Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teammates, coaches praise Pick as ‘natural’ wideout

Kansas wide receiver Kale Pick chats with fans during the autograph portion of Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Kale Pick chats with fans during the autograph portion of Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.


When talking about Kansas University wide receiver, Kale Pick, one word continues to come from the mouths of Pick’s teammates: “natural.”

Whether they’re using it to describe the way Pick runs routes or hauls in passes, or to convey the feel the Dodge City senior has for the game, teammates new and old have used the word over and over to describe him. That’s natural, as in, derived from nature, or not acquired but inherent. Kind of odd for a guy who spent most of his life playing a different position.

“Sometimes you forget that (he played quarterback),” said senior QB Dayne Crist. “Because he looks like a very natural receiver out there.”

That’s high praise from a guy who’s seen his share of stud receivers. But KU coach Charlie Weis took it a step further.

“If I had to rate the performances in camp, he would rate one,” Weis said of Pick. “I’m not saying he’s our best receiver, but if you had to rate performances in camp, he would rate one.”

The reasons are simple. So simple, in fact, that Weis seemed to feel as if they did not need to be listed. He did anyway.

“He’s just a guy you want on your team,” Weis said. “He does all the little things: takes notes, pays attention to everything you say. He’s doing the little extra things. You don’t have to worry about him.”

For Crist, that last part is huge. Whether it’s through unspoken communication or direct contact in the huddle, the Notre Dame transfer said he and Pick had developed quite a bond in the eight months they’ve known each other. That bond would not have come without hard work from both guys, Crist said, and now that it’s there, it seems to be set in stone.

“You can’t look out there after any given play or any given practice and say, ‘(Number) Seven didn’t have a very consistent period,’” Crist said. “He’s bringing it every day. I expect that from him now.”

Pick has expected that his entire life. From his days as a dual-threat quarterback in high school to his first few seasons as a QB at KU, Pick always has carried himself with great confidence and belief in his ability. That’s what helped him survive a Week-1 benching in 2010, a broken leg a few weeks later and a position change not long after that. And it’s those things that are driving him to have the best camp of his career.

“My goal for practice is to take advantage of every rep,” Pick said. “That’s what I really look forward to. I’ve been in a position where someone’s told me I can’t play, and I’ve been injured, too. It’s not fun. So I really try to play every play like it’s my last play.”

His teammates and coaches have noticed. Asked what makes Pick a good leader, sophomore tailback Tony Pierson needed just four words to answer.

“Kale backs it up,” Pierson said.

Asked what he thought of Weis labeling Pick as the top performer in camp so far, senior center Trevor Marrongelli whole-heartedly agreed.

“Lately, he’s been making some amazing plays,” Marrongelli said. “Some of the catches he makes, jumping over defenders, one handed catches, have been phenomenal. He’s practicing just like he’d play in a game.”

And he reminds Marrongelli of another former teammate — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Kerry Meier.

When Pick first moved from QB to wide receiver, many made the comparison right away. It made sense. And Pick was flattered. But rather than being content with people calling him the next Kerry Meier, Pick has his sights set on playing like him.

“I’m not trying to be anybody,” he said. “I want to be my own person and go about things my own way. But one thing I really enjoyed about Kerry is how serious he took football. I just really enjoyed watching how much he cared about this game and this university and the team that he was affiliated with.”

Marrongelli liked that, too. And he’s enjoying it all over again with Pick.

“It feels like déjà vu, to tell you the truth,” Marrongelli said. “That’s exactly what it feels like.”


nuleafjhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I like Kale Pick a lot.

He seems to have everything I want if I were picking a team.

Toughness. Attitude. Ability. Motivation.

He is a quality football player and a quality kid.

Also - Please tell me I'm not the only one who was just a teensy bit uncomfortable with a QB named " Pick ".

KGphoto 9 years, 9 months ago

Oh yeah. I was concerned. Would've been more so if he'd chosen #6.

hawk316 9 years, 9 months ago

I'm rooting for Pick, too. To be fair, you have to tip your cap to Turner Gill on this one...moving Kale to wide receiver was a great decision.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 9 months ago

It would have been worse if he had chose the #6...

Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Kale Pick has Kerry Meier written all over him (not just because they are both white) and I am excited to see how his senior year goes. Both guys have the intelligence of a QB, sure hands, and seem to be good third down receivers. Both being Kansas boys is nice too!

If Cummings does not pan out at QB, would love to see him play WR if his legs are as good as they say. Anyone know if Baty can run?

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 9 months ago

Would it have mattered if they were both green?

Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Would have given them another interesting attribute in common! I wrote that because it is always annoying when a white guy and a black guy with similar athletic abilities are not compared to each other. Basically, when a guy like Wes Welker is compared to a guy like Ed Mccaffrey rather than Steve Smith. The best is in baseball when they don't have anyone to compare David Price to! Dontrelle Willis? haha

Bangkok_Jayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Pick has certainly turned his situation into a positive one. Losing out on the starting QB job to becoming one of our top receivers takes some balls!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago

I am calling it now, but some time this season we will see Kale on an end around, pass option for a deep TD bomb...count on it!!!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 9 months ago that meet a Filipino girl ad for real!!?? Or is that some little LJW joke!!??

Bville Hawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Uhhh, Oakville, sometimes the ads that appear on your browser pages are reflective of web sites you have visited. In other words the ads are geared to your "interests!"

I don't have an ad for 'Meet a Filipino Girl' on my page.

tical523 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't shop for online land auctions, pizza or yoga classes but those show up on my ads. . . . . . but none are my "interests"

mikehawk 9 years, 9 months ago

I don't visit those sites, so your statement above is false..My wife and are very dissappointed in the sudden appearance of these adds and pop up chat offers with pictures of beautiful women. If these ads continue, my participation in will have to come to an end. Come on LJW, you are better than this.

Thomas Young 9 years, 9 months ago

Get Chrome and disable the ads. I don't see any.

Travis Clementsmith 9 years, 9 months ago

Pick is such a better name for a WR than a QB, anyway!

bigtex 9 years, 9 months ago

Pick would of been a good QB in Mangino's system. No QB could be good under Gill or Long. With Weis's system prostyle QB is what we need. Glad to see Pick doing great things at WR. I here he is a class kid with alot of athletic talent .

NebraskaJayhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Actually Cummings was a perfect fit for Gill and our offense would have looked great under him next year. It's the one thing I was looking forward to in Gill's offense. He wanted to run smash-mouth old school option offense once he had his QB developed. Weis likes to run the ball too, but not with his QB. Crist is going to have a monster year if our receivers step up. I'm not a big Pick fan, but sounds like he's on top of things this year.

JacquesMerde 9 years, 9 months ago

Do we have another Kerry Meier? Let us Pray!!!! We need all we can get.

notjustbread 9 years, 9 months ago

Before we get carried away with the Kerry Meier comparisons, let's let Pick catch a dozen TD's.

Carl Anderson 9 years, 9 months ago

I'll be happy to see any Jayhawk with a dozen TDs. After last year's futility, there's nowhere to go but up... here's hoping we make monster strides this season! RCJH

machinegun 9 years, 9 months ago

OK-I'll say it. Kale Pick is our best receiver.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 9 months ago

I would like to see Pick on some kick-off returns. He has good hands and wheels.

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