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Greatest Kansas Football Players Bracket: Kurt Knoff vs Larry Brown

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(16) Kurt Knoff vs (17) Larry Brown

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

(16) Kurt Knoff

Knoff was a safety for Kansas from 1972-75.  Knoff was a three-time first team All-Big 8 player, from 1973-75.  He ended up being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round with the 43rd overall pick, but did not sign due to lingering knee issues; he had torn his ACL in the final game of his Kansas career.  A year later, Knoff signed with the Houston Oilers, playing two season there before going to the Vikings.  He retired from professional football in 1983 after chronic knee issues.

Knoff played both football and baseball at KU, however, he is most known for "The Hit" vs Oklahoma State.  In 1974, OSU running back Alfred Nelms came around the end and darted up the sideline.  Knoff read the play and swung around as well, and the two met with each going at full speed.  The impact was clearly audible throughout the stadium and on the radio; both players were knocked unconscious.  After about five minutes both players had regained consciousness, and Knoff even finished playing out the game.

(17) Larry Brown

No, not that Larry Brown.  This Larry Brown did not lead the Jayhawks to the 1988 NCAA Tournament Championship.  This Larry Brown played football for the Jayhawks from 1967-70 at both TE and OL.  Brown was part of the Riggins/Douglass squad that led the Jayhawks to the 1968 Orange Bowl.

Brown was taken in the first round of the 1971 NFL Draft, #26 overall, by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent 14 seasons, retiring following the 1984 campaign.  His first seven years, Brown played at TE, making seven Pro Bowls.  His final seven years he played on the offensive line.  All told, Brown played in all of the Steelers' first four Super Bowl victories in the mid-to-late 1970s.

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