Nick Reid, James McClinton, Charles Gordon deserving of ultimate KU football honor
The Ring of Honor schedule for this season at Memorial Stadium is as follows:
Chris Harris, Nicholls State, Sept. 1.
Todd Reesing, Rutgers, Sept. 15.
Larry Brown, TCU, Oct. 27.
Here’s hoping the next three football players to see their names immortalized inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium are defensive players who made contributions too meaningful to be overlooked for the ultimate honor for a KU football player.
Rugged Nick Reid, born to play linebacker, had toughness rivaled only by his efficiency. He cut such direct angles to the football and made his hits hurt. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and third-team All-American in 2005 equates Ring of Honor. Period. If he’s not a part of the next group of honorees he should be allowed to tackle anyone responsible for denying him the honor as many times as he feels like it.
Defensive tackle James McClinton played with such unbridled passion he lifted the entire team’s energy level. So explosive, so quick, so difficult to block. McClinton was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior for the 12-1 Orange Bowl team and a second-team All-American.
Teammates admired his courageous leadership and winning blend of downright nasty play and super friendly demeanor. It always has baffled me why McClinton, so deeply appreciated by teammates, doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves.
Charles Gordon was a third-team All-American cornerback as a sophomore in 2004 and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 corner (2004-05). What makes that even more impressive is that he was a freshman All-American wide receiver.
Gordon set freshman receiving records for catches (57) and yards (769). He never completely abandoned the position, despite playing corner. A two-way player, he made 15 catches in 2004 and 34 in 2005, catching a pair of touchdown passes each of those seasons. He also was an outstanding punt returning, averaging 10.4 yards in three seasons. He spent more time on the field than anyone and always seemed to be in the middle of something good for Kansas.
Undrafted, he spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, and works for the Denver Broncos as a defensive quality control assistant.
Mark Mangino has been outspoken on Twitter about his three overlooked former players and he’s on the mark.