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Archive for Thursday, December 23, 2004

Standout Gordon to pass on baseball

December 23, 2004

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Charles Gordon can blame his stellar season on the football field for his decision to stick with one sport at Kansas University.

Gordon -- KU's third-team All-American cornerback -- last summer flirted with the idea of joining the KU baseball team this spring. However, after leading NCAA Division I-A with seven interceptions this season, racking up numerous postseason honors and capturing the attention of NFL scouts in the process, the do-all Gordon decided he won't attempt to make similar noise on the baseball diamond when the Jayhawks start playing next month.

"After he made All-American, I got a call from coach Mangino," KU baseball coach Ritch Price said. "He said (Gordon) was really beat up at the end of the year, and he's going to focus on football now so he can shoot to play on Sundays.

"I'm totally fine with that."

Gordon, a Carson, Calif., native, was a standout in both football and baseball at Santa Monica High, and Price knew about him long before Gordon was interested in playing baseball for the Jayhawks. This summer, Gordon played in the Ban Johnson summer league in Kansas City, Mo., showing skills as a contact hitter and as a speedy defensive outfielder.

Mangino said Wednesday that he still was OK with Gordon playing for Price this spring, but ultimately, Gordon decided to pass.

"Charles said it was a very physical season for him, and he wanted to be able to rest," Mangino said. "He's a really talented baseball player, but I think he realizes how difficult it is to play two sports at this level."

Gordon will focus full-time on academics and offseason football this spring. Mangino said he'd like for the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Gordon to put on a little more lean muscle weight before the start of his junior season, a Sept. 3, 2005, home game against Florida Atlantic.

With several players exhausting their eligibility this year, and more than 20 new players expected to join the team in time for next season, where Gordon is needed in 2005 might be different from where he was needed in 2004. He primarily was a cornerback as a sophomore, but spent much of his freshman year at wide receiver. He certainly has proven capable of making a huge impact at both positions.





That, however, is an issue Mangino doesn't want to touch at this point.

"That's getting too far ahead of ourselves," Mangino said. "We need to get through recruiting, sit as a staff and evaluate things.

"Right now, Charles Gordon is our cornerback."

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Yates commits: KU snagged yet another recruit Wednesday, when Denver wide receiver Jarrell Yates committed to play for the Jayhawks in 2005.

Yates originally committed to Colorado, but changed his mind after visiting Lawrence last weekend.

"The thing that probably stood out to me was the communication between the players and coaches," Yates told rivals.com.

Yates is the 22nd recruit to commit or sign with KU for the 2005 season. Rivals.com rated Yates as the eighth-best recruit in the state of Colorado.

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Online chat on tap: Mangino will answer questions from KUsports.com readers at 3:30 p.m. Friday on the Web site. The KU coach will spend 20-25 minutes discussing the Jayhawks' 2004 season, spring practices and other topics.

Visit KUsports.com between today and Friday to submit a question.

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