Big 12: A.J. Steward

KU receiver gets his chance to be heard

September, 30, 2011
Kansas receiver Daymond Patterson had a memorable summer, landing on College Football Live for his efforts challenging the women's soccer team along with teammate A.J. Steward.

He promoted his efforts on his Twitter account, but when the season began for the Jayhawks, coach Turner Gill banned his players from the social networking site.

Patterson, though, will redshirt this season after injuring his hamstring in the season opener. He's got some time on his hands.

The Jayhawk has launched his own blog on Kansas' website, and he'll provide updates throughout the season.

The first post is a simple introduction with some interviews with a few of his teammates.

This could be promising. Check it out.

The Big 12 Twitter must-follows for 2011

August, 25, 2011
The season is upon us, and things have started heating up everywhere. That includes cyberspace, too. Not just the gridiron. For those of you on Twitter (which really, should be all of you) here are the best Tweeters in the Big 12, in no particular order.

You can, of course, follow me on Twitter here.

Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State (@bweeden3)

Weeden, a walk-on for the Cowboys top-tier golf program, will periodically make you jealous with tweets from the golf course during the middle of the week in the offseason. He'll also make you laugh more than most in the league and tweets back at his fans constantly. Also, his dog is awesome, and is known to sport his owner's OSU jersey.

Sample tweet: Me & the Duke man have the place to ourselves this weekend. @MelanieWeeden is n Vegas so were gonna hold the fort down!

Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma (@TonyJefferson1)

Jefferson will make you laugh, too, and he's been known to (somewhat harmlessly) stir the pot with his tweets from time to time, specifically with a few aimed in Oklahoma State's direction.

Sample tweet: It's not fun being broke. But it's crazy how yu fight through and try to find ways to make it work. Mamma always told me work with wat u got

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (@JustBlack81)

Unlike his efforts on the field, Blackmon isn't the most consistent tweeter, but you've got to get a look inside the life of the game's best receiver, right?

Sample tweet: 1st day of class...hope all my #OkState fam has a good 1st day

T.J. Moe, WR, Missouri (@TJMoe28)

Moe is a good mix of insight, life lessons and comedy, mixed with general observations of college life and football. Check him out.

Sample tweet: I try to stay away from desserts, but when there is carrot cake in the dining hall, I have no hope.

Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma (@KStills4)

Stills endured a Bob Stoops-induced hiatus from the site in the offseason, but he's back with an entertaining vengeance this fall. His argument on the site that his teammate, Ryan Broyles, was a better receiver than Justin Blackmon got blown completely out of proportion, but he's not shy about his opinions, and loves saying hello to his best friends on campus: Compliance.

Sample tweet: Got some twitter tips for student athletes in my locker.. Lol the last tip is dont let the rules prevent you from having fun w your twitter.

By the way, here's that list, if you're curious. All good advice.

Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M (@CyrusGray32)

Gray's got the best avatar of the bunch, a styling photo from a trip with former teammate Von Miller to the NFL draft in April. He'll retweet fans that tweet at him more than any other player in the league.

Sample tweet: Find something that pushes you harder each day! Before you have Pleasure you got to go through Pain!

Drew Allen, QB, Oklahoma (@DrewAllen1)

Allen is Landry Jones' backup, but his account far surpasses that of the Sooners' starter. (That's @LandryJones12, by the way.) Allen's got a strong case as the league's most humorous tweeter.

Sample tweet 1: My teacher... Mr. Swagg

Sample tweet 2: For obvious reasons RT @txsportzfan: @DrewAllen1 why did you take a pic of your teacher?

Trent Hunter, S, Texas A&M (@TrentHunter01)

Hunter is good about giving fans a look inside the life of a senior Aggie, and hey, it doesn't hurt when he retweets articles from yours truly.

Sample tweet: Day 1 starts in 10 minutes. I can't even think about sleep right now lol

Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State (@jknott20)

Knott's account requires him to approve you to follow him, but he's still one of the league's most entertaining tweeters.

Sample tweet (from before Big 12 Media Days): all members of the media sporting any ISU gear will have an in n out burger in their hands by the end of the day.

The remains of AJ Steward (@Jizzle_11) and Daymond Patterson (@DP4Heisman), Kansas receivers

Both players are off the site per team rules, and Patterson's account is suspended. However, their offseason video efforts (and ensuing Twitter promotional blitz) landed the pair on College Football Live.

Sample tweet: The person I'm looking most forward to going up against during camp is @TOTrey5. Gotta love a good challenge. We'll make each other better

Elvis Fisher, LT, Missouri (@ElvisFisher72)

Fisher is out for the season with a knee injury, but he's most likely to carry on the Missouri tradition of tweeting photos of himself after he's caught a fish, a Blaine Gabbert Twitter staple.

Sample tweet: My college degree!

Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas (@qdiggs28)

Diggs, a true freshman, could be a rising star in this league. For now, he gives you a look inside what it's like being a freshman Longhorn.

Sample tweet: Just had a nice karaoke night with the team! I love our team!

Eric Stephens, RB, Texas Tech (@EricStephens24)

Stephens may be a household name in the Big 12 this time next year. You'd be best served to follow him while he does it.

Sample tweet: I need to find something else I love to do besides football

One more coach draws the line on Twitter

August, 5, 2011
Boise State coach Chris Petersen made headlines before last season when he banned his players from using Twitter.

That worked out well for the Broncos, who went 12-1, but the Big 12 has its first coach to formally ban his players from the site.

Kansas players began signing off the site earlier this week around the same time as a team meeting on Wednesday night, citing a team policy.

Gill confirmed the decision after practice on Thursday.

“We talked about a lot of things,” Gill told reporters of a staff meeting before camp began, “what are some things that we need to do to continue to move our program forward. Someone brought up the issue about Twitter, how that can be a distraction, per se. The reason we decided to not allow our players to have a Twitter account is we feel like it will prevent us from being able to prepare our football program to move forward. Simple as that."

Plenty of Big 12 players have joined the site of late, including a handful of Oklahoma players like Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles, who started up accounts during the offseason. Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon also joined this site this offseason.

The Sooners have a private policy about the site and receiver Kenny Stills had his tweeting privileges taken away earlier this offseason, but the Jayhawks had earned quite a following via the site in recent months.

Receivers A.J. Steward and Daymond Patterson promoted a video of them competing against the soccer and basketball teams on campus, and the fallout resulted in a handful of appearances on ESPN's "College Football Live."

After a 3-9 season in 2010, Kansas was running short on positive press, but Patterson and Steward seemed responsible for the biggest chunk of what came to Lawrence during the offseason.

The risks of players on Twitter are obvious but the Jayhawks had been a pretty good example of a program that had seen positive impact from players interacting on the site.

I followed players like Patterson and Steward, among others (you can follow me here, by the way), but doing so with the Jayhawks won't pay off much anymore.

Here's what a few of the local writers thought about the issue. Honestly, if I was a coach, I'd ban my players from Twitter, but are the Jayhawks a special case?

Patterson was asked about the policy after practice on Thursday, and if Twitter was a distraction.

"I don't think it was, but even if something wasn't a distraction, if you eliminate it, then you can concentrate on something more," he said. "We're here to help the football team win games, and whatever can help us concentrate more, we will abide by it."

So, what do you think? Do the positives outweigh the risks at Kansas?

Jayhawks 'Net show vs. hoopsters arrives

July, 1, 2011
Kansas receivers Daymond Patterson and A.J. Steward had a hit on their hands with the first episode of their internet show, "D.P. and A.J. Take on KU."

The pair knocked off the women's soccer team in a shootout in the "pilot," if you will.

Now, the second episode has debuted, and it's another solid effort.

Patterson and Steward took on Travis Releford and Thomas Robinson from the men's basketball team in a special Kansas-ized game of HORSE at storied Allen Fieldhouse.

The contest spelled out KANSAS, and I won't spoil the ending, but I highly recommend you check it out. Say what you will about Patterson and Steward, but whatever they're doing, they seem to be entertaining while doing it.

You can tell the players yourself what you think of the video on Twitter at @Jizzle_11 and @DP4Heisman.

Kansas' sports show sequel on the way

June, 29, 2011
The first episode of "D.P. and A.J. Take on KU" became quite the sensation and landed Kansas receivers Daymond Patterson and A.J. Steward on ESPN's "College Football Live" for two consecutive days.

If you missed episode one, here's the full version.

Episode two is fast approaching. It's scheduled for a release on Friday, when the pair will follow up their win over the women's soccer team with a new challenge: the men's basketball team.

Sounds like a tall task.

D.P. and A.J. will take on Kansas players Travis Releford and Thomas Robinson in a game of HORSE.

The original launched a couple days of banter between Steward and Patterson and ESPN analyst Mark May. May accepted a challenge for the pair to come to ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn. for a debate and possible physical challenge, but the players won't be making the trip.

Both players are pretty active on Twitter, and you can follow them and get a look at the video when it's released on Friday.

Follow Steward at @Jizzle_11 and Patterson at @DP4Heisman.

Is a KU-Mark May showdown at ESPN afoot?

June, 20, 2011
Another chapter of the KU-Mark May saga was written on the latest episode of College Football Live, when May accepted a challenge from Kansas receivers Daymond Patterson and A.J. Steward to debate or compete in any number of sports.

Patterson and Steward issued their challenge in a video response to a quip by May on Thursday's episode of "College Football Live."

"We'll debate you in any sport, any topic that you wanna do," Patterson said. "We'll change the show just for you from 'D.P. and A.J. take on KU' to 'D.P. and A.J. take on Mark May.' Debate me. We're calling you out, Mark."

On Friday's show, May accepted their challenge with a lengthy monologue at the end of the show.
"I may be over the hill but I’m not down in the valley. I played in the Pro Bowl, a couple of Super Bowls and a College Football Hall of Famer. I can still probably challenge you. Swimming, bowling, tennis, poker and golf, so I’ll take those challenges.

And, finally, I think I'll take the challenge that you guys put out there. Do you know what the bully pulpit is? Let me give you a little 411 information. Teddy Roosevelt started off the bully pulpit back at The White House. That is the most powerful desk in the United States.

This is the college football bully pulpit, and I am sitting at it. I will take your challenge, I will accept your challenge, and guess what? I think we should do it right here on Final Verdict. Let’s get judge Rece Davis to come in and preside over your case.

Let’s go ahead and debate any sport you’d like. It could be badminton, it could be basketball. It doesn’t matter, because you know what? I accept your challenge.

Rock. Chalk. Jayhawk."

Nothing's official just yet, but Patterson, Steward and their coach, Turner Gill, could be headed for Bristol, Conn., soon.

"Come on up to Bristol. Just tell me when you’re available. Any time between now and summer training camp," May said, adding that he gave them an "A for effort and ingenuity" on their video response, which was shot as a fake press conference.

I'd like to see this debate happen in the faux courtroom that closes every Saturday episode of "College Football Final." I'm sure most other college football fans would like to see it, too.

Here's hoping it happens.

Lunch links: Gene Chizik's ISU infidelity

June, 17, 2011
In Gene Chizik's defense, I feel the same way when I drink Diet Pepsi instead of Diet Coke.

Jayhawks issue a challenge to ESPN analyst

June, 17, 2011
As you may have seen in our lunch links Thursday, Kansas receivers Daymond Patterson and A.J. Steward have a hit on their hands.

The players debuted their offseason Internet show, "Daymond and A.J. take on KU" this week, and first in their crosshairs: a showdown with the women's soccer team.

If you haven't seen it by now, the duo win the shootout via some clutch goaltending from Patterson, but while celebrating the win, Steward accidentally takes out a camera man and ends up with a bloody gash on his forehead. (Pulling his jersey up over his head may have contributed to the clumsy finish.)

The video got so popular that "College Football Live" aired a selection of the best moments of the video, including Steward's hilarious, misguided victory dance.

"You know, with that minor victory, I'd say 'Act like you've been there,' but they were 3-9 last year. What'd you expect?" ESPN analyst Mark May quipped after the video aired.

Steward and Patterson, of course, weren't thrilled with May's admittedly funny jab at the Jayhawks.

"Why don't you take on the men's basketball team or the men's soccer team?" May added.

But the pair was given a chance to respond, and released a follow-up video in a mock news conference on Thursday.

"First of all, Mark, we only have a women's soccer team here at KU. Secondly, if you wouldn't have sat there for over half the show and talked about your school's rivalry game in 2016, you would have known that we're going to take on the men's basketball team next."

Patterson then handed off to his partner in crime, Steward, still sporting leftovers from the nasty cut on his forehead, rather than the band-aid from the video. Steward suggested that the pair take on May in a physical contest, but Patterson interrupted to amend the challenge.

"We'll debate you in any sport, any topic that you wanna do," Patterson said. "We'll change the show just for you from 'D.P. and A.J. take on KU' to 'D.P. and A.J. take on Mark May.' Debate me. We're calling you out, Mark."

Steward stepped in to offset Patterson's sharp words to smooth things over with May's co-host this week.

"Erin Andrews, we appreciate your support and everything. You have nothing to do with this, but Mark? We're coming for you."

That means two things.

1. It's the offseason.

2. It's on.

Tune in today at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 to see the saga's next chapter.

To quote another known to call out the media: Can't wait!

Lunch links: Jayhawks video goes viral

June, 16, 2011
After what went down in Vancouver last night, I'll never consider college football fans crazy again. Not even ones from the SEC, eh.

Big 12 links: OSU's Young could be biggest coordinator hire

April, 22, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

As spring practices conclude, several reporters are taking stock of the conference in today's missives.

Here are some of the more notable stories for your lunchtime edification. Enjoy.

  • Sporting News pundits Dave Curtis and Matt Hayes agree that Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is positioned to have the biggest impact in college football among new coordinators.
  • The Topeka Capital-Journal's Kevin Haskin wonders if Kansas should be the preseason favorite in the Big 12 North next season.
  • The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton provides an extensive review of the Big 12's spring so far.
  • Baylor coach Art Briles told the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle's John Whisler that the Bears are "miles ahead" of where they were last season.
  • Former Nebraska All-American linebacker Trev Alberts came off as a polished potential candidate for the Nebraska-Omaha athletic director's job during a public forum for candidates, Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports. If hired, it would be Alberts' first job in athletic administration.
  • Oklahoma likely won't have a first-round draft choice for the second straight season in Saturday's NFL draft. But Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler reports that the Sooners could be headed for a historic draft next season with a record four players likely to be picked in the first round -- quarterback Sam Bradford, tackle Trent Williams, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and tight end Jermaine Gresham.
  • Converted 6-foot-4, 229-pound quarterback A.J. Steward is thriving at his new position of wide receiver for Kansas, the Lawrence Journal-World's Dugan Arnett reports.
  • Baylor picked up its second receiving commitment this week when Midland's Antwan Goodley selected the school, John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald writes.
  • It was another day of triple-digit scoring on both sides as Texas A&M's defense claimed a 109-103 scrimmage victory over the offense, Bryan Eagle beat writer Robert Cessna reports.

Five pressing questions for Kansas

August, 28, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Kansas' magical 12-1 season was one of the feel-good stories of recent college football history. The Jayhawks were picked to finish toward the bottom of the North Division, but emerged as a legitimate national championship contender before losing to Missouri in their regular-season finale. And they didn't let that defeat ruin their season, bouncing back for an impressive victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl that represented their first BCS bowl victory.

Coach Mark Mangino will be hard-pressed for an encore, particularly as he faces a more difficult schedule that will include all three expected South Division contenders -- after facing none last season. And for good measure, the Jayhawks will travel to South Florida on Sept. 12 in one of the nation's top nonconference games this season.

The Jayhawks will be looking to make history, making bowl trips in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. To get there, here are five pressing questions they need to settle.

1. Will the new offensive tackles perform up to standards?

First-team All-American Anthony Collins and three-year starter Cesar Rodriguez both are gone from last season's team. Their replacements will be a pair of redshirt freshmen. Mangino has been intrigued by the development of left tackle Jeff Spikes, who he calls one of the most accomplished offensive lineman he has coached at that stage of his career. And converted guard Jeremiah Hatch has emerged to beat out Matt Darton and Nathan D'Cunha on the right side in a surprise positional victory. Their play will largely determine how successful Kansas' passing game will be.   

2. Do the Jayhawks have enough depth at running back?

Leading rusher Brandon McAnderson is gone, but the Jayhawks are expected to fill in for him with a combination of leading returning rusher Jake Sharp or bullish junior-college transfer Jocques Crawford. Angus Quigley also has shown flashes in practice, but the loss of potential backups like Donte Bean, Carmon Boyd-Anderson and Sean Ransburg earlier in camp makes Kansas' depth questionable -- no matter what Mangino says.

3. Who will be Kansas' kicker?

Mangino still hasn't decided on his kicker heading into Saturday's game against Florida International. Sophomore transfer Grady Fowler and Alonso Rojas, who previously had been listed only as a punter, are still battling heading into the opener.

4. How will the Jayhawks handle their schedule?

A much more stringent schedule awaits the Jayhawks than in 2007. Kansas hosts Texas and Texas Tech and visits Oklahoma. The Jayhawks also have a trip to Nebraska -- a place where they haven't won since 1968. So it's understandable why many observers are expecting the Jayhawks to take a step back this season.

5. Who will emerge at tight end?

Derek Fine was one of the nation's most underrated tight ends last season, providing steady blocking and 46 receptions to set a single-season record for Kansas tight ends. Sophomore Bradley Dedeaux earned a tight victory for the opening-game start over redshirt freshman A.J. Steward. Both should see extensive playing time as the season progresses.