Maybe it says something about the offensive line position that nobody noticed the record until after the fact.
Last week against Oklahoma, KU senior left tackle Tanner Hawkinson set a school record by making his 43rd straight start, breaking the old mark of 42 set by former KU linebacker Nick Reid.
Yes, that would be the same Nick Reid that once earned All-Big 12 honors on defense in 2005 — and who, according to current Washington State coach Mike Leach, was the ideal model of a football player.
You may remember the bizarre (and utterly fantastic) story. A few years back in 2009, when Leach was coaching at Texas Tech, he gave his starting quarterback Taylor Potts the nickname “Nick” because he wanted to Potts to play more like Reid. Even gave Potts a jersey with "Nick" on the back.
“I never had the opportunity to meet a guy named Nick Reid who was a linebacker for Kansas,” Leach explained then to reporters. “I always felt like he personified what a football player is, and what a football player should be.”
Anyway, Hawkinson, a captain, added to the record on Saturday during KU’s 21-17 loss to Texas. A fifth-year senior from McPherson, Hawkinson also anchored a line that helped KU rush for 234 yards against Texas.
“They’re often under-appreciated,” Weis said of Hawkinson and the offensive line. “Because everyone notices how hard the running backs run, but they don’t realize how many times in the game (the running backs) are splitting through the middle with no one touching ‘em.”
Hawkinson, of course, has been around for one of the worst runs in KU history. But barring injury, he should have an opportunity to push the record to 48 by the time his career is over. And maybe — just maybe — some Leach clone will nickname a kid “Tanner” in 2016. Stranger things have happened.Reesing visits team
Weis said Sunday that he had former KU quarterback Todd Reesing address the team before Saturday’s game against Texas. How'd it go?
“He’s just proud,” Weis said. “He talked about his (college) experience. He lives in Austin, and he was kind of counting on us winning the game so he could go back to Austin and talk a lot of trash... and it just didn’t work out that way.”Weis mum on injuries
Weis said that senior defensive end Toben Opurum and redshirt freshman linebacker Jake Love both missed practice on Sunday after being injured late in the game on Saturday. Weis, however, said he would have a better idea of each player's status on Tuesday.