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Greatest Kansas Football Players Bracket: Gil Reich vs Emery Hicks

(8) Gil Reich vs (25) Emery Hicks

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(8) Gil Reich

Reich was another one of those two-sport start from back in the day.  He only spent one season on the gridiron, but made first team All-American (and of course first team All-Big 7) as a defensive back in 1952.  He came to Kansas under, well, let's say suspicious circumstances.

Gil originally went to Army and after a solid season in 1950 as the backup quarterback, he was the heir apparent to what was then a juggernaut college football program.  In 1951, a point shaving scandal rocked West Point, and the program saw almost half of its players expelled.  Reich was not implicated, but the Army had a code - if you knew someone was cheating and didn't report it, you were just as guilty as they.  Gil was one of almost 90 players expelled from West Point.

Gil ended up at KU, sitting out the 1951 season due to transfer rules, but the Chancellor at the time wouldn't let him particpate in athletics.  After some political wrangling, including a second appointment to West Point, the Chancellor relented and allowed Reich to play.

Reich primary played CB, but also split time starting at QB with Jerry Robertson.  Reich also occasionally lined up at halfback and returned punts.  In addition to his defensive prowess, he is credited with 428 yards of offense and 5 touchdown passes.  On top of all of that, Reich also served as KU's primary punter and kicked extra points for a team that went 7-3, dropping two 1-point affairs to Nebraskuh and Missouruh.

Oh yeah, he also played basketball in the 1952-53 season, starting at guard for the Jayhawks and helping lead them to the national title game against Indiana.

(25) Emery Hicks

At 6'6" 230 lbs, Hicks was an imposing figure at Linebacker, a position he played for the Jayhawks from 1967-69, making first team All-Big 8 in his junior and senior years.  Hicks had one of his best games in the 1968 Orange Bowl, registering 8 solo tackles and recovering a fumble.  He was also credited with stuffing Penn State on three consecutive plays, preventing a touchdown.

Hicks was drafted late in the 1970 NFL Draft, #284 overall to the Oakland Raiders.  He would not make the NFL, but spent five seasons in Canada, winning a Grey Cup in 1972.


Who was the greater Jayhawk?  Register your vote in the comments below. Other matchups can be found here.