Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Graduating KU football players accept invites to all-star games

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist (10) celebrates a Jayhawk touchdown with defensive end Toben Opurum (35) against Rice during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist (10) celebrates a Jayhawk touchdown with defensive end Toben Opurum (35) against Rice during the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 at Memorial Stadium.


Another sign that the outgoing Kansas University football class may include some NFL talent came Tuesday, when the NFL Players Association confirmed that five Jayhawks had been selected to participate in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 19 near Los Angeles.

Quarterback Dayne Crist, offensive linemen Trevor Marrongelli and Duane Zlatnik and defensive ends Toben Opurum and Josh Williams have committed to play in this year’s game, which will be held on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills.

These five Jayhawks bring KU’s all-star total to eight, joining teammates Tanner Hawkinson and Bradley McDougald, who will play in the East-West Shrine Game on the same day, along with Greg Brown, who, along with McDougald, was invited to play in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game in early February. Crist also has been tapped to play in Friday’s Casino Del Sol All-Star Game.

The eight former Jayhawks participating in postseason showcases is the largest number the KU football program has produced in one season in years and seems to be yet another strong indication that the presence of former NFL coaches Charlie Weis and Dave Campo on KU’s coaching staff has opened doors for the Jayhawks despite the team’s 1-11 season.

As for the Collegiate Bowl, former NFL players and coaching legends will work with the potential draft picks. Former Kansas City Chiefs coaches Herm Edwards and Dick Vermeil will serve as the head coaches for the American and National Teams in this year’s game. They will be joined by player ambassadors Terrell Davis, Hank Baskett, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Lorenzo Neal and Andre Reed.


Larry Smith 9 years, 5 months ago

It bothers me that there are 8 "potential " NFL players and that "The eight former Jayhawks participating in postseason showcases is the largest number the KU football program has produced in one season in years" were only able to win one game.

David Leathers 9 years, 5 months ago

Doesn't really bother me much. Basically it all boils down to Weis' NFL connections. He makes a call and a guy like Dayne Crist (statistically the worst QB in the NCAA last season) gets an invite to an "All-Star" game.

This can be a good thing, however, for bringing in recruits.

kranny 9 years, 5 months ago

Where did hear that Gill said that scouts shouldn't waste their time with certain players? I know Gill wasn't a good coach but whoa I'm skeptical of this accusation.

jhox 9 years, 5 months ago

It's great to have coaches promoting their players to the NFL. It should make more quality players want to come to KU to play.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Hey trojan, do you have any hard evidence that Turner Gill did what you accused him of doing? If not, I would recommend that you avoid slandering someone in a public forum. Whatever you may think of his abilities as a coach, I find if difficult to believe that such a quality person as Gill would disrespect and undercut one of his players, especially someone like Chris Harris.

David Leathers 9 years, 5 months ago

Follow the link that B0B posted in reply to trojan. Harris heard it from the scouts themselves.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks, RockChalk (and BOB for the link). I just read the article which I found to be somewhat inconclusive. The writer did not actually name Gill as the one who said that Harris would never become a pro player. He just stated "coaches" which means it may have included Gill, or may not have (could have been assistant coaches). If it was Gill who said it, I would be truly disappointed because I've been a big fan of Chris Harris since his freshman year.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Again, I think you're confusing two very different issues. When I speak of someone being a "quality" person, I refer to things like: values, morals, genuine concern and respect for others, etc. That's different than how he performs on the job, whatever that might be. So, a poor teacher, for example, may still be a very "quality" person. I do not know Gill personally, so I can only go on a number of reports that were published concerning the type of person he was and how he conducted himself publicly. Did he have much success as a coach? Obviously not. But this doesn't preclude him from being a quality person.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

So, ralster, let me get this straight. Are you telling me that if we had it to do all over again you would choose not to hire Turner Gill? :-)

I think we'll just have to disagree on this one. Just because Turner Gill did not succeed as a coach at KU, in my mind does not make him a terrible person. Both of us are somewhat at a disadvantage because we don't know the man personally (I'm only assuming that is the case with you). When he was hired, I liked what I read about him from people who knew him, and I liked much of what he stood for. I can separate those things from his weaknesses as a head coach which became apparent over time. I wish Gill the best in his future endeavors, and I'm a big supporter of Coach Weis.

hawk316 9 years, 5 months ago

Well, it looks like we can both agree that Weis is the right man for the job. I've been very impressed with his approach thus far. He has already made great strides in turning the program around, and I love it that he's such a straight shooter.

We can also agree that Gill will have more success at Liberty.

And ralster, one more area where we can strongly agree...we both want to see the KU football program excel, Thanks for your passion, man, and thanks for the debate.

Matt Bowers 9 years, 5 months ago

Any word on Reeve Koehler? I thought he was supposed to announced during the Army All American game? I hope that young man is still in the mix and that our coaching staff can get him to KU.

Rock Chalk

jhox 9 years, 5 months ago

I just found something indicating Arkansas has an in home visit with him Friday and he is to visit Fayetteville Jan 18th. I cant vouch for the accuracy though.

Things don't look quite as promising as they once did.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't know about that, his best friend Goeas committed to us and all indications are that they are going to school together.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

There was a comment on that early last week, the expectation was that he would commit to Ark, but that Goeas' committment made him hesitate. I believe Rivals is reporting the Fayetteville visit on 1/18.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago

Yeah I hope he's just weighing some options. He seemed to like Lawrence well enough, and Goeas was a huge get from that standpoint.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

If the "PA" in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl stands for "Potential Ability", then by all means, invite Dayne Crist.

If it stands for anything else, he should be at home watching the game on the couch (if it's even televised) like the rest of us that can't hit a wide open receiver.

Tim Quest 9 years, 5 months ago

Get over it. It's just a game. Every non-stupid person understands the difference and wishes him success in life.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

What was the nae of Prince's QB that threw all the INT's against KU and was generally bad. He was another one of the players that was just bad as a college QB, and yet I believe he even made a roster for a couple years.

Granted, I don't recall him being the statistically worst QB in the country, but he actually made a roster. While the wide open WR that were missed last year is well doc'd, it would be interesting to watch game film to determine just how many INC were a result of him not making the correct throw vs. making the correct throw and having the WR miss the ball.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago


The NFL does not recruit based on character. Yes, we know he's a good guy and a hard worker, and we wish him nothing but success in life.

But that success will not be on the football field.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 5 months ago

Nuleaf and Reuben are exactly right. There is no way Dayne Crist should be playing in a senior all-star game. I'm glad the guy came to KU, I respect his desire to play and I love the fact that he has embraced KU despite struggling this year. I also have no doubt that he is a great person, although I have never met the kid. Still, there is no reason for him to play in an all-star game. Even if the games only take players that did not get to play in bowl games, there are probably 20 quarterbacks who should be going in his place.

That being said, I am glad he is going and I think it speaks volumes about the fact that Weis and Campo have some serious connections with the NFL. I think this can do nothing but help us in our future recruiting.

Weis to recruit: "I got an invite to the NFLPA All-Star Game for the worst QB in Division 1. You won't be the worst QB in Division 1. You're a stud. What do you think I can do for you?"

Dale Stringer 9 years, 5 months ago

I am quite intrigued with Crist playing. I wondered all year how he'd pan out if he had a receiver that could run a route and catch a ball. Notice none of our receivers got an invite.

kranny 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm sure the same was said for Matt Cassel who was a career backup for USC, got picked up by New England and led them to an 11-5 record in 2008. You never know...

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 5 months ago

"Dayne Crist" and "all star" are 4 words that should never be mentioned in any football related conversation.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Really? Dayne Crist is not an all star on the football field. I just mentioned Dayne Crist and all star in a football related conversation.

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 5 months ago

Intelligent. Maybe you should re-read what I said.

Stan Unruh 9 years, 5 months ago

With Rob Ryan out as DC in Dallas, is anyone worried about Dave Campo going back the Cowboys? He has been such a great addition to the KU football program. I'd hate to lose him.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 5 months ago

I would think he and CW are a bit of a package deal for about as long as they want to be here - assuming we continue to make progress toward turning the program around. I think they both have a bit of a been there, done that sort of attitude toward the league, and are interested in finishing out their careers teaching kids.

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 5 months ago

Hank Baskett??? is Kendra going to be there?

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago

So do we have any idea how both of these "All-Star" games went about their selection process?

I mean...did they go down an alphabetical list of players blind-folded and randomly point to people? I'd assume one committee went by first name; the other by last.

"D" and "C" are both pretty high up in the alphabet. That would be the only explanation as to how Dayne Crist was "selected" by both of these events.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 5 months ago

I got to wondering about this after I posted above and I bet the pool of eligible QB's isn't as big as we think. A lot of these all-star games are for players on teams that did not play in bowls. That removes about half of the Div 1 players from consideration. The games are also restricted to seniors. So, out of about 60 QB's that didn't play in bowl games, probably only 1/3 to1/2 are seniors. That would leave 20-30 QBs to choose from. Depending on how many different all-star games there are, each game probably takes at least 4 and maybe as many as 8 QB's (2-4 per team). If there are 4-5 games that overlap then selecting Crist may not be such a stretch. There may not have been many other options. Plus, I have to think that some scouts want to see if it was something mechanical they think they can fix. Coming out of HS with a 5 ranking probably gets him a little more leeway than a 3 guy with slightly better college numbers.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 5 months ago

Hmm...I just learned that typing an asterisk as a star changes the font to italics.

Also, I wanted to clarify that I completely agree with the fact that Crist shouldn't be playing in an all-star game. At the same time, good for him. Crist getting selected can only help our recruiting.

vd 9 years, 5 months ago

Really?? Help our recruiting?? Prospective recruit, watches game. After seeing Crist perform asks, "Do I want to be taught by his coach?"

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 5 months ago

Ha. And I thought you were just emphasiing the "5 ranking probably gets him a little more leeway than a 3" remark.

Which is probably the only the reason he was selected.

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 5 months ago

Get over the "all star" label. This is a job interview for him. Should you have been denied job interviews because of low grades?

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 5 months ago

The only thing I can figure with Crist is this "all star" game is one of those where a team of "all stars" takes on local media, area celebrities, and community leaders in the name if charity.

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 5 months ago

Also, great coverage on last nights vote for Rock Chalk Park. What's the word???

mdfraz 9 years, 5 months ago

If you only read the sports section, you would have missed that the article was the top story on the ljworld site, at least as of this morning.

55jayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Regarding Reeve Koehler, I didn't a lot in the football game other than a lot of action without much speed. There must be something there that our coaches see and hope it is the initial step and stick he puts on someone is what they like in him. He's big and strong I just hopes he gets better balance.

741hawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Glad I have company. Was not impressed by what I saw in Koehler's all-star performance. (But I'll trust Charlie's evaluation.)

Commenting has been disabled for this item.