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Archive for Sunday, June 28, 1998

JAYHAWKS MIGHT LOSE ROBERSON

June 28, 1998

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Kansas University's football team might lose a scholarship quarterback, but it will pick up a walk-on.

Akili Roberson, KU's No. 2 quarterback at the conclusion of spring drills, has not achieved eligibility for the fall semester, Kansas coach Terry Allen said. Roberson's ineligibility apparently stems from academic problems, and Allen said Roberson was enrolled in summer school.

But the coach deemed his regaining eligibility a ``longshot.''

Roberson was a wide receiver last fall, when he caught seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, but he was moved to QB this spring and was expected to be Kansas' primary backup.

If Roberson is unable to get eligible, incumbent starter Zac Wegner would be the only scholarship QB on the roster with collegiate experience. KU's No. 3 quarterback at the conclusion of spring drills was walk-on Tyler Evans.

The Jayhawks did sign a prep quarterback -- 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jonas Weatherbie of Annapolis (Md.) Broadneck High.

And now KU will have the services of Jay Alexander, a graduate of Independence Community College who holds two state prep records.

Alexander, a 1996 Independence High graduate, holds the state high school records for career passing yards (7,509) and touchdown passes (71). He hasn't played football since his senior year at IHS, but he is in town now, working out with KU players.

Alexander said he would walk on to the team this fall.

``I talked to the coaches a few times, and they said I can work out with the team,'' Alexander said. ``I think my chances are pretty good, but we'll see. I'm a little slow since I haven't played in two years, but I think it will come back.''

Alexander, a 6-2, 200-pounder, completed 171 of 284 attempts for 2,033 yards as a senior at Independence High. He was wooed by Utah State, Louisiana Tech and Arkansas but never received a scholarship offer. Several smaller schools did offer grants, but Alexander decided to go to Garden City CC and try to earn a Div. I scholarship after two seasons.

He spent three days at Garden City. Disillusioned with the team and still longing for a Div. I grant, he left and enrolled at Indy CC. He did not play football this past fall in hopes of transferring to KU at semester, but bad grades derailed those plans.

He graduated from Independence CC this spring.

``He left for Lawrence the morning classes were over at ICC,'' Alexander's step-mother, Ginger, said. ``He had his car packed and he was gone. We told him he has one semester. If they don't want him after one semester, that's it for KU. The coaches should know within a week or two or a month whether he'll play.''

Camps, camps and more camps: Allen said he expected to be exposed to nearly 1,000 junior and senior high schoolers this summer. In addition to Allen's overnight and one-day camps at KU, he'll hold one-day camps next month in Garden City, Pittsburg, Kansas City and Wichita.

``One thousand's a pretty good number,'' Allen said. ``That's a lot of kids.''

Allen's seven-on-seven tournament and offensive lineman camp drew nearly 350 participants.

Someplace like home: Allen said 68 members of the football team stayed in Lawrence to go through summer condititioning.

-- Andrew Hartsock's phone number is 832-7216. His e-mail address is ahartsock@ljworld.com.

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