"I feel that we have a football
team that has a strong foundation,"
Winning is one thing, but the
"It gave us the confidence to know
that if we needed to finish, we could finish," Jayhawk OL David Ochoa said.
"Whether we were playing
The Jayhwaks lost a good portion
of their defensive front that led the Big 12 in rush defense. Linebackers Nick Reid, Banks Floodman, and Kevin Kane all ended their careers last season. But
unlike the previous decade of
The defense also has first team all conference CB Aqib Talib instilling the attitude lost with the departing seniors.
"Aqib ‘gots some swagger to him. He'll make a play and let you know about it," DT James McClinton said.
The Jayhawks believe they have a
weapon in their artillery that they haven't had in recent years in red-shirt
freshman quarterback Kerry Meier, a 6'3 210 gunslinger from
"I've had a good pleasure of being around some very talented quarterbacks. If he stays healthy and everything falls into place, he's got a chance to be among those type of guys," Mangio said.
That is high praise for a guy that hasn't taken a snap in division I football, but Mangino said it's well deserved.
"He's got all of the physical tools that are necessary. Good arm strength, accuracy speed, escapability. He's smart. He's perceptive. He's mentally tough. He's a tremendous competitor," Mangino said.
"He can really be special."
Perception is the Jayhawks will fall back into their traditional place near the bottom of the Big 12 along with the rest of the North. But David Ochoa feels that won't be the case.
"As a division, the Big 12 North
is definitely on the upswing.