Herford Leads Jayhawks Selected To Preseason Football Teams

June 2, 2008

<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas kickoff return specialist Marcus Herford was named a preseason All-America First Team selection by Phil Steele magazine, while several Jayhawks were named to the publication’s all-conference teams it was announced on Monday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

The preseason magazine listed eight Kansas players on its first, second, third and honorable mention All-Big 12 teams. First-team selections included linebackers Joe Mortensen and Mike Rivera, along with Herford.

Running back Jake Sharp was named to the third team, while honorable mention honors went to wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, offensive guard Chet Hartley, linebacker James Holt and punt returner Raimond Pendleton.

Herford, a senior-to-be, has produced two outstanding seasons as a kickoff returner for the Jayhawks. In 2007, he returned 31 kicks for 888 yards and two touchdowns. His 28.6 average ranked second in the Big 12 and 15th in the NCAA. In 2006, he averaged 26.1 yards on 29 returns.

Herford enters the 2008 season with the third-best kickoff return average in Big 12 history at 27.4 yards per return. His 1,645 yards are fifth all-time in the league and his two touchdown returns are just one shy of the league record of three by former Colorado standout Ben Kelly.

Mortensen, a senior-to-be, recorded 106 tackles last season, including 15 for loss. Rivera, another senior-to-be, has produced at least 90 tackles in consecutive seasons, including 90 as a sophomore and 96 last year.

Sharp rushed for 821 yards while serving as a backup to Brandon McAnderson last season. He ran for 100 yards in three different games in 2007.

Briscoe was a Freshman All-America Honorable Mention selection by The Sporting News in 2007 after catching 43 passes for 496 yards and seven touchdowns. Hartley started all 13 games at right guard last season after transferring from ButlerCountyCommunity College.

Holt was second on the team in tackles a year ago with 99, including 13 for loss. Pendleton returned 14 punts for a 12.1 average with a 77-yard touchdown in 2007.

The Jayhawks started summer workouts on Monday. The players will report to training camp on August 1 and will open the season hosting Florida International on August 30.