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Archive for Tuesday, August 11, 1998

WIDE RECEIVER TANNER HANCOCK WAS THE ONLY JAYHAWK WHO SUFFERED A SERIOUS SUMMERTIME INJURY. HANCOCK, A 5-FOOT-10, 170-POUND SOPHOMORE, SUFFERED A SEPARATED SHOULDER IN A WAKEBOARDING ACCIDENT BACK IN

August 11, 1998

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``I was doing flips, and I just got up in the air,'' Hancock said. ``It didn't feel too good. I've had broken bones and just about everything else. I've never felt anything like that. I looked down and my shoulder was hanging out of my armpit.''

Hancock wore a sling for four weeks, and he said he suffered 95 percent nerve damage to his deltoid muscle.

``I had to wait before I started lifting again,'' Hancock said. ``Now I'm back almost to where I was before the summer. I wouldn't say I'm behind. I'm a mind-over-matter guy.''

QB battle: Pardon the contradiction in terms, but coach Terry Allen declared Jay Alexander the front-runner for backup quarterback.

``If I'd do it tomorrow,'' Allen said, ``our backup would be Jay Alexander. That's just based on three days of practice. He brings a little more experience to it. ... That will still be a competitive position for us.''

Alexander, a sophomore, walked on at KU after graduating from hometown Independence Community College. He hasn't played since his senior year in high school. The other two newcomers competing for the No. 2 QB spot are scholarship freshman Jonas Weatherbie and walk-on freshman Jake Letourneau.

  • Injury updates: Matt Tyler, a red-shirt freshman punter from Topeka who handled punting duties last spring, suffered a sprained knee ``jogging across the field'' the other day, Allen said. He should return in time to compete with juco transfer Joey Pelfanio for the punting chores. ... Fullback Greg Davis, who sat out spring drills with back problems, has been cleared to resume practice. ... All the other players who sat out spring drills to rehabilitate have been cleared for drills, Allen said.

  • Moore returns: Former KU tight end Jim Moore, who was a video assistant for the Jayhawks last season and who spent the past offseason with the Kansas City Chiefs before getting sliced, likely will coach Kansas' tight ends as long as Bill Salmon is sidelined. Salmon, KU's figurehead offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, is to undergo angioplasty today. He could return part-time within a week, Allen said. In the meanwhile, the Jayhawks will appeal the NCAA to have Moore take over Salmon's on-field coaching duties.

  • Lies shines: Offensive tackle Michael Lies, a 6-2, 300-pound senior from Wichita, stunned Allen in testing Sunday.

``He had a vertical jump of 36 inches,'' Allen gushed. ``Statistically, that's a pretty incredible jump. He's a good athlete.''

  • Juco on track: Kareem Carter, the defensive lineman from Santa Monica (Calif.) Community College, is expected to report to camp by week's end. Carter must graduate from juco before reporting.

  • What heat? Muggy conditions didn't faze the Jayhawks as they stood on the Astroturf discussing the upcoming season.

``That is not even a factor. We're not thinking about that,'' sophomore running back David Winbush said of practicing in the intense Kansas heat. ``Knowing what's at stake this year ... this has got to be a big year. We've got two great teams we are playing to open the season -- Oklahoma State had a great season last year. Missouri played us real well even though we defeated them. You work hard no matter what the conditions are.''

QB spotlight: Junior QB Zac Wegner might have been the ``Most Interviewed Player'' on Monday. How'd that feel?

``Great,'' he said. ``The questions are about the same anyway.''

Zac was asked if he could come up with better questions than the reporters.

``Hey, I'm just kidding,'' he said.

-- Andrew Hartsock and Gary Bedore

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