Friday, November 23, 2018

Notebook: Jayhawks honor 29 seniors in final game of 2018 season

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) gives a hug to Kansas head coach David Beaty during the Senior Day ceremonies before kickoff on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) gives a hug to Kansas head coach David Beaty during the Senior Day ceremonies before kickoff on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.


The hope Friday for the Kansas football seniors, particularly the ones who experienced the Jayhawks’ previous home matchup with traditional powerhouse Texas, was to duplicate the thrill of their 2016 victory over the Longhorns.

They couldn’t pull it off in a 24-17, season-ending loss to UT at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Whether it was the adrenaline from playing such a competitive game or just the fact that being a part of the program is all he has known for close to five years, redshirt senior defensive tackle Daniel Wise said afterward it hadn’t even hit him yet that his college career was through.

“Just the fact that I won’t be playing with these guys again really,” Wise said, while smacking fellow redshirt senior Joe Dineen on the back, when asked about the toughest part of an emotional day.

“I mean the toughest thing really is not coming away with a win,” Wise elaborated. “Obviously on Senior Day, after all the hard work, obviously we want to come up with a win every week, but especially on Senior Day we wanted to get it like we did two years ago. But still grateful for the opportunity to play for Kansas. Just grateful for every down and snap that we took. And never looking back and regretting anything we did.”

Dineen, a Lawrence native, said during his postgame interviews it was “hard to tell” right now what he will remember most about his time at KU.

“Over the years I really met some great people. Football here has introduced me to a lot of really good dudes, and good women, as well. I’m just really grateful for my time here,” Dineen said.

The linebacker figured his time around the KU facilities and locker room will stay at the front of his mind for years to come.

“Just like the bond that you share with your teammates. I met some of my lifelong friends,” Dineen said. “I met some of the guys that are going to stand at my wedding. It’s been a great experience.”

Prior to kickoff, KU’s athletic director, Jeff Long, and its chancellor, Douglas Girod, greeted each senior with a handshake, and acting head football coach David Beaty embraced the players one by one, as they were introduced over the public address system and shown on the video board.

KU honored not only active seniors who have been a part of the team this season, but also some that were not able to complete their playing careers due to injuries. The players met members of their respective families with flowers and watched a “Thank you, seniors” video of highlights from their time at KU before returning to the locker room for their final game preparations.

Here are the 29 seniors who were recognized prior to kickoff:

• QB Peyton Bender

• WR Jeremiah Booker

• Former OL Jacob Bragg

• LB Joe Dineen

• C Alex Fontana

• DT Isi Holani

• DT J.J. Holmes

• WR Kerr Johnson Jr.

• DE/LB Brian Lipscomb

• LB Keith Loneker Jr.

• S Tyrone Miller Jr.

• S Emmanuel Moore

• RB Kendall Morris

• LB Osaze Ogbebor

• WR Tyler Patrick

• RB Reese Randall

• Former C Mesa Ribordy

• K Gabriel Rui

• Former OL Hunter Saulsbury

• TE Mavin Saunders

• WR Ryan Schadler

• DL KeyShaun Simmons

• WR Steven Sims Jr.

• CB Shak Taylor

• RB Deron Thompson

• OL Dwayne Wallace

• Former CB Justin Williams

• LS John Wirtel

• DT Daniel Wise

Dineen and Wise

With 14 total tackles, Dineen passed Curtis Moore and moved into fourth place all-time at KU with 391 career stops.

Wise delivered two tackles for loss in his finale, bringing his career total to 43.0 and putting him second, behind teammate Dineen’s 45.5 TFLs, in KU’s record books.

Mike Lee, Dom Williams talk future

Among the small group of KU players made available for interviews after the game, only two were non-seniors.

Both junior safety Mike Lee and sophomore running back Dom Williams said they don’t have any plans of transferring and intend to return for the 2019 season to play for incoming coach Les Miles and his staff.

Freshmen aren’t made available for interviews, per KU team policy.

Pooka’s final numbers

On the last day of his remarkable freshman season at Kansas, running back Pooka Williams came up just three yards shy of breaking the program’s rushing record for first-year players.

With his 103-yard showing, Pooka Williams, who didn’t play in the season opener, finished with 1,125 rushing yards, tying KU legend Gale Sayers for second all-time. Sayers hit that number as a sophomore in 1962, when freshmen weren’t allowed to play.

June Henley (1993) remains atop KU’s record book for first-year rushers, at 1,127 yards.

Pooka Williams rushed for 100-plus yards four times in 11 games.

No Bevo

Because of KU’s no live mascot policy, the Longhorns’ mascot, BEVO, wasn’t at Friday’s football game.

It marked just the second time in 73 years that BEVO missed UT’s Thanksgiving week game.

The matchup in Lawrence was UT’s first non-home game, or nontraditional matchup with Texas A&M;, on Thanksgiving or the Friday after since the Longhorns played at Baylor on Thanksgiving in 1994.

Leaper captain

A team manager who currently has 49 years of experience working for Kansas Athletics, Todd “Leaper” Williams was an honorary captain for KU football’s season finale.


Jeff Coffman 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you seniors.

Just as a note, Gayle Sayers did his 1125 in 10 games, Henley in 12 and Williams in 11.

Andy Godwin 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks you seniors for 4/5 years of loyalty to KU. The Jayhawk nations, especially those true fans who attended each and every one of your games, thank you for representing our University proudly. Rock Chalk.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 8 months ago

There's been a lot of complaining about this team over the last three months, from a lot of people (including me a few times), but I don't think anybody blames the kids, laying it out there 24x7 for the place that got the best years of my life! Best of luck to all of you!!! And now that I'm optimistic about the future of our program, can't wait to see what we have in store for the Big XII next year!!! I remember the instant difference Glen Mason made in 1988 and I expect similar things next year. The win total may or may not go up much, but it should be fun to watch football again in Kansas!!!

Brian Wilson 3 years, 8 months ago

Next up is the Class of 2020. If no one quits, transfers, or redshirts,
They will be a Senior class of 40 made up of 19 transfers and 21 recruits or walkons.

From what I count, KU will only have 4 transfers left after the 2020 class graduates.
Point, Beaty planned it, in two years, KU won't need to fill many holes with transfers.
So next year, possibly the largest Senior group of transfers ever, will have their turn under Miles to play and win and to make a statement on whether transfers are worth recruiting.

I wonder if any college has ever had 19 transfers in a single class before.
KU could set a record for most transfers starting ever.

Finally, with all the migrating players in next year's class maybe it calls us to nickname next years team?

How about "The JAYliens!

Dane Pratt 3 years, 8 months ago

By my count next years senior class will be 34. What is your source?

Brian Wilson 3 years, 8 months ago

You are correct KU will have 36 2020 Seniors which includes 16 transfers - 4 of the players on my original list graduated this year:
Charlot, Daylon WR TR
Hempstead Jr., Elmore CB TR
Kamara, Azur DE TR
Stevens-McKenzie, Najee DE TR
Cole, Antonio CB TR
McCullough, Jeremiah S TR
Defense, Hasan CB TR
Jones, Elijah CB TR
Flomo, Kezelee RB TR
Humphrey, Caperton FB TR
McCaleb, Willie DE TR
Lewis, Reuben OL TR
Tovi, Andru OL TR
Sosinski, James TE TR
Cole, Codey DT TR
Dixson, Foster DE TR
Torneden, Bryce CB
Fairs, Evan WR
Richmond, Shaquille CB
Stanley, Carter QB
Herbert, Khalil RB
Lee, Mike CB
Mayberry, Kyle CB
Feaster, Denzel LB
Chandler, Julian CB
Ford, DeAnte CB
Aql, Mazin DE
Mane, Api OT
Lawrence, Beau OL
Klusman, Logan LS
Feder, Kevin OT
McCauley III, Clyde OT
Frazier, Antione OT
Adeniji, Hakeem OL
Brown, Jelani DT
Moragne, Darrius DE

Brian Wilson 3 years, 8 months ago

An interesting add to the Beaty reconstruction:
The breakdown of local players going into next year:
Seniors: 3 of 36 returning players are from Kansas or Missouri
Juniors: 2 of 22 returning players are from Kansas or Missouri
Sophomores: 18 of 30 returning players are from Kansas or Missouri the time we get to the Sophomore class we have zero transfers and more than half of the players were recruited locally.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 8 months ago

I think the roster is in pretty good shape with the noticeable exception of next year's freshman class. Miles has his work cut out for him.

Bee Bee 3 years, 8 months ago

Good riddance Beaty, Bowen and Bender.

Mike Hart 3 years, 8 months ago

Good riddance, Bowen? Thought the defense did a much better job this year... especially with all the forced turnovers. As for Bender... 13-3 TD to INT ratio. He was never a mobile QB. Thought he didn't hurt us too badly this year.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.