Though they were shut out on the first team, 10 Kansas University football players landed on Phil Steele’s All-Big 12 preseason teams, released Wednesday.
Steele, who operates a popular college football publication, tapped offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson and linebacker Huldon Tharp as second-team selections.
Hawkinson, 6-foot-6, 293 pounds, is a sophomore from McPherson High who made a name for himself during 2009 by protecting Todd Reesing’s blind side. The defensive lineman-turned-offensive tackle started all 12 games a season ago and earned first-team freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and CollegeFootballNews.com.
Tharp, a 6-foot, 217-pound sophomore from Mulvane High, started seven games in 2009 and was named to Steele’s first-team all-freshman squad. He was fifth on the team in tackles, with 59, and had a season-high 13 stops in a loss to Nebraska.
Joining that duo on Steele’s list were: third-team selections tight end Tim Biere, linebacker Drew Dudley, cornerback Chris Harris, placekicker Jacob Branstetter and punt returner Daymond Patterson.
On the fourth team, Steele included center Jeremiah Hatch, defensive end Jake Laptad and punter Alonso Rojas. Laptad earned an honorable-mention All-Big 12 nod last season.
KU offers versatile Volunteer
Kansas recently became the seventh school to offer a scholarship to Class of 2011 linebacker David Helton, of Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. Helton, 6-3, 226, also has offers from Air Force, Duke, Memphis and Syracuse and told Rivals he was being recruited as a linebacker, defensive end and tight end.
Arkansas LB likes Jayhawks
Jason Hensley, a 6-2, 215-pound linebacker from Alma (Ark.) High, recently told Rivals.com that Kansas was his leader. Hensley is being recruited by offensive-line coach J.B. Grimes and told Rivals that he would visit KU’s campus on June 3. Hensley also has an offer from Tulsa and has received interest from LSU and Oklahoma State.
Rivals releases dates
Rivals.com recently posted its release dates for the rankings for the Class of 2011. The rankings will begin June 1 with the naming of the Rivals100 and will continue in the following order: June 2, Rivals250; June 3, the remaining four-star players are named; June 7, offensive-position rankings; June 8, defensive-position rankings; June 14, first round of state-by-state rankings.