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Archive for Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reid, Keith split defensive honor

January 29, 2006

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Once again, Kansas University defensive coordinator Bill Young tripped over a word that has given him fits in recent years.

Before giving away the Ray Evans Award to the football team's defensive most valuable player Saturday, Young went through - like every year - Evans' biography, which included being a two-time basketball All-American under former KU coach Phog Allen.

Except Young stumbled over the name "Phog," rhyming it with "vogue" instead of "dog."

Again.

"I screw that up every year," he said to scattered chuckles.

The KU coaches did their best not to screw up the recipient of the award, though. Thinking linebacker Nick Reid and defensive end Charlton Keith worthy, coaches gave the award to both of the seniors.

"The coaches all vote on these awards," KU coach Mark Mangino said afterward. "It was unanimous that those two both received it."

The honor was the last of 14 handed out at the football awards ceremony at the Lied Center, an event open to the public that was attended by approximately 600 people.

Video highlights at the beginning of the night were met with cheers after almost every play - particularly those from KU's celebrated victory over Nebraska in November - and a video showing the 20 seniors was met with similar warmth at the end of the night.

The seniors also were presented with an Adidas bag with their KU jersey inside.

"These are the guys that laid the foundation," Mangino said of the seniors, which included Reid, Keith, Kevin Kane, Banks Floodman and Jason Swanson.

Before wrapping up, emcee and radio play-by-play man Bob Davis presented Mangino with a saw - a symbol of the coach's favorite cliche: "Keep sawing wood."

Mangino used it again Saturday when addressing the crowd near the end of the night. His speech, amazingly, also referenced quotes by Winston Churchhill, Robert Frost and Voltaire, all in a five-minute span. But the message centered around his fondness for the 2005 Jayhawk seniors, who finished their career 7-5 and were crowned Fort Worth Bowl champions last month.

"We've had our ups and downs and rounds and rounds," Mangino told them. "But at the end of the day, you leave our program winners."

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