Down to the Wire

The finish line is within sight for Jose Rodriguez.  The 6-6 255 lb. offensive lineman has entered the stretch run of his high school football career. Once his final season with Bishop Amat High School wraps up he'll be able to focus all his attention on getting ready for his next journey:  a college career at Kansas.<br>

The little brother of Kansas offensive lineman Cesar Rodriguez committed to KU late last spring and has been “Jay-Dreaming” ever since.  While he won’t join the ‘Hawks until next summer, the end of his high school football season puts him one step closer to beginning a new chapter in his life. The next chapter will include the fulfillment of a life long dream of teaming up with his brother at the collegiate level.

Jose Rodriguez will get a small taste of that dream in mid-December when he makes a visit to Lawrence.  The La Puente, CA native can’t wait to visit his future college home and catch up with his older brother.

“I’ll probably be making a trip out there on December 17th.  I’m excited to see my brother, how he’s progressed and see what they can do for me.”

Jose has kept close tabs on the Jayhawks this season, watching all their TV games and cheering from afar.  While he couldn’t watch the Jayhawks thrilling 31-28 win over Kansas State, Jose heard all about it from his big brother.

“I heard from my brother that it was really exciting and they even tore down the goalposts after game. I wish I could have seen it.”

Such stories have fueled Jose’s interest in Kansas even further, but as excited as he is about one day playing at Memorial Stadium, the high school senior knows he still has business to finish at home.

“We are 5-2 and playing pretty good,” Rodriguez said of his high school squad. “We’re getting better and better each week. We have three more games in league and the playoffs are hopefully in the near future.”

Rodriguez has seen steady progress in his own game and from his Lancer teammates.  Their recent strides have him setting his post season hopes very high.

“Hopefully we’ll make it to the finals and possibly win a championship,” Rodriguez said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good shot.  We’ve just got to keep progressing.”

Jose’s progress has come in the form of more aggressive play – something he says he’s always been good at, but has recently improved even further as his fellow lineman have played more tenaciously.

“As a team, we used to not get off the ball as fast, but all of us have done a better job of that.  I’m progressing even better.  I’m starting to push people around now instead of holding back.”

The three-star stud says his strength might be his run-blocking abilities, but more than likely his talents are “pretty evened out” overall.

Rodriguez knows he already possesses some great athletic tools to build on and is eager to see what a year in the Kansas system will do for his game.  The freshman-to-be is not afraid of taking a redshirt, especially after seeing his brother improve with a redshirt campaign.  Rodriguez knows the Kansas staff has his best interest in mind and he’ll do whatever they say it takes to make the greatest contribution possible.  His respect for the staff, starts at the top with Mark Mangino, but also includes the assistant coach that helped land his commitment, Dave Doeren.

“I’d say Coach Doeren (has impressed me the most), the one that’s in charge of the recruiting for the west coast,” Rodriguez explained.  “I really got to know him better and see what he’s like because when he came to visit my brother he really visited with me too.  He saw potential in me, even as a kid.  I appreciate that.”

Kansas fans could come to appreciate Rodriguez in the not-so-distant future. Top Stories