year, and he did nothing to lower fans’ expectations when he stated his goal for his first season under a KU helmet.

“The personal goal I set for myself is I would rush for 2,000,” Crawford said in advance of the 2008 season. He was fresh off running for 1,935 yards and 19 touchdowns for Cisco Junior College in Texas.

Crawford fell 1,768 yards short of his stated goal and transferred to Tennessee Tech, where in 11 games in 2010 he rushed for 582 yards between KU-bashing tweets.

Cox comes to Kansas from the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. You can’t get to Weed from here or from anywhere else. Charlie Weis found his way there, and Cox ultimately followed him to Lawrence. Crawford-like hype got lost somewhere in the woods of Northern California and never made the trip.

Cox rushed for 1,507 yards and 14 touchdowns in 10 games as a sophomore at Siskiyous. He holds the single-game rushing record with 326 yards against College of the Redwoods and holds career records for rushing yards (2,744) and touchdowns (31).

Asked about his record-breaking game, he was quick to point out, “It wasn’t against a very good team.”

Asked if he had set any personal goals, Cox sounded about as much like Crawford as AC/DC sounds like Joni Mitchell.

“Be assignment-correct and just get my jobs done to help the team win,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about statistical goals, as far as that goes. I’m just trying to get all the kinks out in practice so I can play a clean game this Saturday.”

Making the transition from junior college to the Big 12 presents many challenges, from learning the thicker playbook to facing bigger, faster defenders to a more demanding practice schedule and class workload.

“It is a lot to juggle, but it’s what we love to do,” said Cox, who does most of his running between the tackles. “We’re all definitely grateful for the opportunity.”

Comments

Phil Leister 7 years, 5 months ago

17 sentence article, 6 of which were quotations. So, Keegan wrote 11 sentences yesterday. How can I get a job like that? I'm jealous.

amatxjayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Be thankful. I'm hoping some paper in the boot-heel of MO will hire him away. If he is anything more than stupid, it is negative.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I think Keegan writes well and his articles offer a unique perspective. Being as I have taught creative writing at a university in the past, I may actually be qualified to make that statement too.

jhox 7 years, 5 months ago

I believe when Keegan puts in a little effort, he's capable of writing a decent article. I've seen a few of them over the years. I also believe he probably does much of his writing from a golf cart, between swings. There is clearly a lack of effort in way too many of his articles, and that's especially true of most of his summer columns.

Still, it's entertaining to read his stuff, and especially the critiques that follow.

hawk316 7 years, 5 months ago

He must be doing something right. If I'm not mistaken, the LJW website wins all kinds of awards.

stravinsky 7 years, 5 months ago

I think the 'something right' was hiring Tait and Newell.

ParisHawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm not jealous of a guy who gets criticized on the Internet every time he publishes anything. He had to do the interview. He has to run the sports section; he hired and motivates all the writers we like. He works for a boss we might not know how to get along with.

Finally, he lets his site stay a message board despite the occasional barrage of "site violations".

If you're making a wholesale judgement, judge the site as a whole, not just his articles.

april28 7 years, 5 months ago

Agreed. The K-bashing is about as boring as it is repetitive. If someone is jealous of his job, enroll in journalism school, graduate, start covering Hick Town High School's junior varsity golf team and work your way up from there. Then you won't have to be jealoous.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

Second that ParisHawk... The Keegan bashing is ridiculous.

Steve Reigle 7 years, 5 months ago

There's not a writer anywhere who writes articles I like every time. Not a single one. I like many of Keegan's articles. His perspectives are sometimes different from others but that's what learning is all about. Keep up the good work.

jhox 7 years, 5 months ago

You do make a good point, ParisHawk and, let's not forget, he did hire Tait (the best move this organization ever made.)

hawk316 7 years, 5 months ago

Amen! I usually enjoy Keegan's stuff, and I do get weary of all the Keegan bashing, most of which strikes me as small-minded and mean-spirited.

april28 7 years, 5 months ago

I don't remember much about Crawford but I'm not sure I hate the fact that he had big goals for himself. Admittedly, it was ill-advised to publicly disclose a 2,000 yard season as a goal, but at least his goal wasn't to "Believe" or "saw wood".

At the same time, I like Cox's approach, too. It's very early to make a judgement, but Charlie's recruits seem to have an almost professional air about them. It's a refreshing change.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

It's a great thing to have big goals.

It's just how you convey them that people pay attention to.

Do want to listen to Chad Ochocino (or whatever his name is on this particular day, or do you want to listen to the late, great Walter Payton? (Or pick your own names, there are many in each category.)

As with most things, actions speak louder than words.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 5 months ago

I thoUght the "sawing wood" approach worked pretty dam well".

Also - I do remember Crawford...and remember how cocky he was in conveying that he was gonna run for 2000 yards.

april28 7 years, 5 months ago

Mangino's tenure at KU may always be the most overrated of any coach in the history of KU. Loved the Orange Bowl year, loved his bowl-game coaching, hated his inability to win conference games or road games and the fact that the program was on a significant downward slide at the end of his time here.

Todd Reesing worked really, really well. Sawin wood...not so much.

grisgris 7 years, 5 months ago

It's refreshing to hear how focused this kid is, I hope he does well tonight.

hawk316 7 years, 5 months ago

Totally agree. I loved what this young man had to say.

Eagle2412 7 years, 5 months ago

He has not changed attitude wise since the time he started at College of the Siskiyous. He is there for the team and you guys are lucky to have him.

Marcia Parsons 7 years, 5 months ago

I liked this article and thought it was interesting. People are always asking for information on individual players. I don't understand the criticism unless it's just because Keegan wrote it.

Steve Reigle 7 years, 5 months ago

Actually, it's rather easy to get to Weed, CA. Been there several times. It's right on I-5, about 50 miles south of the Oregon border. It's near Mt. Shasta (town and mountain) and the gorgeous Lake Siskiyou, which is where we spent some time. Several times. Beautiful country.

Eliott Reeder 7 years, 5 months ago

I believe Jesse Newell and Matt Tait are responsible for what makes most of this website awesome. That said, I agree with what has been said above about Keegan. He mails in a great deal of his writing. He is good for about ten great articles a year. More typically, he seems to throw something together under pressure that includes at least one head-scratcher of a sentence and/or at least one random reference to out-of-date pop culture or sports history that seems odd per article. He likes to stir the pot and gets people talking, whether critically or in support of, KU athletics, which is a good thing. The constant bashing tossed his way is silly. Chuck Woodling had the same crap thrown his way back in the day...

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