Patience is paying off for Angus Quigley.
The 6-2, 222-pound Jayhawk runningback spent last season languishing in
mop-up time in a few blowout wins. He didn't get many opportunities to
play in 2007. Some said he was hurt, some said he was in head coach
Mark Mangino's doghouse. Either way, until midseason, Quigley walked
the sidelines, watching other runningbacks get carries.
Quigley waited his turn. He worked hard, he listened to his coaches and
he maintained a positive attitude. It wasn't always easy, but Quigley
paid his dues.
“I didn't feel forgotten; we all worked the same
amount,” Quigley remembered. “I just kept working
and waited for my opportunity. I told myself that if I ever got the
opportunity, I'd just try and do the best I can.”
Earlier in the year, when it became fashionable for little-used KU
runningbacks to quit, Quigley said the thought of leaving never
occurred to him.
“When I look around and I see all these guys I came in with
– (Darrell) Stuckey, Kerry (Meier), (Rodney) Harris
– I could never quit on my teammates like that.”
Kansas has struggled in the rushing game so far this season. Quigley
saw fourth quarter action in KU's opener against Florida International
and gained 47 of KU's 128 rushing yards on just six carries. After
starters Jake Sharp and Jocques Crawford combined for just 45 yards on
15 carries in the first half Saturday night against Louisiana Tech,
Mangino turned to the big, fast Texan early in the third quarter. The
call caught Quigley off-guard.
"I can't tell you I saw this chance,” Quigley said, smiling.
“I was amazed when Coach came to me at the end of the first
half and said that I might be going in at the start of the next
half. I was thinking, `What? I'm a fourth quarter guy, what
am I doing in the third quarter?'”
Quigley delivered. He gained 84 yards on the ground and caught two
passes out of the backfield for 12 yards. He now leads Kansas with 132
yards after two games. His head coach liked what he saw Saturday night.
Mangino said, "I thought Angus did a lot of positive things. He still
ran a little bit high, his shoulder pads aren't easy quite down as much
as you'd like, but I thought he did a nice job of picking his way and
accelerating through lanes.”
Quigley runs like a man possessed, when he gets an opportunity. He's
still got good acceleration, even though he's had some injuries. He
runs extremely hard, and he's plenty big enough and strong enough to
move a pile. He's the kind of runner who enjoys putting a shoulder into
a smaller defensive back. That's just how his coaches want it.
"I'm one of those downhill runners,” Quigley said.
“I'm not going to get fancy. I'm going to do what I'm asked
to do. If they want me to run downhill, that's what I will
Experience may also be working in the redshirt junior's favor. He's
been in the program for four years and he's familiar with the offensive
line. This, Quigley said, is part of why he's seeing the field this
“I know the offense inside and out, so when the chance comes,
I know what I'm doing. That helps a lot,” he said.
Now that he's had a couple of opportunities, he's being smart about the
situation. He's seen this movie before.
“I'll continue to do what I've been doing, do whatever I need
to do to help my team. That's it.”
Sharp and Crawford are struggling to gain rushing yards, so it would be
understandable if Quigley thought he deserved some first half touches
Friday night when the Jayhawks play 17th-ranked South Florida in an
ESPN2-televised game from Tampa. But he knows that
“deserve” doesn't figure into it. He knows what he
can and cannot control, and playing time is not one of those things.
“That's entirely up to Coach,” he said, laughing.
“I have no say in that.”
Then he paused and grinned. “If the coaches say that I
deserve some first-half carries, then I will gladly accept
Sounds like a player who's hungry for more carries and more success.
After watching Quigley patiently wait for his turn to come around, no
one would like to see him realize that success more than his coach.
“It's been a long road for Angus,” Mangino said,
“and no one wants to see Angus do better than we do as
coaches. Maybe this is a sign of things to come for him.”
Quigley Making a Case for More Carries
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