No Fear

With the Kansas Jayhawk football team reaching a bowl game for the first time since 1995 last year, optimism is fueling the program for the upcoming season.

However, the team faces an uphill battle with a schedule that features 8 of 11 bowl teams including Texas and Oklahoma. Head Coach Mark Mangino showed no signs of fear when asked about the schedule during yesterday's KU football media day.

"They are not going to have any guns or anything," Mangino said. "They are only going to send eleven guys out there."

The Jayhawks return 18 starters to a team that gained much improvement last season with a 6-7 record and 3-5 in the Big 12. Several questions surround the team during the off-season regarding all-around player Charles Gordon. The wide receiver, cornerback, and punt returner garnered attention from the Big 12 when he hauled in 57 receptions for 769 yards. Gordon will now try to make the transition to mainly defense.

"Every day we are evaluating our corners and we are getting better in that area, but Charles is needed at corner right now," Mangino said. "He will play some offense, not a lot of plays, but he will play offense. What we are not going to do is play him both ways, it's not fair to him."

Gordon is also going to extend his athletic ability's to baseball in the spring. Mangino will make sure that Gordon will manage academics while playing both sports.

Another player making a position move is sophomore Jonathan Lamb, who will try his hands at wide receiver. Lamb tied for the team-lead in interceptions at the safety position year and is making strides as a receiver during the summer.

"He has decent speed, he is not a burner but he runs well enough to be a very effective wide receiver in this conference. He is starting to see himself the last couple of days tasting some success and now he is really fired up about playing that position."

The big news of the day was an addition to the Jayhawks squad, defensive end Charlton Keith. He was declared eligible yesterday after transferring from Minnesota West Community College and will now be able to participate in team workouts. After weighing in at a slender 218 pounds, Keith will have the rest of the summer to workout with the team. The Jayhawks hope to add some speed and talent from the defensive end position to help create havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

The question on every Jayhawk fan's mind is who is going to fill the essential quarterback position. Bill Whittemore accounted for a little less than half of the team's offensive productivity on the ground and in the air. The answer may be sophomore Adam Barmann, who started in three games last season for the injured Whittemore.

"As of right now, Adam Barmann is our starter," Mangino said. Junior College Transfer Jason Swanson and junior Brian Luke are also competing for the starting job.

"Jason Swanson is a guy we talked a lot about here," Mangino said. "Brian Luke is one of the hardest working guys in this program and he has faced a lot of criticism. He just keeps working every day and is one of our most improved players and should not be discounted in this situation."

More answers will surely unveil, as Jayhawks near the September 4 opener at Memorial Stadium against Tulsa. Top Stories