As requested, here's a quick update on how several former Jayhawks are doing in the NFL/CFL. One in particular is having a very solid season and helping his team to a somewhat surprising fast start.
Talib is enjoying what amounts to a bit of a breakout year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 3rd year corner has contributed 24 tackles, 6 pass deflections and 5 interceptions including one which was returned for a touchdown.
During week 8 Talib had one of his best professional performances while contributing 2 interceptions, 2 pass deflections, five tackles and one TOUCHDOWN against the Arizona Cardinals. The performance earned Talib NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and the return represented his first professional touchdown.
Another interesting tidbit related to Talib, the backup corner sitting just behind him on the depth chart is E.J. Biggers. Biggers committed to Kansas in 2005 before ultimately deciding to choose Western Michigan. Just let that soak in for a minute. What if we had had two NFL caliber corners on that Orange Bowl team?
Cornish and his team the Calgary Stampeders finished the regular season a league best 13-5. They're off this week as they have a first round bye in the Grey Cup playoffs, but they would look to be the favorites to win their 2nd Gray Cup in the last three years.
For his part Cornish is the 2nd string halfback behind 1200 yard rusher Jeffrey Reynolds. Cornish does however make an impact when he's on the field. With 618 yards on just 85 carries Cornish averages 7.3 yards per run. Not too shabby.
From a back out of the backfield standpoint, Cornish again has done well in a supporting role with 14 catches for 226 yards. That amounts to a 16.1 yard per catch average which is second on the team. In short, maybe Cornish is one of the most explosive offensive weapons on the roster?
Outside of football Cornish has fared pretty well as part of Reebok's "Reeinspire" campaign in which fans were asked to vote on varying nominees and their favorite video's featuring those nominees. Cornish ran a pretty solid campaign.
Norris continues to plug along with the San Fransisco 49ers in what continues to be the longest current career by a Jayhawk. Norris doesn't put up much in the way of numbers, but that's life as an NFL fullback. In 2010 he has 2 rushes for...wait for it...0 yards, and 3 receptions for 15 yards.
Norris, Cornish and Talib really represent the only two players currently producing at the professional level. Across the board former Jayhawks have been about as unfortunate on the injury front as the current Jayhawk roster. Here's a quick rundown of who's still on what roster and what they're current team status is.
Six weeks inactive for San Diego, but he has yet to be placed on the IR. The Chargers still anticipate him playing this year but it's tough to say how much he can contribute given the substantial setback. This was a pretty big blow because Stuckey was expected to start headed into fall camp.
Cut by the Titans after training camp but has caught on with the Packers. I really thought the Titans gig might turn into a good fit, but Rivera keeps plugging along trying to earn a spot and some minutes.
IR - Falcons
Holt was active on the Chargers special teams before sustaining a season ending knee injury in September. Another tough blow for a Jayhawk who was starting to find a bit of a home. He should be back on with San Diego next year looking to build on the contributions he's made to date.
Carolina Panthers practice squad after spending a pair of years in the same role with the Jets.
Collins has battled injuries throughout the year and hasn't been active in too many games for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Practice Squad