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Archive for Tuesday, August 30, 1994

MASON GRUDGINGLY GIVES HENLEY NOD

August 30, 1994

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Glen Mason has finally named a starter -- if not emphatically -- at tailback.

All through Kansas' preseason football camp, the depth chart at tailback has read: June Henley or Mark Sanders or L.T. Levine. Obviously, all three of them can't answer the opening bell at Houston on Thursday night so ...

"I guess we'll start Henley. I don't know," Mason said during his Monday media conference.

Levine was the '93 starter until he was hurt in the Iowa State game. Then Henley took over, rushing for 837 yards in the last six games on the way to a 1,114-yard season that broke the school freshman rushing record.

Last spring, with Henley nursing a sore shoulder and Levine working back into shape, Sanders won the starting job. Now it apparently belongs to Henley again, at least for the Houston game.

"They're all gonna play," Mason said. "If one guy gets a hot hand, he's gonna play."

Levine, a fourth-year junior, is the most experienced of the three. Sanders and Henley are both sophomores, but Sanders has had a red-shirt season and Henley hasn't.

"When Henley came here last year he was 17 years old," Mason said. "He's still only 18 years old. He was saying the other day he could still be playing for Brookhaven High."

Actually, Henley couldn't after next Sunday. The Columbus, Ohio, native will turn 19 the day before Labor Day.

  • Freshman brigade: Mason said he would take "probably four or five" true freshmen to Houston. The most likely candidates are defensive linemen Brett McGraw and Lamar Sharpe, linebackers Jason Thoren and Steve Bratten and tight end Dewey Houston. McGraw and Sharpe are listed on the second unit at tackle and end respectively ...

  • Television time: The Kansas-Houston game will be televised live on Channel 62 with a 7:20 p.m. kickoff. Why 7:20 p.m.? So it won't conflict with the earlier kickoff of the Arizona-Georgia Tech game on ESPN. That's a CFA rule ...

  • Injury report: No projected starters will miss Thursday's game because of injuries. Last year the Jayhawks opened in the Kickoff Classic with center Dan Schmidt and linebackers Don Davis and Steve Harvey sidelined ...

  • Veterans abundant: Kansas will start 14 seniors Thursday night, seven on offense and seven on defense.

  • Brown back: Derek Brown, a 6-8, 275-pound offensive tackle from Blue Valley, has rejoined the Jayhawks at Mason's behest. "He had decided to go to law school instead of playing his last year, but we're a little short in the offensive line now because of injuries and I talked to him about coming back," the KU coach said.

  • No shift: Houston moved the Kansas game to Thursday night because the Astros had the Astrodome on Saturday. The baseball strike didn't change anything. "Sure as heck if we moved it back to Saturday they'd settle the strike as fast as they could," Mason said, "and we'd have to play on Saturday morning or something."

  • Ayes of Texas: More than 1,000 Kansas alums living in Texas have ordered tickets, but Houston officials are anticipating a crowd of only a little more than 20,000.

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