2007 KU football presser Sept. 4
- Aqib Talib talks about his two-way performance and whether it'll become a common theme
- KU center Ryan Cantrell talks about the offensive line's performance from Saturday's win
- KU cornerback Chris Harris talks about his first collegiate performance
- KU receiver Raimond Pendleton talks about the aftermath of his big day Saturday, both good and bad
- Mark Mangino speaks with the media Tuesday afternoon at his weekly press conference
As tough as it is to return punts - much less one for a 77-yard touchdown - it's kind of crummy that Raimond Pendleton has gained Internet fame for what he did wrong.
But it is what it is, and Pendleton became a household name around the sports world this week based on his appearance on YouTube (caution: explicit language).
Pendleton's clip is unedited footage from a television station showing the Kansas University sophomore returning the punt for a score against Central Michigan, doing a showboating dive into the end zone and getting a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. It then shows KU coach Mark Mangino ripping into Pendleton on the sideline about the flag.
The popularity of the video stems from Mangino's rant, which can be heard clearly in the clip. Beware: the language would make a rapper blush.
The video had around 88,000 views within 48 hours of its upload, thanks to links by popular sports sites all over the Internet. At one point Tuesday, it was the day's 10th most-viewed video on YouTube.
Coaches yelling at their players is normal in college athletics - especially football. But it usually stays between the coach and the player.
Not this time.
"It's everywhere," Pendleton said. "I've had people from my hometown, up here, people I don't even know writing to me saying you're on this and that, and we're hearing this about you. It's really exciting, but at the same time it's kind of embarrassing."
Mangino said Saturday that his point was made and he's holding nothing against his return specialist. Pendleton, meanwhile, manages to chuckle about the whole incident - a little bit.
"I learned from that experience," he said with a smile. "I won't let it happen again."
Of course, Pendleton gained the fame because he initially did something right - with the help of 10 blockers who created a giant lane for him.
Once Pendleton made the second-quarter catch, he noticed the center of the field open up for him in stunning fashion.
"My eyes got so wide," he said.
He had to make a couple of cuts, but the table was set for him to run in and put Kansas up 28-0 over the Chippewas. The Jayhawks ended up winning, 52-7.
"When you look at the tape, everybody got a hat on a hat," Mangino said Tuesday. "Raimond (found) the lane and burst through it. He leveraged his blocks like he's supposed to."
Pendleton, a Garland, Texas, native, will resume punt-return duties Saturday, when Kansas plays Southeastern Louisiana at Memorial Stadium. It's partly based on the 77-yard return, but equally on the punts that didn't make it onto YouTube.
"He had a tough duty the first night," Mangino said. "They had a rugby-style punter (who stepped to his right and swung his leg across the ball, instead of under it). The ball usually is short, but you take a risk. If you move (Pendleton) up too close and the guy kicks a conventional punt, it can sail over his head and pin us down in our own territory.
"The ball (spun) like a helicopter," Mangino added. "He did a good job of keeping it in front of him and knowing which ones to field and which ones not to. We feel pretty comfortable with him right now considering he was put in a tough situation and did a good job."
As for that 15-yard penalty? Well, Pendleton has an excuse for why he dived into the end zone - if you want to believe it.
"I really thought there was somebody behind me," he said, "but I looked later (on film), and there was nobody."