2010 Big 12 Football Media Days: Turner Gill, Kansas Make An Appearance

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2010 Big 12 Media Days: KU Coach Turner Gill Is 'Big On Building Relationships'

Kansas Jayhawks head coach Turner Gill took the podium for his first go-round of Big 12 Media Days. Like many of the other coaches, he side-stepped questions about conference realignment.

Gill said when he took the job, he made it a focus to learn more about his players and get to know who they are.

So we put out a little bit of a survey deal that I gave to every single player, every single coach, and it had about eight to ten questions that were really detailed about who they are, where they came from, and how they came to where they are at today.

I had the players stand up in front of our football team and talk about certain questions. For example, one question I had everybody to answer was who was the most influential person in your life and why. Had all of our players and all of our coaches stand in front of our team and talk about that. I wanted to make sure that we got a chance to know that there's a lot more in common that we have with each other than we have differences.

This is probably in contrast to the way Mark Mangino ran his program but that might be a good thing.

Check out the full transcript at Rock Chalk Talk.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: It's KU's Turn To Speak

We've been waiting for Turner Gill's first appearance at the 2010 version of Big 12 Media Days and it's nearly here. At 9:00 a.m. (CT), Gill will take the stage to answer questions about his team from the Big 12 media.

Here's some more information from Rock Chalk Talk:

If you're interested in following the presser, watch here live.  We'll have recap, thoughts and reaction from Gill's statements as well as those from the three players in Chris Harris, Brad Thorson and Jake Laptad this afternoon and tomorrow.

We've have updates of the Big 12 Media Days as will Rock Chalk Talk.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou Coach Says Derrick Washington Is Quicker

Mizzou RB Derrick Washington is already pretty quick but apparently he's lost about 10 pounds in order to become even faster.

“He’s much quicker,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said of Washington. “It’s all about quickness and movement. He’s a lot quicker guy than he was this past year, and (we) expect that to help him play at a higher level.”

That's impressive. You need a quick player like Washington to be even more effective in the Mizzou offense. They like to spread things out so Washington will see some time in the open field.

He was listed at 225 pounds last year, which is a pretty good number, but lost 10 pounds this offseason. He's also getting stronger after a couple of knee injuries last year.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: No Danario Alexander Will Be Good For Blaine Gabbert's Growth

Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert will enter the 2010 football season missing 113 catches and 1,781 yards or, as you know him, WR Danario Alexander.

With Alexander gone, Gabbert's going to be focused to look in other places to move the ball. Ultimately, that will help his game.

While it's always nice to have someone like Alexander, Gabbert's growth may be affected more by this season when he's asked to manage the offense more efficiently and not just playing backyard catch with Alexander.

"I'm comfortable with all the receivers we have coming back," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "(They) just need to look at me and I know what they're thinking. We just plug in a guy and go in our system."

The Tigers have three players with at least 20 catches coming back -- Wes Kemp, Jerrell Jackson and Derrick Washington.

Gabbert transitioned to the leader of the pack fairly well after Daniel so I'd give a lot of credit to the system when looking at Gabbert in 2010.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou Players Say Oklahoma Game Is Highlighted On The Schedule

The biggest game of the year for Mizzou? That's easy. Oklahoma.

It seems that it's alwasy Oklahoma or Texas that stand in their way every year. A couple of years ago I made my way down to Austin, Texas, to check out Mizzou play the Longhorns and ...

... well, it was five touchdowns to none in the first half. (No, Mizzou was not winning.) It's a similar circumstance with Oklahoma, but now without Sam Bradford leading the way they'll have a better shot, I think.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never beaten them," said cornerback Kevin Rutland. "So it’s a big game for me, and our entire team. Losing to them in both championship games, it hurt. So we’ll be ready for them.”

You think they're going to be hyped for that game? It's homecoming. It's the biggest game of the year. That may be one I'll have to catch.

“Believe it, that game is highlighted on our schedule," running back Derrick Washington said. "We’re going to try and get after it.”

Yes, I can believe it.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: K-State RB Daniel Thomas Predicts The Year Of The Running Back

When you think of the Big 12, you think of passing. Guys like Chase Daniel, Colt McCoy, Sam Bradford and now Blaine Gabbert.

If you're to believe K-State RB Daniel Thomas at Big 12 Media Days, 2010 will be better known as the year of the running back.

"It's pass-happy now," said Thomas, who led four 1,000-yard rushers in the Big 12 with 1,265 last season. "But I feel like this year, there are four or five guys that are probably the best running backs around. So I feel like this will be the year of the running backs again."

Chances of this happening: Not great.

This headliners of this league will be guys like Jerrod Johnson and Blaine Gabbert.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Video Of K-State's Daniel Thomas Talking Bill Snyder's Texting Habits

K-State running back Daniel Thomas is down at the Big 12 Media Days and revealed that 70 year old Bill Snyder recently got a cell phone and learned how to text.

Yes, Bill Snyder is texting. Here's what Thomas had to say:

"Yeah he sends everybody texts. It'll be 7 in the morning and I'll be like, 'Who is this? Oh, it's Coach Snyder texting everybody..'

Example tweet:  "A winner never quits."

How often do they get them: "Probably every 20 minutes I believe (laughing)."

By the way, he doesn't use "LOL" or "BTW" or anything like that.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou Receiver Has Been The Most Impressive Freshman

Several players have been asked by Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune who has been the most impressive freshman in the Tigers recruiting class.

Who's been the most impressive freshman on campus this summer? One name came up repeatedly with the MU veteran players: wideout Marcus Lucas. "He'll play, for sure," one of his new teammates told me.

Lucas was 6'5" and 195 pounds coming out of high school rated as the 14th overall receiver in the country and the second overall player in Missouri.

This might be Gary Pinkel's best recruiting class ever (top three players in Missouri) so to be labeled the best is awfully impressive.

He'll have an opportunity to put up some stats in Mizzou's system.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert 'Clearly More Relaxed' This Time Around

Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune is down at Big 12 Media Days and had an interesting observation about Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert's interaction with the media.

Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert was noticeably loose with reporters here. That hasn't always been the case with Gabbert during his first two seasons at MU. Always polite but occasionally short and usually reticent, Gabbert doesn't make for, what we print wretches call, "great copy." But Tuesday was different. He was clearly more relaxed and more engaging.

That makes sense to me. In year one, he was the backup quarterback after having been "the man" in high school. Then in year two he entered his first season as the starter so that's another reason for make someone nervous.

Now, in year three, with the full confidence of his teammates, he's taking control.

Look for Gabbert to have a strong year in 2009 (and then bolt for the NFL?).


2012 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert's Replacement If NFL Comes Calling

Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert got a few questions about the 2011 NFL draft while at Big 12 Media Days in Texas. Gabbert shied away from those questions indicating he's focusing only on the Tigers first game of the season against Illinois.

If Gabbert leaves, Gary Pinkel indicated today that replacement could be James Franklin, freshman out of Corinth, TX.

“He’s moved up to second team,” Pinkel said. “He had a very good spring for a young player. But we also like competition out there. We’ll have to see. First of all, he’s got to keep it.”

Meanwhile, Pinkel said if Gabbert has the type of season that could make him think about the 2011 NFL draft, "that would be pretty good."

There's reason to believe Gabbert will have another solid season. If that's the case, he's almost assuredly a first round pick with his size and accuracy.

Mizzou should probably prepare as if Gabbert will be playing on Sundays, and not Saturdays, in 2011.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Photos Of K-State Players Making The Rounds

Via the K-State Sports Twitter account, we've got some photos of the KSU players making the rounds at the 2010 Big 12 Media Days.


Daniel Thomas


Tysyn Hartman


Zach Kendall


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou's Kevin Rutland Says Blaine Gabbert's Been Impressive

Mizzou CB Kevin Rutland is one of a handful of Mizzou folks who made the trip down to Texas for the 2010 Big 12 Media Days.

While there, he told Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune who the most impressive Tiger was in 7-on-7 spring practices.

I asked Mizzou CB Kevin Rutland who's been most impressive player in 7 on 7. No hesitation: "The quarterback."

In football (and all of sports, really), the number one most important position is the quarterback. Many times, the success of your team is measured by the success of your quarterback. Gabbert is a reason some folks are saying Mizzou could be a surprise team this year.

Matter also said Gabbert is getting a lot of questions about the 2011 NFL draft but he's staying focused on game number one, Illinois.

Gabbert, if he puts up similar numbers this year, will be in line to be a first round pick next April.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Mizzou Shows Up Late

Mizzou is scheduled to speak at the 2010 Big 12 Media Days and....they're late.

Per Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune:

Mizzou flagged for delay of game at Big 12 Media Days

Per Tully Corcoran of the Topeka Capital Journal:

Missouri is 10 minutes late. More clock management issues for Gary

Per Pat Forde of ESPN.com:

Missouri 20 minutes late for media days appearance. Speculation that Tigers accidentally went to Big Ten media days instead.

Luckily for Mizzou, Big 12 folks can overlook this because Nebraska is perceived as the true villain in the conference.


2010 Big 12 Media Days: Nebraska WR Calls Mizzou Toughest Crowd

Good news, Mizzou fans. Faurot Field is intimidating -- to one Nebraska receiver, at least.

Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune, tweeting live from the Big 12 Media Days, posted the following:

Nebraska WR Niles Paul can't imagine road crowds getting any more hostile toward the Huskers this season, cited Columbia crowd as toughest

Faurot Field is a pretty fun place to see a game. Among college campuses, it's near the top for me.

I imagine this year the crowd will be even more hostile than the Thursday night game between the two teams last year. I also expect lots and lots of chants and/or signs from Mizzou fans getting after Nebraska for bolting the Big Ten. Mizzou fans are usually pretty clever so they can come up with some good ones.


2010 Big 12 Media Days Schedule

The 2010 version of Big 12 Media Days begin on Monday, July 26 at 1:00 p.m. (CT) with Nebraska reps taking the podium. The focus on Nebraska's media session will undoubtedly be their decision to leave the Big 12.

SEC Media Days took place last week.

The local teams -- Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State -- won't start until Tuesday, July 27.

Here's the full schedule (courtesy of ESPN.com, all times ET):

Monday, July 26

2:00 Nebraska: Coach Bo Pelini, WR Niles Paul, DE Pierre Allen, CB Prince Amukamara

2:45 Baylor: Coach Art Briles, LB Antonio Johnson, OT Danny Watkins

3:30 Iowa State: Coach Paul Rhoads, QB Austen Arnaud, RB Alexander Robinson, DE Rashawn Parker

4:15 Texas A&M: Coach Mike Sherman, QB Jerrod Johnson, LB Von Miller, DT Lucas Patterson

Tuesday, July 27

10:00 Missouri: Coach Gary Pinkel, QB Blaine Gabbert, RB Derrick Washington, CB Kevin Rutland

I'm excited to see Blaine Gabbert speak. From my perspective, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NCAA. Success in college football often depends on the success of your quarterback and the preseason No. 2 team in the Big 12 North has a good one.

10:45 Oklahoma State: Coach Mike Gundy, QB Brandon Weeden, LB Orie Lemon, DE Jamie Blatnick

11:30 Kansas State: Coach Bill Snyder, RB Daniel Thomas, S Tysyn Hartman, OL Zach Kendall

Bill Snyder is back once again for another set of Big 12 Media Days. K-State is predicted to finish above Kansas as the third team in the Big 12 North.

12:15 Texas Tech: Coach Tommy Tuberville, QB Taylor Potts, QB Steven Sheffield, DL Colby Whitlock

Wednesday, July 28

10:00 Kansas: Coach Turner Gill, DE Jake Laptad, CB Chris Harris, OL Brad Thorson

This will be Turner Gill's first slate of Big 12 Media Days. It's his first year on the job so questions with him will focus on his inaugural season in the Big 12.

10:45 Oklahoma: Coach Bob Stoops, DE Jeremy Beal, LB Travis Lewis, WR Ryan Broyles

11:30 Colorado: Coach Dan Hawkins, CB Jalil Brown, WR Scotty McKnight, OL Nate Solder

12:15 Texas: Coach Mack Brown, QB Garrett Gilbert, OT Kyle Hix, DE Sam Acho, DT Kheeston Randall

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