Conner Teahan, who has worn jersey No. 2 for Kansas University’s basketball team the past three seasons, didn’t dare ask for the same digit last week when he decided to try out for football.
No. 2 belongs to red-shirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb. Teahan instead was offered No. 9, which he readily accepted.
“It happened to be my high school football number so it was a little bit ... maybe an omen. We’ll see,” Teahan said after Monday’s football practice outside Memorial Stadium.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound junior quarterback, who played football and basketball at Kansas City Rockhurst High — he turned down a scholarship offer from Tulsa to walk on the KU basketball team — said there’s been a bit of an adjustment in returning to the gridiron.
“Last week my arm was pretty sore because I haven’t been throwing very much and hadn’t been throwing hard,” Teahan said.
In fact, in the past three years, he said he tossed the football just a few times — in the parking lot before Jayhawk football games and nine months ago with his brother during an informal workout back at Rockhurst High.
“I’m not worried about the throwing because I know that will come back to me with practice, whereas (learning) the playbook ... there’s a lot of concepts, a lot of plays you have to know,” Teahan said. “As a quarterback, you’ve got to know what everybody is doing. You can’t just know what you are doing. You’ve got to be a leader out there on the field. That’s something I am trying to focus on. That’s the hardest part. I think I can tackle that one.”
KU offensive coordinator Chuck Long says Teahan will be given every shot to make the squad.
“We’re trying to get him some reps and see if we can evaluate him,” Long said. “He’s way behind. He’s got a ways to go. We’ll see how that plays out. He just got here,” Long added with a laugh. “Being a quarterback is not an overnight deal.”
Teahan, who said he will continue playing hoops at KU, said he will remain with the football team for voluntary summer drills if Long and coach Turner Gill give him the thumbs up once spring football is complete.
As far as why he’s trying football … it’s simple, really.
“Coming out of high school I always wondered what it was like to play college football. It was something I was thinking about doing, and people told me I probably should be playing football over basketball,” he said.
“I got the opportunity to play KU basketball and decided to go with that. Now there’s a new coach, obviously Todd (Reesing) left, and they’re saying they might need some help at the quarterback position. I thought I might as well give it a try and not regret it five years from now. That was the biggest factor in my decision.
“I’m a competitor. I didn’t come here to sit on the bench like I’ve been doing in basketball. I’ve been coming out here to play and have that mentality, have that competitive attitude. Obviously, my goal is to get out there and be a quarterback for Kansas football.”
Self: 'We need to hit a home run'
Kansas University coach Bill Self reiterated to ESPN’s Andy Katz at the Final Four that the Jayhawks “need to sign another guy (in recruiting), possibly two if Xavier (Henry) leaves. We need to hit a home run.”
KU is in the running for No. 4-rated Josh Selby and No. 21 Doron Lamb and is still on the list of No. 1 Brandon Knight, who is likely headed to Kentucky.
He repeated to Katz that the Jayhawks won’t be surprised if Henry soon declares for the NBA Draft.
“We’re prepared for him not to be here,” Self said.
He also reiterated that Marcus Morris will not be turning pro. Morris repeatedly has said he plans on being back at KU for another season. Self said he felt KU had “top 15” talent entering the 2010-11 season.
Future Kansas University basketball guard Royce Woolridge scored six points and grabbed six rebounds in the United States’ 61-53 pool-play victory over Argentina on Monday at the Schweitzer Games in Mannheim, Germany.
The U.S. advances to a medal-round game against Spain on Wednesday.