Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook

November 27, 2006

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Talib's future: Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino was asked about the professional possibilities of cornerback Aqib Talib, who's expected to be an NFL-caliber cornerback when he's done at Kansas.

Talib, just a sophomore, is eligible to declare for the NFL Draft after this season because he has been in college three years (including a red-shirt year). Mangino, however, said Talib didn't feel he was ready.

"He has not entertained those thoughts," Mangino said. "He's a pretty smart kid, and he knows he could use a little more grooming here."

Talib leads the nation with 28 passes defended despite playing only 10 games. At 6-foot-2 with speed and instincts, he fits the mold for an NFL cornerback.

"When he's done playing here," Mangino said, "he's definitely going to be a highly respected prospect."

To the future: With the Jayhawks off this week, seven KU coaches will hit the road recruiting for the next several days.

Mangino said Sunday that all-around improvement was needed with personnel, but he specifically mentioned the secondary and offensive line.

The secondary loses safety Jerome Kemp and cornerback Dominic Roux this season, but it was a thin unit throughout the year. The O-line, meanwhile, loses starting center David Ochoa and guards Jake Cox, Bob Whitaker and Travis Dambach.

With need for immediate help, those two positions will be the focus in junior-college recruiting.

"There's a couple of other areas that we're looking at," Mangino said, "but I would say those two areas right now."

Kansas has received oral commitments from eight high-school players so far.

Jayhawks in the NFL update: Former KU offensive lineman Justin Hartwig, now a center for the Carolina Panthers, was placed on injured reserve this week because of a groin injury.

Hartwig signed a five-year, $17 million deal with Carolina in the offseason, but played just two games because of the injury.

Elsewhere, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Charles Gordon recently joined the active roster after starting the season on the practice squad. Gordon has one tackle this season.

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