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Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Warhawks have ties to Kansas

Sept. 9: Louisiana-Monore

August 12, 2006

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Surprisingly, Kansas University and Louisiana-Monroe have a few ties within their football programs.

For one, former Jayhawk quarterback and current grad assistant Bill Whittemore spent a semester at ULM, serving as a grad assistant for the Warhawks' defense during spring football. He left that job in May for the one he now has at KU, chipping in with the Jayhawk offense.

Also, ULM is led by coach Charlie Weatherbie, whose son Jonas lettered as a quarterback at KU in 2002. Jonas now is finishing law school in Louisiana.

That gives Charlie Weatherbie, who coached at Navy while Jonas was in Lawrence, a hint of familiarity with KU coach Mark Mangino and his team.

Still, what worries the fourth-year ULM coach most is what the Jayhawks have done since his son left Lawrence.

"I know they've been to a couple of bowl games," Weatherbie said. "That improves recruiting and it improves the attitude of the team in place."

That, Weatherbie said, gives his team quite a challenge in Lawrence Sept. 9 in the second game of the season for both teams.

ULM's biggest concern may be a slight revamping of its offense, due to a new quarterback, new wide receivers and even a new offensive coordinator in Bob Leahy.

Until that's situated, the Warhawks' defense may need to shoulder some of the weight. Seven starters return on that side, including cornerback Chaz Williams, who picked off five passes on his way to first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors.

"He led the country in interceptions last year," Weatherbie said. "He's a pretty good athlete."

Williams is surrounded by returning starters in the secondary, and the linebackers have experience as well.

It may not be enough to avoid rebuilding bumps during a tough nonconference stretch, but Weatherbie said he feels good about the responsibility his players have placed on themselves.

"We've got several guys staying around here, working out and sticking around," Weatherbie said. "We've got an opening game against Alcorn State before we come up to Lawrence. We're looking forward to coming to Lawrence."

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