Thursday, January 22, 2015


Column: Kansas QB pledge artful dodger


Vero Beach, Florida, once equated to three other words: Los Angeles Dodgers. Every spring, for six-plus weeks, the Dodgers trained and played exhibition games in a ballpark without dugouts, the most intimate fan experience major-league baseball offered.

The Dodgers moved their preseason home to Glendale, Arizona, when Kansas University football pledge Carter Stanley was in fifth grade. So ended a father-son annual outing.

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“It was a tradition every year,” Stanley said. “My dad would take me to one of the spring ballgames, and it would be great.”

Stanley said he and a friend once were in position to get the autograph of retired Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda.

“It was incredible,” Stanley said. “My friend got his autograph, and he was just about to give me an autograph, and then he had to leave right then because the game was about to start. My friend ended up with the autograph, and I didn’t.”

Vero Beach misses the Dodgers, but it’s not as if the ocean-side city of 15,220 is starved for sports entertainment. Vero Beach High (enrollment of about 2,500) has drawn college football recruiters to campus regularly in recent years.

A first-year starter at quarterback as a senior this past fall, Stanley led Vero Beach to an 11-1 record. He threw for 3,070 yards with 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions. At a Penn State football camp in the summer before his junior season, Stanley was clocked electronically at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Stanley said he threw just 17 passes as a junior, behind senior Dalton Stokes, who had earned all-state honors as a junior. Stokes will be a red-shirt freshman at Valparaiso University next fall.

Recruited by linebackers coach Kevin Kane, Stanley remembered meeting the coach a couple of years ago when Kane was recruiting a Vero Beach player for Northern Illinois.

Stanley, offered a scholarship from Connecticut, said he won’t flip.

“I’ve told every coach who tried to talk to me that I’ve shut down all recruiting,” said Stanley, who will visit KU on Jan. 30. “That was the deal I made with the Kansas coaches. I would shut down all recruiting if they would shut down recruiting quarterbacks.”

During Kane’s visit Saturday, Stanley said the coach hooked offensive coordinator Rob Likens into the conversation from California on Facetime.

“Coach Kane asked me to draw a play on the board, and when I did, coach Likens said they ran the exact same play,” said Stanley, who had an in-home visit Tuesday from Kane and Likens.


Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Interesting that recruits actually bargain for their commitments! Learn something new every day, I suppose.

Robert Brown 7 years, 5 months ago

I also found that interesting, but it makes sense.

Dale Rogers 7 years, 5 months ago

Sounds to me like the coaches did the bargaining, wanting to lock this guy in and knowing they didn't plan to go after more quarterbacks anyhow.

Calvin Miller 7 years, 5 months ago

REcruits frequently bargain. Scheelhaase turned down KU and OU because they wouldn't guarantee that he would play at QB. He made the deal with Illinois.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

Same reason UT didn't land RG3 or Johnny Manziel. They figured RG3's future was in track as a hurdler and that Johnny was to small to play QB and they wanted him as a DB.

Michael Lorraine 7 years, 5 months ago

I've been told by some New Yorkers there are still people in Brooklyn who are bitter about the Dodgers moving to LA.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

Except most people who have actual memories of the Dodgers in Brooklyn are getting up in age and won't be around much longer.

Dirk Medema 7 years, 5 months ago

TK - Thanks for the background on why Carter is a relative unknown - not getting virtually any reps behind an all-stater until his senior year.

It's also good to realize that the 4.61 is from almost 2 years ago. It's easy to see that being a 4.5 or less by the time he's playing at KU. Makes you wonder if he could go the route of a Tannehill (?); play WR for a year with the older QB and learn that half of the O, then switch to leading the team behind center. I'd say we need even more help at WR next year than we need improved play @ QB (vs Cummings). Heck, a good WR will improve the play of the QB just by his presence. How many extra completions do you think Michael had simply because Nigel was the player he was throwing to?

Steve Jacob 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you know what is funny. The kid could have drawn any play on the board and Coach Likens would say he runs that play. Coaches make millions to win, so they lie, that's why transfer rate is higher and higher each year.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

Except Likens isn't making millions and the spread offense (which the air raid is a sped up version of) is a very simplistic offense which is why freshmen QB's can step right in and run it. There's maybe 20 plays in a spread offense with the various formations that make the play book seem thicker.

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