Many felt Isaac Byrd was underseeded in this bracket, and it showed as he provided one of the few first-round “upsets” by taking out Mark Simmons. Meanwhile, Kerry Meier steamrolled through Termaine Fulton.
(2) Kerry Meier
Meier suited up for the Jayhawks from 2006-09, originally coming to KU as a quarterback. He transitioned away from the quarterback position in 2007 when Todd Reesing stepped up and took the reigns of Mark Mangino’s offense. Meier still collected 26 catches and two TDs receiving his sophomore year.
The 2008 season was more productive. Meier caught 97 passes for 1045 yards and eight touchdowns. He continued to fly up the Kansas all-time receiving charts in 2009 when he caught 102 passes for 985 yards and eight touchdowns. He ranks second all-time in touchdown receptions and receiving yardage behind #1-seed Dezmon Briscoe. Meier ranks first all-time at KU in total receptions.
Somehow, Meier was never a first team All-Big 12 selection. Perhaps it was because Meier never ranked higher than 5th in the league in any category save receptions (2nd in 2008, 3rd in 2009), but his reputation among the KU faithful is safe to say the least (gratuitous link to the 2008 Border War reception right here).
(7) Isaac Byrd
Byrd didn’t get onto the gridiron for the Jayhawks until his junior year of 1995, helping lead Kansas to the Aloha Bowl while racking up some nice numbers (48 receptions, 604 yards, five touchdowns). He made a clear jump in his senior campaign of 1996, collecting 53 receptions for 840 yards. Byrd also grabbed seven touchdown passes, but he added a new dimension to his game as a punt returner. He returned a few in ’95, but stepped up his return game during the 1996 season, returning 11 punts, taking one all the way back for a touchdown and averaging 19.5 yards per return in the process.
He was named second team All-Big 12 after that 1996 season and was drafted by the Tennessee Oilers in the 6th round. Of course, he played for those Titans, even featuring in Super Bowl XXXIV. He later played for the Carolina Panthers, eventually totaling 93 catches and six touchdowns in his six seasons as an NFL player.
Who was the greater Jayhawk? Register your vote in the comments below. Other matchups can be found here.