Kansas Football Big 12 Media Day Notes
July 22, 2007
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Big 12 Conference Media Days
WHO IS HERE? — Kansas head coach Mark Mangino along with three players – WR Marcus Henry, RB Brandon McAnderson and CB Aqib Talib – are here for interviews. Biographical information on each of those three is available later in these notes as well as in the media guide. Here to assist from the media relations office are Mike Strauss (who has replaced Mason Logan as the KU football media contact) and Beau White (the wily veteran of the KU SID office and the secondary football contact). Please do not hesitate to call on us for assistance.
KU’S MEDIA DAY SCHEDULE — Here is a look at where Coach Mark Mangino and the Kansas players will be during the day. Mike Strauss will be with Coach Mangino, while Beau White will escort the Jayhawk players on Monday. The traveling party will leave for Lawrence immediately after interviews are completed on Monday.
12:45-1:45 p.m. – National TV
1:45-2:30 p.m. – Print
2:30-3:10 p.m. – TV
3:10-3:50 p.m. – Radio
END ZONE FACILITY WORK HAS BEGUN — The Anderson Family Football Complex, a $31 million facility that will house the Kansas football team beginning in 2008, is being built adjacent to the southwest side of Memorial Stadium. The complex will include offices, academic areas, a weight room, locker rooms, an audio-visual room, meeting rooms, a cardio room, a hydro-therapy room, a nutrition area and a display area. In addition, two grass practice fields will be built just southeast of the stadium as well.
TEAM QUICK FACTS — Here is a quick look at the numbers returning for KU:
Lettermen Returning: 33
Special Teams: 2
Lettermen Lost: 14
Special Teams: 0
Starters Returning: 16
Special Teams: 2
Starters Lost: 8
Special Teams: 0
DID YOU KNOW? — Kansas has set school season attendance average records in each of the last two seasons. A then-record average of 43,675 fans flocked to KU home games in 2005 before that mark was broken the next season as KU averaged 44,137 fans in Memorial Stadium last year.
RETURNING STARTERS — Here is a look at KU’s 16 returning starters with 2006 starts in () and 2006 notables:
OT Cesar Rodriguez (12) – Has started 30 straight games entering 2007.
OT Anthony Collins (12) – All-Big 12 Honorable Mention by AP at right tackle.
TE Derek Fine (10) – Third on team with 28 receptions for 355 yards and five TDs.
WR Dexton Fields (12) – Team best 45 receptions for 455 yards and five TDs.
WR Marcus Henry (10) – 25 catches for 316 yards in 2006… Has 50 career catches.
QB Kerry Meier (8) – KU freshman record 1,193 passing yards… 346 rushing yards.
DE Russell Brorsen (8) – 33 tackles, six TFL, three FR in 2006.
DT James McClinton (12) – Earned Big 12 honors a year ago… 51 tackles… 14.5 TFL were tied for second in the Big 12 and tied for 34th in NCAA.
LB Joe Mortensen (12) – Second on team with 82 tackles and 9.0 TFL… 3.5 sacks.
LB Mike Rivera (12) – All-Big 12 Hon. Men. in 2006… Led team with 90 tackles.
LB Arist Wright (4) – Started last four games… Had 27 tackles on the season.
CB Aqib Talib (10) – One of nation’s best defenders… Led NCAA in passes defended (2.80) and had six INT… Recorded 42 tackles… 2007 Playboy All-America… 2007 Bronko Nagurski Award watch list.
CB Anthony Webb (9) – Was a freshman All-Big 12 by TSN… 42 tackles, 3 INT, 9 PBU.
S Darrell Stuckey (4) – Missed first five games with injury… 32 tackles in 7 games.
P Kyle Tucker – Owns career average of 40.8 through first three seasons.
PK Scott Webb – Hit 13 of 18 field goal attempts in 2006 and 29 of 42 in career.
HEAD COACH Mark Mangino — Entering his sixth season at Kansas is head coach Mark Mangino. He enters the 2007 season with a 25-35 overall record, which includes three bowl eligible seasons in the last four years. After stints as an assistant coach at Youngstown State (1985-86) and Geneva College (1987-89), Mangino moved into the Big 12 Conference, serving as an assistant at Kansas State from 1991-98 as the Wildcats produced a 71-23-1 mark in his tenure. Mangino then spent three seasons at Oklahoma, including the final two years as offensive coordinator as the Sooners went 31-7 in his three seasons from 1999-2001. His file and highlights are on page four of this release.
2007 CAPTAINS — As selected by their teammates, TE Derek Fine, RB Brandon McAnderson, DT James McClinton, and CB Aqib Talib, will serve as team captains in 2007. Fine and McClinton were captains a year ago, while Talib, a junior, is the only non-senior among the group.
SCHEDULE NOTE-ABLE — For the second straight season and the third time in the last five years, Kansas will play seven home games… KU hosts Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in the first of a two-game series to be held at the NFL’s Chiefs’ home field… KU opens the season with four straight home games for the first time since the 1986 team opened the year with five consecutive home contests… After playing all four non-conference games to open the season, KU will have a bye week before playing eight straight weeks against Big 12 opponents… KU will be meeting three teams for the first time in Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana and Florida International… KU will play six teams that played in bowl games last season.
2006 NOTE-ABLE — KU was bowl eligible in 2006 with a 6-6 record, but was not invited to a bowl game… KU has been bowl eligible in three of the last four years (played in the 2003 Tangerine and 2005 Fort Worth Bowls)… Four of KU’s six losses in 2006 were by one score or less, including two overtime defeats… KU had seven games decided by one score or less as the Jayhawks were 3-4 in those contests… KU produced the Big 12’s leading rusher in Jon Cornish, who averaged 121.42 yards per game to also rank seventh in the NCAA (Cornish is now in the CFL with Calgary)… Returning All-America candidate Aqib Talib led the nation in passes defended (2.80 per game) and was fourth in interceptions at .60 per game.
OFFENSIVE NOTE-ABLE — KU ranked fourth in the Big 12 and 19th in the NCAA in rushing average (176.42), but lost Big 12 rushing leader Jon Cornish to graduation… The Jayhawks return four players who all rushed for 100-plus yards last season in QB Kerry Meier (346), RB Jake Sharp (129), FB/RB Brandon McAnderson (122) and QB Todd Reesing (106)… Two sophomores-to-be will compete for the starting quarterback position as Meier threw for 1,193 yards in eight games and Reesing threw for 204 yards in three contests… Three Jayhawks who caught at least 25 passes a year ago return in WR Dexton Fields (45), TE Derek Fine (28), and WR Marcus Henry (25).
DEFENSIVE NOTE-ABLE — KU allowed just 109 rushing yards per game to rank third in the Big 12 and 28th in the NCAA… Only one player has rushed for 100 yards against the Jayhawks in the last 25 games (Leon Patton of Kansas State rushed for 102 yards last season)… KU returns its top two tacklers in Mike Rivera (90) and Joe Mortensen (82), as well as four of its top five and eight of its top 11 tacklers from a year ago… DT James McClinton tied for second in the Big 12 and tied for 34th nationally with 1.17 tackles for loss per game a year ago… KU has been tough against the run in the Mark Mangino era, with three of the top five averages allowed in the last three years. KU allowed a school-record opponent low 83.2 yards in 2005, the second-best mark of 109.0 last year and 117.6, fifth, in 2004.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTE-ABLE — KU led the Big 12 and was 11th in the NCAA with a 13.50 punt return average… PK Scott Webb made 13 of 18 field goal attempts last year with streaks of eight straight and five straight… P Kyle Tucker had a career-low 39.2 punting average (has a 40.8 average in his three-year career), but placed 23 of his 58 punts inside the 20-yard line… Marcus Herford ranked 18th in the NCAA in kickoff return average at 26.10 per return last year.
SINCE WE ARE IN TEXAS — Kansas boasts 27 players on its roster from the state of Texas on its roster. Those 27 from the Lone Star state represent the second most from any state for the Jayhawks, trailing only the 30 players from Kansas. KU does list one player on its roster from San Antonio in CB Gary Green, who attended James Madison High School. Green missed last season due to injury after lettering as a running back in 2005.
2007 PLAYER NOTE-ABLE — WR Dexton Fields will be looking to be first Jayhawk to lead the team in receptions in consecutive years since Isaac Byrd in 1995 and 1996. Fields had a team-best 45 receptions last season… PK Scott Webb will be trying to be the first KU player to lead the team in scoring three straight seasons since fellow PK Dan Eichloff accomplished that feat 1990-91-92… P Kyle Tucker should become just the second player in KU history to lead the team in punting four times as the only Jayhawk to accomplish that feat was Dan Eichloff from 1990-93.
PROJECTED DEPTH — Here is a look at some break downs of the projected preseason depth chart:
* The starting lineup would include four seniors, six juniors and one sophomore on offense and one senior, eight juniors and two sophomores on defense.
* The starting lineup would feature four players with three letters, two with two letters, three with one letter, one squad member and one junior college transfer on offense. Defensively, it would include six two-year letterwinners, three one-time letter winners, one squad member and one junior college transfer.
* The second-team listings include four letterwinners on offense and eight on defense.
KU PICKED FOURTH IN BIG 12 MEDIA POLL — Kansas football has been projected to finish fourth in the Big 12 North division according to the Big 12 Media Preseason Poll which was released on Thursday. The projection matches Kansas’ highest listing as the Jayhawks were also picked fourth in 1996, 2000 and 2006. The prediction of fourth last season was accurate as Kansas posted a 3-5 conference mark en route to finishing behind Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas State. KU finished fifth in both 1996 and 2000. KU has finished the season as high as fourth in the North division in 1999, 2003 and 2006. The Jayhawks were picked fifth, sixth, and fourth respectively in those years.
2007 Big 12 Preseason Football Poll (Media Vote)
North 1. Missouri (16) 136
2. Nebraska (8) 128
3. Kansas State 88
4. KANSAS 63
5. Colorado 58
6. Iowa State 31
1. Texas (16) 135
2. Oklahoma (7) 126
3. Texas A&M (1) 82
4. Oklahoma State 81
5. Texas Tech 56
6. Baylor 24
(First-place votes in parentheses)
THREE JAYHAWKS TABBED TO PRESEASON BIG 12 TEAM — Kansas OT Anthony Collins, DT James McClinton and CB Aqib Talib were all tabbed to the Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team, which was selected by a conference media panel the league office announced on Friday. Only Texas, with seven selections, and Oklahoma with four picks, had more players than KU voted to the team.