Need further proof that Charlie Weis is building a disciplined football program at Kansas? Last year we saw a dramatic turnaround in the performance in the classroom from the Fall to the Spring. Now we're pretty much one year removed from a semester where Kansas had a host of players on the fringe of failure, and the Jayhawks now have a Big 12 best 19 players on the All Academic Big 12 teams.
KU's 19 players that earned mention on the first and second teams were not only the most in the conference this year, but the most by a Kansas football team in the Big 12 era. The 2012 total passes the previous high of 17, which the team set in 2010.
Senior safety Brandon Hawks was one of just three student-athletes in the league to be nominated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Other first team members included offensive lineman Dylan Admire, halfback Ryan Burton, offensive lineman Gavin Howard, cornerback Tyler Patmon, snapper/tight end Justin Puthoff, halfback James Sims and defensive lineman Shane Smith.
Second team honorees included: quarterback Michael Cummings, holder/quarterback Blake Jablonski, offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski, linebacker Jake Love, defensive end/linebacker Toben Opurum, wide receiver Daymond Patterson, cornerback Corrigan Powell, cornerback JaCorey Shepherd, fullback Nick Sizemore and wide receiver Andrew Turzilli.
Marrongelli becomes just the fourth Jayhawk to earn first team honors on the Academic All-Big four times in his career. He is also the first since Jonathan Lamb, who was honored on the first team from 2003-06.
So what does this mean as a fan? I think it's a pretty strong indicator that we're doing the little things to be successful. Does it mean Charlie Weis is going to win football games at an unprecedented clip? No, not at all, but it's certainly a better sign than the alternative and I think it means you have the proper structure in place to work toward building a winner. We've already seen this team make major strides on the field and I think it probably all started with the tone that was set off the field.