Kansas Teleconference Call Quotes

Nov. 12, 2007

Selected <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas Football Teleconference Quotes<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Monday, Nov. 12, 2007

Head Coach Mark Mangino:

On whether he needs to lobby poll voters to help their national title hopes:

“The reason why we’re 10-0 right now is because our players and coaches have focused on the task at hand. If I spend my time politicking that’s going to take me away from the preparation for our players for each game. We are willing to earn our way at Kansas. That is something that our players believe in, that I believe in and that our staff believes in. At the end of the day if we take care of our business, work hard and just stay on task, I think things will turn out favorably. I’m trying to honor as many media requests that I can that do not take me away from my preparation.”

On preparing for IowaState:

“I see a team that is getting better each and every week. I’m watching them on tape. They are a fundamental football team, well disciplined and well coached. They coach fundamental football there. They don’t get too fancy. They are trying to build something and get a solid foundation in with good coaching and fundamental football.”

On xxx:

“I don’t know if that is entirely accurate. Regionally and on occasion, nationally, we have been on television for every conference game. I don’t think there has been any feedback that is different from any other game when we’ve been on television. I can’t say that there has been anything out of the ordinary to be quite honest with you.

On preparation for the emerging Alexander Robinson or the trio of running backs:

“We are preparing for all of them because they have all had a degree of success during the season. Robinson has really shown up and looks really good on tape. He is a real quality back and Scales has been a guy that has been with them for awhile, so we’re preparing for the entire package.”

On Todd Reesing winning the quarterback battle in August:

“Well they competed through the spring and through two-a-days and Todd won the position. Kerry (Meier) is our backup, but we’ve moved him to wide receiver and he’s doing a great job for us. In the last few weeks we broke him in slowly and he’s made a few key catches for us. He’s still our backup and he’s an outstanding quarterback as well, but Todd Reesing won the competition in two-a-days.”

On Todd Reesing’s recruitment:

“I don’t know who sent his tape, but it was sent here in the late spring and I watched it with a couple of other guys on offense and we said `holy cow, this guy is making plays all over the place.’ Then we heard he was going to come through here, he came in and he was really small. He was really small. He had an engaging personality. What convinced me was that he looked me in the eye, he was intelligent and he was a very confident guy. He had a little bounce to him. I remember going down the hallway when he was out taking a tour of the campus and the coaches said `what do you think?’ I said `he’s small, but I still like him. We are going to offer him (a scholarship).’ You couldn’t help but like him. He’s engaging and he’s fun to be around, but he’s a competitive guy. When he buckles up, he’s ready to go.”

On whether Todd Reesing had to prove himself to his teammates:

“Well he graduated high school early and came in for the spring. You always wonder if kids are prepared for that and I always talk to kids to make sure this is what they want to do. But he came right in here and acted like he’d been here three or four years. He jumped in with the kids and won them over with his personality early. When they saw him throw the ball and the way he played, they were convinced that he was going to be pretty special. Not only that he holds a 4.2 GPA and they put him in the honors program here as a true freshman. You’ve really got to be special to do that.”

On his off-season program:

“In January, I decided our players needed to have a competitive edge in more than just football. We split up the squad eight ways and put projected leaders as leaders of each squad. In our last 10 minutes of our workouts, we had some kind of competition; whether it was relays, tug-of-war, obstacle courses and different things and you could earn points. We also made it fun. One day we had foul shooting. We had guys trying to kick a soccer ball into the net with another team guarding them. We added academic things. You could earn points if you did a public service, if you attended women’s basketball, so we could support other sports. You could get points for a certain grade point average. You could lose points too if you missed a class or didn’t do something properly. It became very competitive. An assistant coach who was in charge of the point system had guys everyday coming in with a grievance of how they should have had more points. It was fun. We even took the team to the campus bowling alley one night and bowled for points. It was a lot of fun, but we tried to get their competitive juices going.”

On his fears of the team looking ahead to the Missouri game:

“We have to face reality here. Our players do not live in a glass bubble. They know what is going on around them. But this group of kids here is a very intelligent group of players. They really understand that all the hard work and investment that they have put into this season, coupled with the fact that they focus on the task at hand, has allowed us to be a 10-0 football team. I believe that they will continue to stay focused. I think it’s really important to them that they win this week and they know that. Our focus is on IowaState. We have not had that problem to this point and I don’t believe we will because this group of kids really understands what is taking place.”

Quarterback Todd Reesing

On his recruitment:

“I was born in Austin and lived there my entire life until I came to Kansas. With that I was always a Horns fan. My dad went to UT, so I grew up watching Rickey and Major Applewhite and those guys play. I was always a UT fan. Going into recruiting I wasn’t always hell bent that certain schools would send me anything. I was kind of taking whoever would look at me. I didn’t really go into it picking and choosing. It was anyone who would give me a chance.”

On not getting a chance from big schools:

“It didn’t surprise me. I kind of got used to it that a lot of people didn’t want to give me a chance basically because of maybe my height or maybe my speed. I think I wasn’t given a chance a lot of times just because of that. The teams that did look at me, gave me more of a chance. There weren’t a lot of people beating down my doors asking me to come play football for them.”

On small quarterbacks he admired:

“The first name that comes to mind is Doug Flutie. I have heard people throw my name out there in comparison with what I think is a drastic comparison considering how much he accomplished in his career and how great of a quarterback he was. It is an honor that somebody would throw that kind of comparison out, but seeing what he did at his size, and the success he had, not only in college, but in the pros, it let you know growing up that you could do it just because you aren’t the tallest guy.

“Another guy that gave me inspiration to play quarterback was Major Applewhite at Texas because he wasn’t the biggest guy and he did a lot. Drew Brees is another Austin kid. He kind of had the same thing and wasn’t given a big chance recruiting-wise and went to Purdue and broke all sorts of records and is now one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Having guys like that growing up right there in Austin, having success, definitely gave me a lot of motivation.”

On selling himself to Kansas head coach Mark Mangino in the recruiting process:

“I never tried to do anything different. I thought the way I played on the film would speak for itself. I did a lot of things that I am able to do now – make plays with my feet, scramble around, throw on the run and try to make plays when things aren’t open. I think he saw that and saw the intensity and emotion that I play with. I try to leave it all on the field and I play hard every snap. I think he liked that. We both have personalities that kind of clicked together. Off the field we are cracking jokes and pretty easy-going guys. We both know when we need to get down to business and we do that. I think he liked the way I carried myself off the field – easy going, but confident. I think he saw that and really liked it.”

On the Kansas offense:

“I think the main thing is that all of the guys on offense have really bought into what the offensive coaching staff is trying to accomplish. We really believe in the game plan that they put together. We go out there confident in every play that they call and that it is the best possible call. We try to go out there and execute each play the best that we can. I think having Brandon (McAnderson) and Jake (Sharp) running the ball, the offensive line doing a great job up front and having that balanced attack of us throwing and running really makes the offense click. We don’t have a lot of tendencies. We don’t care if we throw the ball 50 times or run it 50 times. It doesn’t really matter to us. The guys play real hard. They play as a group. We don’t have any individuals out there. We aren’t worried about individual success. It is all about the team as a whole and the offense as a core, moving the ball down the field and scoring touchdowns.”

On staying focused on IowaState with game against Missouri on the horizon:

“We are taking the same approach that we have the first 10 weeks. We are not going to look past any opponent. IowaState is coming off two big wins and is playing at the peak of their season right now. They would love nothing more than to come in here and cap their season off with a big upset. We are going to get prepared and get ready like any other game. We don’t see anything different. When it comes down to it, every game is worth one win or one loss. Just because you are playing someone, it doesn’t mean you are going to get more points or lose more points because of it. That is kind of our approach. We are going to practice hard this week and it is our final game in Memorial Stadium, so we want to end the season on a good note.”

On thoughts before the season:

“I think everyone around here, all the coaches and all the players, knew we had a chance to be a real good team. It dated back to last season. We went 6-6, but there were a lot of games that we lost by a touchdown or lost in the fourth quarter and we knew we were a few plays and a few quarters away from having a really good season last year. We took that kind of frustration into the off-season and really worked hard the entire off-season and spring to get prepared for this season. We came in knowing that all of the success we wanted to have depended on how we were going to play and how we got ready for each game. We took that mentality and that chip on our shoulder and tried to put this program on the map and prove to people that KU football is for real. We are not the KU of old and we are trying to make things different around here. We play like that every week. We don’t take anything for granted. We are not going to look past any opponent. We are going to get ready every week and we have been doing that and it is working out for us.”