CB Charles Gordon

2004 Statistics

Coach: Mark Mangino
12-24, 3 years
2004 Record: 4-7
at Northwestern LOST 17-20
at Nebraska LOST 8-14
at Oklahoma LOST 10-41
at Iowa State LOST 7-13
at Missouri WON 31-14

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

Kansas is certainly the little brother to KSU in the Sunflower State, but the Jayhawks made up some ground in '04, beating their in-state rivals for the first time in 11 years. Despite finishing 4-7, their past campaign was still close to being a breakthrough year, with five losses by six points or less and another by just nine. Already, that makes this a competitive squad which knows it can keep up with the best, so, as was true last time, developing confidence isn't the biggest concern.

Fourteen starters are back. The Jayhawk's defense is superb and should rank among the top 30. Led by all-American Charles Gordon at corner, the defense can/will keep KU close in most games. The offense, however, will let a few slip away, because the running game is unestablished and the quarterback play is still too erratic.

Fourth-year coach Mark Mangino has his team thinking big, and while they won't be winning a conference title, KU will be just a few breaks from contending for the weak Big 12 North Division crown. Mangino has indicated from the start of his tenure that he won't be happy until KU is atop the standings, so his is no marginal approach to fixing small problems; Mangino will break through eventually, and this improved version of the Jayhawks is but another incremental step towards this goal. He also walks the walk, so to speak, for even though the wins (and team rankings) dropped off from '03, those closer losses in '04 mean that each of his teams have arguably improved from the year before, and this, too, will only ring more true.

Fans will get excited when the Jayhawks start 3-0 (if they can't beat Florida Atlantic, Appalachian State and Louisiana Tech at home, the offense is worse than we thought), but will get frustrated when the Big 12 season starts. Ergo, the only weakness in Mangino's legacy here is that KU starts decent but finishes worse, so watch how well/poorly the team pivots from the KSU game onward to see where they are headed. Tough competition has equaled progressive results (as listed), so expect a few upsets to come from this squad.

No one knew Dorothy and Toto were pigskin prognosticators, how so? Well, since Kansas likely won't win a single game away from Lawrence, that means it has to be perfect at Memorial Stadium to be bowl eligible…"there's no place like home…" holds more water than anyone ever knew, huh.

Projected 2005 record: 4-7
OG Bob Whitaker
QB - 3 DL - 3.5
RB - 2 LB - 4
WR - 3 DB - 3.5
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Adam Barmann, 262-141-9, 1427 yds., 12 TD

Rushing: Clark Green, 87 att., 309 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: Mark Simmons, 48 rec., 553 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Scott Webb, 2-5 FG, 29-29 PAT, 35 pts.

Punting: Kyle Tucker, 58 punts, 40.1 avg.

Kicking: Scott Webb, 2-5 FG, 29-29 PAT, 35 pts.

Tackles: Nick Reid, 109 tot., 52 solo

Sacks: Jermial Ashley, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Charles Gordon, 7 for 52 yds.

Kickoff returns: Charles Gordon, 3 ret., 14.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Charles Gordon, 29 ret., 9.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: John Randle-RB, Austine Nwabuisi-FB, Gary Heaggans-WR, Brandon Rideau-WR, Lyonel Anderson-TE, Joe Vaughn-C, Johnny Beck-K
DEFENSE: Travis Watkins-DT, David McMillan-DE, Greg Tyree-DE, Gabriel Toomey-MLB, Tony Stubbs-SS

KU needs more consistency from this unit, which is why Mangino has made the starting job a competition between incumbent Adam Barmann and former JUCO-transfer Jason Swanson. We think Swanson ends up with the job because, in addition to having a worthy arm, he adds a running dimension that Barmann doesn't have. Swanson engineered the winning drive in KU's biggest victory of '04 (Kansas State), and impressed coaches this spring with his improved ability to read a changing defense. With Barmann's size, he stands in the pocket well, and his strong arm allows him to make just about any throw, but he's lost his grip on the starting job because he doesn't make enough plays and makes even more costly mistakes.

Running Back
With John Randle gone (booted after 5 arrests in 19 months), KU has eliminated a headache, but also weakened an already poor unit (ranked 110th). It's up to Clark Green to turn that around. Because he can block, catches passes and holds onto the rock, he's the leader here. He's also coming off a very disappointing season, but that's after leading KU in rushing in '03. He doesn't have any postseason accolades coming his way, but Green will bounce back. The only other back that excites is true freshman Angus Quiqley, a big back with speed (4.5-sec 40) that will get an opportunity to play right away. Gary Green is shifty and has good vision, and former LB Jon Cornish is tough enough to work his way into the rotation, as well. Quality leadership from Green (rather than Randle) will make the entire group perform better.

Mark Simmons is the only significant returner, but the Jayhawks aren't thin here. An all-Big 12 receiver, Simmons heads into his third year as a starter. He's not big, but with a 37-inch vertical leap and 4.42-sec 40-speed, he'll be a consistently open/viable target. JUCO-transfer Brian Murph will have a big year. He was a huge hit during spring, and, like Simmons, has shown off his speed as well as his ability to go up for the ball and take it away from bigger corners. Marcus Henry has the height/size to be a solid possession receiver, and Marcus Herford, who made the switch from QB in the spring, has quickly made an impact. He's got the quickness to make cuts and juke defenders, while he's also tough to bring down.

Tight End
Derek Fine steps into the starting role after being a solid special team player. KU likes to throw to its tight ends a handful of times a game, and Fine has the hands to make the catch. Fine will be pushed for playing time all year by freshman Jim Reuber. Rueber made his mark on the scout team, and, with good hands and blocking ability, he won't be on the sidelines much.

Offensive Line
Too much of the blame for the lackluster run game (2.7 yards per carry) goes to the offensive line, and that's why John Reagan, a former assistant at "run-first" Air Force, was brought in. Reagan has talent to work with, for four starters return. The Jayhawks have as deep a unit as they've had in Mangino's tenure. The run blocking is a concern, but the pass blocking was solid (21 sacks allowed) and should therefore continue. With both tackles and both guards returning, the focus will be on center Todd Haselhorst, who replaces an all-Big 12 performer. Haselhorst is a converted-DLman who showed a good grasp of the offense and his new position this spring.

There's no question the biggest improvement needs to be made in the running game, but the Jayhawks have work to do in both areas. By no means is this a polished product, especially with the QB situation unresolved and a shallow pool of (quality) running backs. The Jayhawks would love to establish a respectable running game behind their experienced offensive line, but Mangino would settle for yards any way he can after last year's ball-moving efforts (314+ yards per game ranked 100th). Whether it's Barmann or Swanson, KU will have an adequate/improved QB in place, but it'll be Clark Green's return to his 2003 form that makes the/any difference.


WR Mark Simmons


Returning Starters in bold
QB Jason Swanson-Sr Adam Barmann-Jr / Brian Luke-Sr
FB Brandon McAnderson-So ..
TB Clark Green-Sr Gary Green-Fr
WR Dexton Fields-Fr Jonathan Lamb-Jr
WR Mark Simmons-Sr Marcus Herford-Fr
WR Dominic Roux-Jr Marcus Henry-So
TE Derek Fine-So Jim Reuber-Fr
OT Cesar Rodriguez-So Scott Haverkamp-Fr
OG Bob Whitaker-Jr Jake Cox-Jr
C Todd Haselhorst-So Ryan Cantrell-Fr
OG David Ochoa-Jr Marcus Anderson-Jr
OT Matt Thompson-Sr Anthony Collins-Fr
K Scott Webb-So ..



Defensive Line
Despite the loss of a couple starters, KU is excited about this group, and it should be. Jermial Ashley is a second-team all-Big 12 end. With his height and speed, he's KU's top pass-rusher. His bookend will be Charlton Keith, a former star at Minnesota who steadily improved as '04 went along. He explosive and will rack up stops behind the line. Tim Allen is a returning starter at tackle, while the other tackle will be James McClinton, whose quickness makes him an asset against the run. Big, strong JUCO-transfer Wayne Wilder will make an impact, as well.

No area of the team is as good as this one. First-team all-Big 12 outside backer Nick Reid is as good as it gets. He's got speed that can run down a back from just about anywhere, and his sure hands mean he won't miss many. Banks Floodman is very strong and will find his way to the ball. In the middle is Kevin Kane, an HM all-Big 12 performer whose leadership is as big to the team as his ability to make plays in the run game. As good as that trio is, by season's end - if not sooner - true freshman Eric Washington will be the best LB on the team. He is extremely fast, has uncanny field awareness, and (too) doesn't take long to get to the football. The front seven will keep KU close in games that seem unwinnable.

Defensive Back
This is a group that's only getting better. They allowed teams to move through the pass (227.8, ranked 76th), but ranked 30th in air-efficiency allowed, meaning they give some yards away to secure the bigger plays and allow less scores. This flow will continue, but even less yards will now be something around which foes have to plan. Charles Gordon is the best player at KU, bar none, a first-team all-American (NationalChamps.net) and a future NFL cornerback. The part-time receiver led the country in INTs (7) during his first year at corner. With his speed and athleticism, Gordon can stick with any receiver. Theo Baines won the starting job a year ago after his JUCO-transfer, and while not as athletic as Gordon, he's solid in coverage. Rodney Harris does a little of everything, as he's got the physicality to make the big hit/tackle, but, too, the quickness and awareness to make big plays. Aqib Talib has shifted from corner to strong safety because coaches love his strength and size, and he provides better run support this way.

If the offense doesn't excite the Jayhawk faithful, the defense will. With the majority of the front seven returning, there won't be a drop off from last year's stellar performance against the run (ranked 23rd), and the secondary will continue to improve. No team in the Big 12 had more takeaways (27), and it's important the Jayhawks continue such so as to remain competitive in this surging conference. Also, look for last year's points-against average (21.4, ranked 34th) to improve. Overall, this is a top 30-calibur defense, but playing in this conference is always an adventure in harsh reality, so any proof of such prowess/improvement is only found "in the pudding". Use the D (and QB play) as the barometer(s) to see just where the entire team's plight is headed.


LB Nick Reid


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jermial Ashley-Sr Paul Como-Jr
DT Tim Allen-Sr Wayne Wilder-Jr
DT James McClinton-So Chris Brandt-Jr
DE Charlton Keith-Sr ..
OLB Banks Floodman-Sr Eric Washington-Jr / Brandon Perkins-Sr
MLB Kevin Kane-Sr Mike Rivera-Fr
OLB Nick Reid-Sr Joe Mortensen-Fr / Darren Rus-Sr
CB Charles Gordon-Jr Ronnie Amadi-Sr
CB Theo Baines-Sr Kenneth Thompson-Jr
SS Rodney Fowler-Sr Jerome Kemp-Jr
FS Aqib Talib-Fr Rodney Harris-Jr
P Kyle Tucker-So ..




Scott Webb has the job to himself with Johnny Beck out of eligibility. Webb handled the PAT duties, but now is the man on field goals. Ostensibly, Webb does a good job with the short kicks, but his leg strength won't matter until he gets his aim right. Both Mangino and he are confident, as are we, that he can keep this position strong. Kick coverage will only improve from an already-strong effort (17.2 per return allowed).

Kyle Tucker is a good weapon for the defense, as he pinned more than a quarter of his punts inside the 20. Tucker doesn't have the strongest leg around, but he's very solid and will finish with a 40+ average and net results to reflect a solid "team" approach.

Return Game
Kick returner Greg Heaggans has exceptional speed and explosiveness (3 returns of 40+ yards) and he'll sit back with Gordon, whose ability makes him a threat no matter how/where he gets his touch. Gordon returned all but three punts a year ago and will once again be the man.