Rodriguez & Rodriguez

Cesar Rodriguez is already at Kansas. Jose Rodriguez is now on the way. No, this "Rodriguez & Rodriguez" combination isn't the latest law firm to hit Lawrence, it's just the realization of a lifelong dream of two brothers playing football together in college.

All together there are four brothers in the Rodriguez family household in La Puente, CA. Half of the family now bleeds Crimson & Blue.

Cesar has been a Jayhawk for more than a year now. The second youngest Rodriguez brother came to Kansas as a well decorated offensive lineman who had earned all-Serra Conference first team honors and Los Angeles Times first team honors as a senior at Bishop Amat High School. Cesar took a redshirt in his first season in Lawrence and this fall will get a chance to start along the offensive line.

Cesar stands in at 6-7, 253 lbs. and his little brother – the baby of the family – isn't too far behind.

At 6-6, 255 lbs., Jose Rodriguez is one mammoth high school lineman. Just like his older brother he owns the trenches at Bishop Amat High School. Jose hopes to finish his Lancer career with another standout season and is excited to play the final year of his prep career with his college decision already out of the way.

Jose was first high school star to commit to Kansas for the 2005 class and a big reason why is the impression the staff made on the Rodriguez family the first time they visited his older brother Cesar.

"Coach (Dave) Doeren really impressed me the most because when he came to visit Cesar he was really nice to me," Jose explained. "Coach (Ed) Warinner really impressed me too."

Apparently Jose has had his mind on the Jayhawks ever since.

It's always been a dream of the Rodriguez brothers to one day team up at the college level. The two young men have a shared a room together since they were three years old and have always had a strong connection. While Cesar's presence at KU didn't completely seal the deal for Jose, it certainly played a strong role.

"It really affected my decision, but it was still really my choice. His being there really helped me make my decision though."

That decision was revealed to Mark Mangino in late May.

"I told them about three weeks ago. They said they were very excited to have both the Rodriguez boys on each side of the line."

Jose calls Mangino "a really cool guy" and said the Jayhawk head coach "seemed really excited" to hear the news that he would follow in his older brother's footsteps.

Those footsteps have not only led Jose down the yellow brick road to Kansas, but apparently they'll also lead him down the same path Cesar chose for his first season on campus: a redshirt year.

"They said that I'll have a redshirt year my first year and we can work on anything I need to work on then. In the meantime they just told me to work hard and have a good final year in high school."

Jose intends to do just that and excel while only playing on the offensive side of the ball. Rodriguez, whose natural position is right tackle, says his defensive days are long gone.

"I used to play defense when I was playing Pop Warner, but not any more. I really enjoy the offensive line now."

So, what along the line does he do the best?

"I'd say pass protection, but it's easy for me to get off the ball and run block too."

Jose has learned a lot from watching his brother and says his strengths are similar to Cesar's. The youngest Rodriguez says both he and his brother are very confident players but he possesses a different kind of confidence than his older bro.

"I don't always think that I'm going to be the best and be on the winning side like Cesar does, but I always think I can beat the guy in front of me."

Jose hopes that winning those small, individual battles along the line will eventually add up to wins for his team. The more wins his team picks up the better chance he and Cesar will have of fulfilling their ultimate dream: Going to a "big time bowl" together.

"When I think of Kansas football, I think about having fun and winning games and going to a bowl. I just mostly want to go to a big time bowl with my brother and hopefully we'll win it when we get there."

That dream may still be a ways away, but one dream has already come true. Jose has taken the first step towards teaming up with his older brother at Kansas and he couldn't be happier.

And by the way Kansas fans, look out for Jose Rodriguez when he finally does take the field as the Jayhawk because being the youngest of four brothers has not only taught him toughness, but it's made him very hungry.

"Being the youngest meant I got all the hand-me-downs and the butt kickings. Now it's my turn."


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