Over the past week we've been checking out the who's who of each position. All the while a few of those said players were popping up on various preseason watch lists for some of the postseason honors recognizing college footballs best.
Today, a quick recap of those honors. As well as any other preseason recognition that this team has received. For those younger readers out there, this is a pretty new deal for Kansas football and a very exciting thing to see our players and our team called out before the season even starts for what they are expected to do on the field.
To give you a quick idea of how far we've come, I'd point to the final game before the Mark Mangino era and one I can now proudly say I was there.
It was Kansas vs. Wyoming a game rescheduled for Thanksgiving weekend following the attacks of September 11th. The Jayhawks had not one a game since early October and brought a 2-8 record into their final game. Announced attendance was 24,000, but honestly I don't think there was another person sitting in the section I was so I'd put it closer to the 10-13,000 range. An ugly game to end an ugly season, but the Jayhawks won 27-14 to close the book on a disastrous time in Kansas football history.
Things obviously didn't change over night but Coach Mangino made his way to Lawrence the following year and while we're still "sawin wood", this program is a far cry from that cold miserable day in 2001. So without further ado, a recap of the preseason mention garnered by your Kansas Jayhawks.
- Dezmon Briscoe and Darrell Stuckey named Preseason All Big 12
- Todd Reesing named to the O'Brien Watch List
- Jake Sharp a Doak Walker Award candidate
- Stuckey listed among Jim Thorpe Award candidates
- Reesing also added to the Walter Camp Award watch list
- Briscoe and Kerry Meier named to the Biletnikoff Award list
- Stuckey named to the Bednarik Watch list
- Reesing and Briscoe on the Maxwell Award list
- Reesing on the Manning Award watch list
- Stuckey on the Bronco Nagurski watch list
- Kansas Jayhawks #25 in the preseason AP Poll
Now don't get me wrong, I realize that when it comes down to it preseason lists don't mean a whole heck of a lot and I'm sure the players included on these lists would probably be the first one's to say that they'd rather the team succeed and let the awards take care of themselves.
Still it's hard not to look at a list of 9 preseason award watch lists with Jayhawk names included and not be pretty pleased with what this program has begun to accomplish.
Hats off to the players mentioned and to the young guys on the team now that have certainly come in with greater expectations, stay hungry my friends.