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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jayhawks eager to open football camp

Cassius Sendish

Cassius Sendish

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Most — but not all — of Kansas University’s football players recently headed home to recharge their minds and bodies after an intense summer of workouts, conditioning and classes.

Junior safety Cassius Sendish hopes they remember the point of all their hard work.

“What we need to do is constantly remind ourselves what we’re doing everything for,” said Sendish, a junior-college transfer who was one of four Jayhawks selected to represent the program at Big 12 media days in Dallas last month. “Just that constant reminder that we’re putting all of this work in to change how people look at the Kansas Jayhawks football program.”

Recent reports from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter indicate the Jayhawks are eager for the start of fall camp, which opens Wednesday. Apparently, the Jayhawks can’t wait to begin erasing the memories of last year’s 1-11 season.

“I think in the time I’ve been here at Kansas, I’ve really bought into everything that’s going on and really taken ownership of myself,” QB Jake Heaps said. “I’m just constantly working to become the best I can be and help my teammates become their best. We’ve done so much this offseason, and I think it’s really gonna help us be ready for this year.”

Being ready is one thing. Being competitive in the ultra-tough Big 12 Conference is another. That’s why Sendish and the rest of this team’s leaders made sure to send everyone home with a message and motivation for the days leading up to camp.

“We all have the same common goal,” Sendish said. “And it’s production. Now we just need to produce.”

Who’s left?

Nearly all of the incoming junior-college transfers have made their way to Lawrence. But there are a few out there who have yet to arrive. Here’s a quick update on each:

Andrew Bolton — Defensive end from Hinds (Miss.) Community College has been quiet since signing day, but all indications suggest he’ll report in time for camp.

Rodriguez Coleman — Garden City C.C. wideout has been taking classes throughout the summer and has posted on Twitter about an Aug. 4 arrival.

Nick Harwell — Senior wide receiver who transferred from Miami (Ohio) University is still fighting for immediate eligibility but plans to be in Lawrence on Tuesday regardless of his status.

Brandon Hollomon — Pierce College (Los Angeles) cornerback has been taking summer classes in his hometown of Philadelphia and recently posted on Twitter that he’d arrive in early August.

Isaiah Johnson — Iowa Western safety spent the summer taking classes and may just be waiting for the OK to head to Lawrence.

Kevin Short — Fort Scott C.C. cornerback has been hitting it hard in the classroom as recently as this week to clear the way for him to report in time for camp.

Pearce Slater — El Camino (Calif.) C.C. offensive tackle does not finish summer classes until Aug. 8 and is expected to arrive during the first week of camp.

Dates to remember

As the calendar turns to August, it’s time for a quick refresher on some of the key KU football dates this month:

Aug. 7 — Fall camp begins

Aug. 12 — First day of practice in full pads

Aug. 16 — KU Kickoff at Corinth Square in Prairie Village

Aug. 17 — Fan Appreciation Day. Practice open to the public from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Aug. 22 — Professor Appreciation Day. Practice open to KU faculty

Aug. 25 — KU Day at Kauffman Stadium

Aug. 31 — Bye week. KU sits while most of the rest of the nation’s teams get the 2013 season under way.

KU will open the season at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 vs. South Dakota.

Comments

Brett McCabe 1 year, 2 months ago

Life as a juco recruiter - wait and see who shows up. It makes me nervous but I trust in Chuck.

Displayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

That Pearce Slater is one big dude! In fact, all of them offensive linemen are big dudes! Maybe we should call them Chuck's Trucks!

Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm excited to see how this whole things plays out. Some players need to step up on the offensive line, tight end positions, and defensive backs specifically. I do sincerely believe that a competent QB, improved receivers, and improved defensive line will make the difference between 1 win and 4-5.

Last year I was putting my money on the 4-6 range in wins but college football is a slow moving beast at times. If these guys win 4-5 and show real progress then I'll be happy.

At the least, James Sims run at history, Ben Heeney's tackle total, Jake Heaps arm, and Justin McCay's hands will make things fun to watch. We were better than a 1 win team last year but we are still far away from bowls.

Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

I know people get tired of this debate, but the eye sore known as Memorial Stadium is still between $50-100 Million away from being a respectable stadium that recruits and fans don't run from.

Remove the track, sink the field level, add the Gridiron Club, make the surrounding areas better for tailgating, put some kind of a museum up (like the one at AFH), cover the thing in limestone so it doesn't look like a parking garage, improve the concourses, tear down the chain link fence and put a brick wall up... I know resources are limited, but do SOMETHING. Along those lines, add something that reminds fans that KU has actually won some bowls! We enshrine players throughout the stadium so why don't we have some reminders of past victories?

Also... Rename the dang thing something original. Campanile Stadium? Make the hill, the tower, and the stadium one memorial for both World Wars?

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

Stadium renovation plans are in the works, but the Rock Chalk Park has to be completed first and no to a stadium name change.

texashawk10 1 year, 2 months ago

I'll go ahead throw my $0.02 in on what I would like to be seen done. I would put limestone around the columns on the outside of the stadium to give the exterior a nice face lift for a relatively small cost. Second, get rid of those stupid seats behind the south endzone. There were maybe 1 or 2 of them used during games last season so I would put temporary bleachers up and there's the stadium capacity increase some are begging for. Third, I would put a 3'-4' tall limestone wall with iron bars another 5'-6' tall up on the south side of the stadium instead of the temporary chain link fence that's used now. That preserves what little view is left from the top of the hill while looking good on TV. Fourth, the lowering of the field and moving the field deeper into the bowl. This makes it simpler by only needing to build the extra seats along the already straight east and west sides. A limestone facade around the base of the bowl seating with stairs that can be pulled out so the band can continue their traditional running onto the field from that end of the stadium. Finally, this is a little cheesy, but putting the words "Rock Chalk" on the field opposite the Big 12 logo (similar to how Arizona has Bear Down on their field, would give the field something unique in the Big 12.

All but the lowering of the field are possible to do before the Rock Chalk Park is complete and all would be relatively cheap and could be done in a single offseason. I'm looking forward to seeing what the architects come up with for the Memorial Stadium renovations when they happen. One way to save money on this project would be to let the KU School of Architecture design the renovation plans and use the millions of dollars that would save on other campus improvement projects.

hawkfansa 1 year, 2 months ago

Good suggestions by all. I like the idea of incorporating as much limestone as possible. I heard an interesting suggestion from a recent grad saying that facade used at the Bejing olympics, The Bird's Nest, might look pretty cool but I still lean more towards the traditional.

Mike Plank 1 year, 2 months ago

We need to fill up what we have before we can dream about something bigger and better. Once we do that, the money will come, and with it some renovations.

Also, as others have mentioned, nothing can happen until the new track and field park is completed. Yes, the track needs to go... and once that park is done, it can be removed. Hopefully that is one of the first things they do.

Mike Plank 1 year, 2 months ago

BTW, I also say "No" to a name change.

Cmill1221 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm ok w/ some updates but our stadium is not that bad. I went to UNLV after leaving KU and all the Beer they serve at the UNLV games could not compensate how horrible that stadium is. Here is a list of really bad stadiums: http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/625534-the-15-worst-college-football-stadiums-in-the-country. Also NO NAME CHANGE!!! There are 5 other "Memorial Stadium" venues and we are the oldest. Just like in office space with Michael Bolton: "Why should I change my name, he's the one who sucks."

Hawrkman 1 year, 2 months ago

I would like to see Reesing get his name on the stadium at some point.

Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

URLK... University of Reesing Lawrence Kansas

CrystalJones 1 year, 2 months ago

Guys, enough about Memorial. I love the place. Beautiful setting on a Saturday afternoon. It's already been refurbished within the last 15 years, with great player amenities. We don't need it to be Arrowhead. It just needs to be a serviceable college stadium, and it already is. I know where the bathrooms and hotdogs are. That's all I need.

As for this year's team, I'm not putting limits on it, and here's why:

– Best running back unit in the Big 12, and maybe the country. By game 5, Sims could be getting Heisman talk. – Heaps could very well be the best new QB in the league. In 2014, he could be on Heisman lists. – McCay & Co. catching the passes. – Ben Heeney anchoring the D. – Best incoming class in the country...and these guys are ready to play now. – NFL's Dave Campo coaching the D. – NFL's Tim Grunhard coaching the O-Line. – Multiple Super Bowl rings on the fingers of our head coach.

Nobody in the league -- not UT, OU, K-State or any other successful program -- has that combination of talent and coaching. I know it's only Year 2 of the Charlie Weis era, but I think it's the beginning of a great run. Last season was the prep year, but this year I see 8 probable wins: SD, Rice, LT, TT, Baylor, WVU, ISU, KSU. And with this ridiculously talented coaching staff, I think we can even dream a little. But I'll stick with 8 for now.

Brett McCabe 1 year, 2 months ago

Cj - I love, love, love the enthusiasm. If we win eight then I'm going to do something crazy - like go to the gym.

I don't see Memorial coming down. New stadiums are ridiculously expensive, so I see a continued fine tuning of Memorial ala Fenway Park.

Many months ago, a poster came on here and eloquently stated the historical the significance of Memorial field. I almost cried reading it and became convinced that it was the best thing ever.

Here's a name suggestion though, that could be used after the next big renovation: Freedom Field. It has a better ring to it and still honors the fallen.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

I believe that the field is already named after Tom Kivisto thanks to his promise of a large donation. Though I don't know how he's coming though on his payments... If he can't keep up his end of the deal then maybe the field can be renamed.

Jonathan Allison 1 year, 2 months ago

I hope that you're right.

One thing that I know is true. We will be better than we were last year, and last year we should have had at least 4 wins.

A bowl game invite is not too lofty an expectation.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 2 months ago

So you'll take some of those 100 to 1 odds. Why not. I agree with your overview. We could win a lot of games this year. I see us winning 6 at minimum.

vd 1 year, 2 months ago

We all assume the running game will be as good as last year. This is a team sport. We lost 3 of our 5 starters from the o line. This could be a problem, or it could be a blessing. Time will tell.

vd 1 year, 2 months ago

Other dates on the calender: August 1 - 31, a football article in the LJW August 1 - 31, 2 basketball articles per day in the LJW

Matt Tait 1 year, 2 months ago

It's so strange how comments like these keep appearing at the bottom of football articles. You guys are a tough bunch! Thanks for reading and have a great day!!!

Jim Erickson 1 year, 2 months ago

Matt... This whole thing would be a lot easier on you if you gave up family, friends, and Keeping up With the Kardashians. You would free up a lot of your time that way and would be better able to please us football fans.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

Cassius...the dude looks about 30!!

Please color me Crimson and I swear I bleed KU Blue, but I went back to last summer's posts and just by changing names, the comments are virtually identical to the posts of this year for this upcoming season.

We won ONE GAME last year...ONE GAME!!! If we win Four it will be a big improvement.

I am afraid this "bowl eligible" talk is a pipe dream, albeit a pleasant one. I personally feel everyone is about a year early and 2014 WILL be the breakout season.

Let's just enjoy this year, watch the team gel and grow, see if Heap can show half the potential that was anticipated last year at the QB position and wait and see.

vd 1 year, 2 months ago

Go back to the 2011 season, same posts.

nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Oak - you're right about CS looking 30-ish. Are we sure we have the right picture? This dude looks way familiar. I'm pretty sure he's an actor, singer or pro athlete.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 2 months ago

To anticipate a surprise is not really being surprised.

To expect reality, THAT'S when surprise is the sweetest. I respect AtlJaybird's position..there's just many levels of optimism. It can be rooted in performance...it can be rooted in achievement.

Honestly, if Kansas is competitive in every game and only wins three, that is still an achievement and a realistic goal. Since the Orange Bowl, we have dug ourselves a pretty deep hole.

LAST YEAR WE STOPPED DIGGING.

THIS YEAR WE START CLIMBING.

NEXT YEAR, WE EXIT THE HOLE AND SEE BLUE SKIES AND SMELL FRESH AIR.

THEN THE NEXT SEASON AFTER THAT, WE START OUR ASCENT UP THE MOUNTAIN.

TexiCaliHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Ah yes, 'Hope springs eternal' indeed! We humans have an innate ability to remember the best of times as 'the good 'ol days' and suppress the bad times -- thank God for that!

At KU, we have had so many wonderful memories of great individually gifted players over the 100+ years of Jayhawk Football (e.g., Evans, Hadl, Sayers, Douglass, Riggins, Cromwell, Stubblefield, Reesing, etc.); however, we have just not enjoyed as many great TEAMS as many of the other programs we look up to in admiration (e.g., OU, Texas, Nebraska, USC, Michigan, Ohio St., etc.).

This is what separates our Football program from our Basketball program (where we have cultivated BOTH great individual players AND great 'Teams'). In fact, if we are being honest with ourselves, our Basketball program has featured only a handful of the truly top individual players in college basketball history (e.g., Clyde, Wilt, Danny, Paul, etc.); rather we are much better known for our historically great TEAMS (e.g., Conference/Tourney Titles, Final Fours, Overall Wins/Winning Percentage, etc.) -- led by historically great COACHES (e.g., Allen, Harp, Owens, Brown, Williams, Self) -- fueled by the 'PASSION' of our FANS (e.g., 16,300 raising the rafters at historic AFH every single game creating the BEST 'Home Court Advantage' in college basketball . . . bar none!). Oh, and by the way, the 'inventor' of the game was our first coach, which certainly adds to the glorious and storied TRADITION that 'is' KU BASKETBALL.

THIS is what I mean by a 'program' -- one that (unfortunately) takes time, money and consistency to build. While 'Rome wasn't built in a day' . . . it WAS indeed built -- as was the absolute futility of K-State Football turned around in near miraculous fashion (proclaimed by Sports Illustrated in 1988 as 'The Worst College Football Program in America') and Northwestern (not far behind the 'other' Cats!). But alas . . . we can't even fill a 51,500 seat stadium without Nebraska coming to town . . . we can't even motivate our Student Section to bring it for more than 2 Quarters!

More . . .

TexiCaliHawk 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes, once again I say that 'Hope springs eternal' because I am just human enough to believe we actually CAN build a program to compete and indeed WIN in the uber-competitive landscape of today's college football environment. While admittedly not too thrilled by the hire initially, I have become a believer that our AD can and will get our program built the 'right way' -- great coaching staff, great facilities, great school/environment and (hopefully) great FANS (you know, like the ones that attend our Basketball games in AFH who never sit down and bring 'da noise and 'da funk throughout the WHOLE game!).

You're absolutely right, Oak -- we only won ONE game last year (despite showing significant improvement in many areas and being in almost every game), so there is indeed nowhere else to go but 'up', right? In the mean time, let the 'dreamers dream big dreams' and you never know . . . maybe not this year, but someday soon the dream of a competitive D-1, Big 12 Football 'program' might indeed become a REALITY at KU.

I, for one, want to be a part of it when we do as I remember how great it felt when we fielded our last great TEAM . . . an Orange Bowl victory that tasted mighty sweet . . . I am confident we CAN get back there again . . . 'DREAM ON' indeed!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 2 months ago

There's something to be said for blind optimism. Myself? I'm a realist, but I've always admired the dreamers.

Will we win more than three games this season? Probably not.

Can we? Absolutely.

I don't have much faith. But what little I do have, I'm giving entirely to Charlie and his band of misfits. Whether it's one win or ten, I believe this team will fight. And that's all we can ask of them.

If...or when...we go down, we're goin down swingin. Give 'em hell, boys.

Stay the course. Keep the faith. Rock Chalk.

David Leathers 1 year, 2 months ago

If the football team wins anywhere from 3-5 games this year I will be perfectly content with the progress made during Weis' tenure. Anything more and I will be completely ecstatic. I know that Weis won't be happy if they don't make a bowl game, which is another good sign of not being satisfied. However, hearing his comments made about the team's expectations being much higher than anyone else's give some reason for optimism. He's been around some high quality programs and if he thinks that we have the talent to compete, then we have the talent to compete. The real question is: do we have the preparation, execution, and game planning to follow up those expectations?

Nobody really knows those answers until the season starts, but I know it's going to be a fun ride.

Randy Bombardier 1 year, 2 months ago

At least we didn't look outclassed by a Dakota team and lose what, 6-3? We looked horrible in Gill's first game. That is not happening. Last year we were competitive. If we believe that we will be even more competitive, have more talent and the staff has had a full year under their belt, heck yeah, we are going to win some games.

shelleysue 1 year, 2 months ago

“Just that constant reminder that we’re putting all of this work in to change how people look at the Kansas Jayhawks football program.”

LOVE IT!!

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