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Archive for Monday, January 7, 2008

D-Day today for pair of KU football players

January 7, 2008

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Red uniforms remain undefeated

Before KU's 24-21 Orange Bowl victory over Virgina Tech, head coach Mark Mangino decided to have the team wear their undefeated red uniforms. Enlarge video

Kansas University football juniors Anthony Collins and Aqib Talib are expected to make an official announcement today regarding their futures.

The two are considering skipping their senior seasons to enter their names in the NFL Draft.

Neither Collins nor Talib gave any hints as to what his plan might be after Thursday's Orange Bowl, a 24-21 Kansas victory over Virginia Tech. ESPN, however, reported late Sunday night during its GMAC Bowl telecast that Talib, as expected, will head to the NFL.

A news conference was considered to announce each player's plans, but KU football spokesperson Mike Strauss said none is scheduled. Instead, a press release is expected through the university and will address both players' futures.

KU coach Mark Mangino said last week that he would support Talib's choice, no matter what it is.

"If it's time for him to come out, he's got my blessing," Mangino said. "If he thinks he should stay, he's got my blessing."

It long has been assumed that Talib likely would go pro after a sparkling junior season, and it was just that. Talib earned unanimous All-America honors and recorded 66 tackles and five interceptions, two of which were returned for long touchdowns. He was named MVP of the Orange Bowl last week.

Collins, an All-America left tackle, is a little less certain. He said at midseason that he expected to be back, but changed his tune before the Orange Bowl, confirming that he submitted paperwork to the NFL advisory committee and was undecided.

"It can't be lower than second (round)," Collins said on Dec. 14 of his projection.

The two also have pondered staying or leaving together, a promise they made when they enrolled at Kansas in 2004. But such a pledge doesn't appear to have an overriding say in things, as Collins said last month that, "It's dealing with a lot of money right now."

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare, but the two appear to be ready to get the decision out of the way.

The last Jayhawk to leave school early for the NFL was cornerback Charles Gordon in 2006. Gordon went undrafted but signed a free-agent deal with the Minnesota Vikings. He spent half of the '06 season and all of '07 on the Vikings' active roster as a defensive back.

Comments

logicsound04 6 years, 3 months ago

I agree, this is definitely the right decision for Aquib--he can't really improve on his draftability after a season where he was selected unanimous All-American and literally led a 12-1 team to be BCS bowl champs in the Orange Bowl. Talib can continue school while he's in the NFL (Tony Richardson did it) or he can be responsible by maxing out his potential contract-wise and saving/investing the money. Football is a violent sport and the injury rate is much higher than basketball or baseball--not to mention the fact that NFL contracts aren't guaranteed.

As for Collins, he should probably go for similar reasons, the only difference being that his final game wasn't as over-the-top as Aquib's. I think we'll miss Collins' play more than Talib's simply because our only loss came in a game when Collins was hobbled.

At any rate, congrats to both and good luck in whatever they choose. It's been a great year for the Kansas nation in part because of them. Rock CHALK!

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riverdrifter 6 years, 3 months ago

Or, they could blow a knee next year and pffftt goes the NFL career and the big money along with it. Using the Chiefs as an example, their median 2007 salary was ~$820K. Using that, do the math for 16 paychecks: over $53K per week before taxes. Not chump change. Put 2 years in in the NFL and you're waay ahead on the financial curve if you're prudent (I know, many are not). Get 4 years in and you're set -if you have a brain. You can always go back later for the degree -Joe Namath just got his! I'm not advocating anything. This is a huge decision for these young men to have to make so early in their lives.

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posessionannex 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, you're better off getting an education. Besides, you might get drafted by the Chiefs, and in December you'd realize that had you stayed at KU, you'd have been on a winning team at Arrowhead this year.

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unclebiff 6 years, 3 months ago

don't do it! How bout two "good" seasons in a row???

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