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Archive for Thursday, April 10, 2008

Report sullies Talib’s character

April 10, 2008

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A report on a respected football Web site states that former Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib is losing the interest of several NFL teams because of character concerns.

An article on ProFootballWeekly.com cites conversations with evaluators from nine NFL teams and states that Talib admitted in interviews at the NFL Combine in February that he tested positive for marijuana three times while at Kansas.

KU coach Mark Mangino wouldn't comment specifically on the claim of failed drug tests when asked about it Wednesday. But he did vouch for Talib's behavior near the end of his KU career.

"I never discuss personnel matters of that sort publicly," Mangino said. "What I can tell you is, the last two seasons in our program, Aqib's been a model guy. Great work ethic, no problems at all, has done a good job in terms of leadership."

Talib joined KU's team in 2004 and red-shirted his first year on campus. He cracked the starting lineup midway through the 2005 season and stood out immediately as a shutdown cornerback. By 2007, he was a consensus All-American for the Jayhawks, who went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl last season.

But the early days of Talib's career weren't without incident. He was suspended the first two games of the 2006 season for undisclosed disciplinary reasons and was involved in a verbal altercation with a Houston player during a Fort Worth Bowl event in 2005.

ProFootballWeekly reported that Talib told teams that the birth of his daughter last summer made him change his ways. It's a claim that Mangino supports.

"I can tell you that there haven't been any problems at all with him in any way his last couple of seasons in the program," Mangino said.

Talib skipped his senior season and declared for the NFL Draft in January. A fine showing at the NFL Combine and KU's Pro Day have made him a strong possibility to be drafted in the first round.

The NFL Draft starts April 26 in New York.

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