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Archive for Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook

August 29, 2007

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Two-way player

Kansas University star cornerback Aqib Talib is a sly cat when it comes to his desires to play some receiver.

"I know he wants to play (offense). He has messengers that get to me. Assistant coaches," KU coach Mark Mangino quipped.

It worked, too. Mangino confirmed that Talib will get some repetitions as a receiver this season.

It may not be any more than last year, which was on a limited basis at best. Talib was seen on offense for maybe two or three plays a game, often as a decoy. He did have one catch for a 42-yard touchdown against Missouri, which fueled the two-way debate all offseason.

Mangino stressed that Talib's situation doesn't compare to that of Charles Gordon, the former Jayhawk who often was torn between offense and defense.

Talib has a home at cornerback.

"We want to secure the defense first. He's number one a defensive player for us," Mangino said. "But you will see him play offense too. He'll get repetitions. He'll get snaps there."

Rodriguez will start

KU senior offensive lineman Cesar Rodriguez, the most experienced member of the Jayhawks' offensive line, will start at right tackle in Saturday's season opener against Central Michigan.

But his job isn't 100 percent safe.

"Cesar's going to start there, but Ian Wolfe has improved greatly," Mangino said. "Cesar will have to play at a high level every week because Ian is improving and getting better.

"He's trying to make that position his, too."

Returning punts

The Jayhawks aren't looking for a spectacular return when the ball is punted to them.

Just no errors. Please.

"We've been working two or three guys there, and they all bring something different," Mangino said. "Right now we're more interested in the guy who can secure the ball first. What they do after that is a plus."

Sophomore Raimond Pendleton is listed atop the depth chart, but it doesn't sound like a solid No. 1. Mangino said freshman Dezmon Briscoe also is getting a lot of work. In open practices earlier this month, Tertavian Ingram and Anthony Webb fielded punts, as well.

New scholarship players

Mangino opened Tuesday's press conference by announcing that former walk-ons Kayl Anderson and Adrian Mayes were put on scholarship during the offseason.

Anderson, a sophomore out of Tulsa, Okla., is the team's long snapper, having served the role all of last season.

Mayes, an offensive lineman out of Manhattan, currently is fighting for a starting job at left guard.

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