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Archive for Friday, November 6, 1998

SOPHOMORE CENTER BOB SCHMIDT WILL MAKE HIS FIRST START FOR THE JAYHAWKS WHEN THEY PLAY HOST TO NORTH TEXAS ON SATURDAY AT MEMORIAL STADIUM. KICKOFF ISP.M.

November 6, 1998

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Nobody recruited all-state football player Bob Schmidt during his senior season at Olathe North High School in 1995.

Bad grades? Nope. Too small? No way. Bad attitude? Hardly.

Nobody recruited Schmidt during his senior year because he committed to Kansas University following his junior season.

"All I've ever known is Kansas football," Schmidt said. "That's what I wanted for myself. It seemed like the perfect thing to do."

It certainly didn't hurt that Schmidt had a role model. Older brother Dan played for the Jayhawks from 1990-93.

Seven years younger than Dan, Bob began attending Kansas football games in the sixth grade. While in junior high, he didn't miss a single one of his brother's home games.

By the time Bob was a junior in high school he was so certain where he wanted to go to school he called the KU football office.

"I wanted to know if there was any chance they were looking at me," he said. "I said if they wanted me, I'd go."

They did and Bob Schmidt became a Kansas football legacy.

Dan Schmidt, now living in Melbourne, Fla., where he works for John Deere Co., began his KU football career as a defensive lineman before being shifted to center.

Curiously, Bob Schmidt also cut his teeth as a defender.

"In high school I was known more for my defensive play than for playing offense," he said.

Bob never had an opportunity to play defense at KU, though. Golden Pat Ruel, then KU's offensive line coach, made sure of that.

"Coach Ruel wanted me as a center," Schmidt said, "and I never got a chance to play defense."

After red-shirting in 1996, Schmidt was listed No. 2 behind starter Chris Enneking in '97 and he has been No. 2 behind Enneking all this season, too.

Until Saturday, that is.

A combination of injuries have sidelined Enneking, so Schmidt will make his first career start against North Texas. Actually, Schmidt saw considerable duty against both Colorado and Kansas State the last two weekends with Enneking ailing.

Schmidt admits it's been difficult being a backup.

"It's been tough because I saw growing up how Dan was able to play so many years," Bob said. "He was a good player, but I realize he was lucky and had good timing.

"I've had Chris ahead of me and on the offensive line it's hard to stand out. Experience is what makes a good player and Chris has more experience than I do."

When Dan Schmidt played, he stood 6-foot-2 and weighed 265 pounds. Bob Schmidt is listed at 6-1 and 280 pounds.

"When I came here I weighed 247 pounds and I was amazed how difficult it was," Schmidt said. "I soon found out my speed and quickness weren't going to help me any more."

-- Chuck Woodling's phone message number is 832-7147. His e-mail address is cwoodling@ljworld.com.

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