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Greatest Kansas Football Players of All-Time Bracket: John Hadl vs Adam Barmann

(2) John Hadl vs (15) Adam Barmann

Texas A&M Aggies v Kansas Jayhawks Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

(2) John Hadl

Heavily recruited by juggernaut Oklahoma and legendary coach Bud Wilkinson, Lawrence native John Hadl suited up for the Jayhawks from 1959-61. In his 30 game career, he completed 99 of 204 passes for 1345 yards, including 12 TDs against 15 INTs. So why is he the 2-seed?

I’m glad you asked. It turns out that not only did he split time at HB, he was an excellent defensive back, a quality return specialist, and one of the nation’s top punters.

He was first team All-Big 8 halfback in 1959, and first team All-Big 8 quarterback in 1960 and ‘61. He led the nation in punting in 1959, still holds the school record for longest punt (94 yards), and has the third-longest interception return (98 yards). The Jayhawks went 14-5-2 with Hadl under center, ranking in the top 20 both years. He culminated his Kansas career by leading the Jayhawks to a 33-7 Bluebonnet Bowl win over Rice in 1961.

Oh, he was also the first Jayhawk to be named to two first team All-American teams, in 1960 and ‘61.

He followed all that up by being drafted 10th overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1962 NFL Draft. A trade to San Diego sparked a 16-year NFL career where he amassed a mere 33,513 passing yards, which was good for third in the record books at the time of his retirement; it’s still good for 28th all-time. He played with the Chargers, Rams, Packers, and Oilers and was named the NFL man of the year in 1971 and Most Valuable Player in 1973.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. His #21 jersey is one of three retired by Kansas football, and his name graces the Ring of Honor in Memorial Stadium.

(15) Adam Barmann

Sorry, Adam... someone had to go here.

Ok, Ok, that was mean, and I apologize. Barmann played at Kansas from 2003-06. Adam played in 22 games in his Kansas career, and did well enough to put himself in the top 11 in both passing yards and passing TDs. Plus, he got to wear those sweet navy uniforms.

His first year, he set the KU school record for single-game passing yards and TDs at Texas A&M by a freshman. He started the first eight games of his sophomore season before going down with an injury himself. From then on, he spent most of his time backing up Jason Swanson or Kerry Meier, but injuries with those guys gave Barmann plenty of playing time.

At last check, Barmann was a special ed teacher at Lawrence Free State High School.


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