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Greatest Kansas Football Players Bracket: Willie Pless vs Jake Laptad

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(4) Willie Pless vs (29) Jake Laptad

(4) Willie Pless

Pless played at KU from 1983-85.  Young KU football fans, if you thought Ben Heeney was always around the ball, you ain't seen nuthin yet.  Pless amassed an incredible 633 tackles over three years, which unfortunately isn't recognized as an NCAA record because tackles didn't become an "official statistic" for the NCAA until 2000.  But consider, the current NCAA career leader (Luke Kuechly, Boston College) only has 532.

That means in 33 games at KU, Pless averaged over 19 tackles per game.  He was first team All-Big 8 in 1983, 1984, and 1985.  He is the career tackles leader at Kansas and a CFL Hall of Famer, having never gotten picked up by the NFL despite tryouts with the Chiefs and Saints.

Pless spent 14 seasons in the CFL, was an 11 time All-Star, 5 time Defensive Player of the Year, and left the league as the all time career leading tackler.  He also contributed 84 sacks, 39 INTS, and 39 fumble recoveries over those 13 years.  He retired from the CFL following the 2000 season.

Pless is memorialized at Memorial Stadium in the Ring of Honor.

(29) Jake Laptad

Tulsa native Jake Laptad played for KU from 2007-10.  He was honorable mention All-Big 12 his final three seasons in Lawrence, and left campus at #2 on the career sacks list with 21.

He played in all 13 games in his freshman year, that magical 2007 campaign.  He became a starter at DE midway through his sophomore year and never looked back.

Jake was not taken in the NFL draft but did see some camp invites, and signed with the Chicago Bears in 2011 as a long snapper.  However, he did not record a stat in the NFL.

Who’s the greater Jayhawk? Log your vote in the comments. Check out the other matchups here.