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Archive for Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Duncan no longer with KU

November 6, 2002

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Reggie Duncan's tumultuous football career at Kansas University has come to an end.

"Reggie Duncan is no longer with the ballclub," KU coach Mark Mangino said Tuesday during his weekly news conference.

Mangino declined to elaborate on the junior running back's status, so it was unclear whether Duncan had been dismissed or had left the team.

Duncan declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon.

Duncan was one of the most heralded recruits signed by former KU coach Terry Allen. He was a SuperPrep Magazine All-American at Ellison High in Killeen, Texas, where he led the state in rushing as a junior with 2,400 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was limited to 1,200 yards and six TDs as a senior when he missed three games with a hamstring injury, but he still was rated as the No. 8 running back in the Big 12 region by Prep Star Magazine and was considered one of the top five backs in the state of Texas.

Duncan originally committed to Texas A&M, but when the Aggies recruited other running backs, then-KU assistant Darrell Wyatt convinced Duncan to come to Kansas instead.

After red-shirting in 1999, Duncan served as backup to fellow Killeen product David Winbush in 2000. He showed promise with a 96-yard game against Nebraska and scored a fourth-quarter TD in a 23-15 victory against Colorado.

But Duncan had problems off the field, including a conviction for shoplifting and a much-publicized purse-snatching incident with quarterback Mario Kinsey. Both players were suspended for the 2001 season opener, but Duncan still finished as KU's leading rusher with 739 yards.

Shortly after Mangino was named head coach last December, Kinsey was dismissed for violating team rules and later transferred to Sam Houston State.

Duncan, however, appeared to make a fresh start with Mangino. The running back and the coach praised each other during spring drills.

"I'm happy they made the change," Duncan said at the time. "I think coach Mangino and the rest of the guys are great people and great coaches. They know exactly what they want and how they want it done. They'll let you know about it. I've gotten a little bit of Mangino, but I think everybody has. It's good for everybody. It makes you want to do it right the first time."

Duncan battled red-shirt freshman Clark Green for the starting job throughout spring and preseason drills before being slowed by a hamstring injury. After rushing for 21 yards in the season opener at Iowa State, Duncan sat out three of the next four games.

The junior returned to the field Oct. 5 at Baylor but netted only 15 yards on 10 carries. After gaining 18 yards on seven carries the following week, Duncan virtually disappeared, carrying the ball one time in the next three games. He finished the season averaging just 2.2 yards per carry  72 yards and one TD on 32 carries. He also caught one pass for 15 yards.

Duncan's departure clears the way for junior Harold McClendon to move into the backup role. The junior set season-highs Saturday against Kansas State, rushing five times for 25 yards.

McClendon came to KU in the same recruiting class as Duncan. The Jacksonville, Fla., product was ranked as the No. 9 running back in the SEC region by Prep Star, but he has only 19 career carries for 66 yards.

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