Meier Shoots For 100

Kerry Meier arrived at KU in 2005 as a celebrated quarterback expected to leave his mark on KU football. Four years later, he's indeed left a lasting impact in school history. As a receiver.

Kerry Meier was first converted to wide receiver his sophomore season in 2007 while still seeing limited action as backup quarterback. He had a breakout year last season and caught 97 passes, the most ever in a season in Jayhawk annals. Meier also had the most receiving yards (1,045) by a junior in KU history and tied a record with Dezmon Briscoe for most catches in a game (14 versus Missouri).

He now enters his senior year Saturday night against Northern Colorado as the nation's second-leading returning wide receiver by receptions (7.46 per game).

But get this, Meier expects more. In fact, he wants to catch 100 passes in his collegiate swan song.

"I never saw myself catching 10 balls, but here I caught 97 balls last season," said Meier, who is on the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation's best wide receiver.

"I've worked hard this offseason to get more than 97 catches. I know there were certain opportunities out there last year, not dropping balls but missing a block and not letting Jake (Sharp, running back) get the first down. That's three more cracks at it for me to get another catch. It's certain times like that that kind of drove me throughout the offseason to reach that plateau of catching 100 balls.

"If it happens, it happens. But if not, I'm just fine."

With redshirt freshman Kale Pick emerging as the No. 2 quarterback, Meier spent even more time this offseason working at wide receiver. He put a special emphasis on improving his blocking game.

"I think the mentality you need at wide receiver is not the ability to just catch the ball, but roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty and blocking somebody," Meier said. "I think that's what we need is physical ball out of the wide receivers to get things going."

As for quarterback, Meier hasn't been completely relieved of his duties. But as he firmly said Tuesday, he's no longer the man behind star QB Todd Reesing.

 "Kale is our number two guy," Meier said. "He's worked hard and he's earned it. Kale's put himself in position to be number two. He's taken all the reps with the number two offensive line throughout the whole offseason and through training camp."

Meier will be ready to step in if needed, but he hopes that doesn't happen. He wants to see Reesing stay healthy and watch Pick have success and get in a lot of snaps against Northern Colorado. Meier, meanwhile, will concentrate on what he does best — catching passes.

Freshman wide receiver Bradley McDougald has quickly become a true believer in Meier. Meier has offered him some sage advice, while McDougald has also learned the nuances of college football from watching Meier in practice.

"Just the habits and work ethic he has," McDougald said. "It's really motivation. I try to pick up the things he does to get off defenses and stay on his route."

Meier will be running his last routes at KU this season. This is his last chance, his last hurrah. But he's not thinking about 2009 as a farewell season. He's just focused on the moment and trying to help Kansas win on Saturday.

"It really hasn't quite set in yet and hopefully it doesn't set in for a while," Meier said. "I'm enjoying every second of it right now and I'm cherishing it. All I'm really worried about right now is coming out on Saturday and performing well with my teammates."

Meier is on pace to finish his career with the second most receiving yards in KU history, and either rank No.1 or No. 2 all time in career receptions.

Not bad for a guy who came to Kansas as a quarterback and never played receiver in his life. So the question begs: Can Meier catch 100 passes this season?

His teammates certainly think so.

"Definitely," Sharp said. "If Kerry's called to get 200 catches, I think he'd do it. If his number gets called, he's definitely going to make the play."

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