Two blasts from the past collide in this intense Elite 8 matchup.
(1) Ray Evans
Clearly, Evans played in a different era, but regardless he is still one of the greatest overall athletes in Jayhawk history. Evans started on offense and defense, at quarterback and cornerback. He was a first team All-American in 1947 as a defensive back and a big part of leading the Jayhawks to the 1948 Orange Bowl.
Evans is the only player in NCAA history ever to lead the country in passing yards (as a QB) and INTs (as a CB) in the same year. He is the only Jayhawk to be first team All-American in both football (1947) and basketball (1943). He was a three-time first team All-Conference (Big Six) selection (1942, '46-'47) in football.
He is still KU's single season and career leader in interceptions. He is one of five Jayhawks ever to be taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft.
He is also one of five Jayhawks (four players and a coach) enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, and he is also memorialized in KU’s Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium.
(2) Otto Schnellbacher
“The Double Threat from Sublette” was another one of those amazing all around athletes. He played both offense (WR) and defense (CB), plus, he was first team All-Conference four times in basketball for the Jayhawks.
He laced it up on the gridiron for KU from 1942-43 and 1946-48. He was named first team All-Conference in 1943, 1946, and 1947.
He was a co-captain on the 1947 Orange Bowl squad, the same year he (alongside Ray Evans) became KU’s first ever first team All-Americans in football. In the “three yards and a cloud of dust” era, Otto was credited with 58 receptions and 1069 yards in his KU career, school records that stood for 22 years.
Otto was drafted 231st overall by the Chicago Cardinals (you read that right) in the 1947 NFL Draft. His professional career wouldn’t start until 1948 with the New York Yanks. He was an interception machine in his NFL career, averaging nearly an interception per game. At the same time, Otto played professional basketball in the NBA.
Schnellbacher’s name - all 13 letters of it - is inscribed in the Ring of Honor in KU’s Memorial Stadium.
Who was the greater Jayhawk? Register your vote in the poll below. Feel free to share your vote and discuss in the comments. Other matchups can be found here.