The ongoing search to find a position for Angus Quigley to play is back where it started: running back.
Thursday, the Kansas University football program announced Quigley, who will return to KU for a sixth season after being granted an extension of his five-year clock by the NCAA, will switch back to his natural position in 2010.
“I wasn’t planning on coming back, but I love KU and I love playing football,” Quigley said. “I heard about the new coaching staff and the way they were going to coach and the values they were going to instill and it interested me. I went to the first team meeting with him (new Kansas coach Turner Gill). He is a players’ coach and is respectful.”
For most of his KU career, Quigley made his living lining up behind quarterback Todd Reesing. Quigley, 6-foot-2, 229 pounds, played in 11 games in 2008 and rushed for 309 yards on 59 carries, but encountered difficulties holding onto the football. In 2007, Quigley played in six games and recorded 98 yards on 17 carries. But prior to the start of last season, former KU coach Mark Mangino and his staff encouraged Quigley to switch to linebacker, where he served as a backup and a special teams player throughout 2009. He played sparingly and had three tackles at the unfamiliar position.
Quigley will compete for carries with sophomore Toben Opurum, junior Rell Lewis, freshman Brandon Bourbon and red-shirt freshman Deshaun Sands.
“The new offense works out in my favor and will be my type of style,” he said. “It has been fun being around the coaching staff already. There is more urgency to do things and people are having fun.”
Gill said there was no hesitation on his part about welcoming Quigley back.
“Angus came to me in December and told me that he would like to play another year,” Gill said. “And I told him ‘I would be glad to have you.’”
Upon enrolling in classes at a university, student-athletes receive a five-year clock to complete four years of eligibility. KU Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, Theresa Becker, said Wednesday that NCAA bylaws state that the time period can be extended if a player, for reasons beyond the control of the student-athlete or the institution, misses more than one season. Quigley came to KU in 2005 but red-shirted that season and missed all of 2006 with an injury.
Quigley is on the team’s official roster and is eligible to participate in spring practices, which begin March 27.
Jayhawks offer Wichita RB
Rivals.com reported Thursday that KU has offered a scholarship to Wichita Heights junior running back Dreamius Smith, 6-foot, 205 pounds. Rivals also reported that KU has offered a scholarship to linebacker Deryck Gildon, a junior at Martin High in Arlington, Texas. Gildon, 6-2, 205, told Rivals that the offer from KU was his first from a Big 12 school. Current KU receiver Chris Omigie, expected to compete for a starting spot as a red-shirt freshman, is a graduate of Martin High.