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Former KU teammates Charles Gordon and Aqib Talib reunited with Broncos

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Kansas receiver Charles Gordon pulls in a long pass from quarterback Jason Swanson under the coverage of Colorado safety Tyrone Henderson in the first quarter of the KU-CU game Saturday in Boulder, Colo., in October, 2005.

Kansas receiver Charles Gordon pulls in a long pass from quarterback Jason Swanson under the coverage of Colorado safety Tyrone Henderson in the first quarter of the KU-CU game Saturday in Boulder, Colo., in October, 2005. by Nick Krug

Before Kansas football great Aqib Talib made the No. 3 jersey his own in Lawrence, wowing spectators in Memorial Stadium with his prowess in the secondary, Charles Gordon did the same.

Donning the very same No. 3 on his chest and back and drawing the adulation of the KU faithful as both a defensive back and receiver, Gordon was the Talib prototype for Mark Maningo’s teams in advance of people knowing about the future NFL Pro Bowler, Talib.

Gordon and Talib spent one season together at KU, on a 2005 team that went 7-5 and beat Houston in the Fort Worth Bowl. Now the two get a chance to team up under different circumstances in the NFL. The Denver Broncos have hired Gordon as a defensive quality control assistant.

The move to the pro ranks for Gordon came after the former Jayhawks standout spent four seasons on Northern Colorado’s staff at the college level, coaching defensive backs on Earnest Collins’ staff. A former KU assistant from 2003-06, Collins coached Gordon on special teams and in the secondary for Mangino’s teams.

"Anytime you run a program you want your coaches to excel and move on," Collins said in a UNC release about Gordon’s new job with Denver. "When you had a player that played for you, like Chuck did for me, and then also worked for you moving on to bigger and better things – it's like a family member moving on, or a son in a sense. I'm thankful for everything Coach Gordon did for me while he was here and I'm proud to see him moving into a new role with the Broncos."

Gordon was a two-time First-Team All-Big 12 selection (2004 and 2005) at KU, and earned Third-Team All-American AP honors in 2004. He was also a First-Team Freshman All-American in 2003, after catching 57 passes for 769 yards and 5 touchdowns.

In his three seasons at Kansas, prior to turning pro, Gordon caught 106 passes for 1,232 yards and 9 touchdowns on offense, and made nine interceptions on defense, while averaging 10.4 yards on his 99 punt returns.

The 5-foot-11 corner spent three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before suffering a career-ending leg injury in 2008. Gordon started six games in the NFL, and made 2 interceptions and 64 tackles.

KU's Charles Gordon (3) breaks up an intended pass in the first half against Louisiana Tech's Johnathan Holland (7), in September, 2005.

KU's Charles Gordon (3) breaks up an intended pass in the first half against Louisiana Tech's Johnathan Holland (7), in September, 2005. by rgwin

Comments

Ryan Zimmerman 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I know he's a tough player, but Talib is such an all around a$$hole, it's too bad he's our main connection to KU. Guy is talented but known as being a complete and out of control jerk. Hard to be proud of a guy like that

Andy Tweedy 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Charles Gordon is one of my five or six favorite players since I walked on to the Hill in 1986. Willie Vaughn, Aqib, Todd, Danny Eichloff, Jake Sharpe and Nick Reid. I'm sure I'm missing a few, and I'm hoping a few of these guys on this year's team will make my list. Loved watching Charles Gordon play!!!

Greg Ledom 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Wasn't it Charles that was part of the famed Mangino $$$ signs comment with Texas where we should have beat them and they called Charles for defensive interference? The call sucked by the way and that isn't being a homer. A great athlete that I loved watching play and unfortunately a career cut too short at the pro level. Chuck was a stud.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I thought it was Offensive Interference that caused a drive to fail and give UT an opportunity.

href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v... Jayhawk Flashback: Nov. 13, 2004 vs. Texas (with Mangino postgame comments) by The Lawrence Journal-World

Bob Bailey 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Aqib, and maybe Gordon, wound up with the wrong end of the stick. Aqib had a sister who made some poor choices. He was apparently trying to protect her. Even his problem in TX. We try to make great people, some who had difficulty. Sometimes more than just their own person.

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