Big 12: Jeremiah Hatch

The best players who just missed the top 25

March, 13, 2012
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Our top 25 has come and gone, but we're taking a deeper look at the list throughout the day on the blog.

As we do with every list, here are the guys who were probably good enough to be on the top 25, but didn't make the cut. After all, there's only so much room.

These are listed in no particular order.

Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas: Broke up 15 passes and picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown. Also forced a fumble and of his 54 tackles, seven were for losses.

James Franklin, QB, Missouri: Threw for 2,865 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Also rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns on 217 carries.

Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State: Made 71 tackles and broke up eight passes. Also made two tackles for loss and forced a fumble.

Steven Johnson, LB, Kansas: Led the Big 12 with 119 tackles. Made six tackles for loss and had an interception. Broke up two passes and forced two fumbles.

Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas: Second on the team with 98 tackles. Made 8.5 tackles for loss and had one sack. Broke up seven passes and forced two fumbles.

Jeremiah Hatch, OL, Kansas: Bounced back from a scary injury against Oklahoma and played well enough to earn a second-team All-Big 12 nod.

LaAdrian Waddle, OL, Texas Tech: Was the most outstanding member of the Texas Tech offensive line, which finished sixth in the Big 12 in total offense.

David Garrett, CB, Kansas State: Picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown. Made 88 tackles and had 6.5 tackles for loss. Also broke up two passes.

Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State: Made 74 tackles and broke up 11 passes. Made five tackles for loss and forced two fumbles.

Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma: Was the most outstanding member of the Sooners' offensive line, which paved the way for more than 512 yards per game, third-most in the Big 12.

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M: Missed the final three games of the season, but averaged more than six yards per carry and finished eighth in the Big 12 with 899 yards and eight touchdowns on 149 carries.

Luke Joeckel, OL, Texas A&M: Improved as a second-year starter at tackle, has the most upside of any player on the Aggies' line, which helped produce the Big 12's No. 4 offense.

Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas: Third in the Big 12 with 17 tackles for loss. Had eight sacks and broke up three passes. Made 63 tackles.

Clyde Aufner, OL, Kansas State: Aufner helped Kansas State roll to the No. 5 rushing offense in the Big 12 and lead the Big 12 with 606 carries. Earned first-team All-Big 12 honors from the coaches.

Jamie Blatnick, DE, Oklahoma State: Made eight sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. Recovered two fumbles, made 50 tackles and had an interception. Forced a fumble and broke up seven passes.

Big 12 injury update

October, 17, 2011
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A couple of Monday morning injury notes:

Kansas center Jeremiah Hatch had a scary injury on Saturday night against Oklahoma and was attended to for several minutes before being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

The senior captain returned to Memorial Stadium in Lawrence later in the game, however.

"He’s fine. He’s now able to move all his limbs and everything," KU coach Turner Gill said after Saturday's loss. "They still want to evaluate him in the next 24 hours and kind of see what happens here in the next few days. But I’m glad to see that he is OK, as far as able to move his limbs, because initially, he was not able to move anything."

Sunday, Gill told reporters Hatch is doing "very well," though he's sore. He's questionable for Saturday's game against Kansas State.

“He’s fine,” Gill told reporters on Sunday. “He has everything all back moving. That’s why he has a chance to play this week. We’ll see what happens, day by day."


No such good news at Iowa State.

The team's top running back, Shontrelle Johnson, is expected to miss the season after injuring his neck against Texas on Oct. 1.

The Cyclones were hopeful Johnson could return.

"More than likely, he will be out for the remainder of the season," coach Paul Rhoads told reporters on Sunday. "They’re still trying to figure out the course of rehab for it."

Johnson was the team's leading rusher, but has since been surpassed by sophomore James White.

Scary sight for Sooners: Stills down

October, 15, 2011
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Oklahoma receiver Kenny Stills caught a short pass, made a cut and went down suddenly.

He walked off the field on his own power after being tended to by trainers, but he'll have his right knee looked at more closely while he takes a seat.

The Sooners have looked sluggish in this one, but lead 27-17 midway through the third quarter.

We'll keep an eye on Stills' status, but his reaction leaving the field is surely a good sign. Don't be surprised if he tries to return.

Elsewhere, Kansas center Jeremiah Hatch, who was injured earlier, was taken to the hospital but is reportedly "doing well," according to an announcement by Kansas. There's been no definitive word on what injury he suffered.

Lay down? Not tonight, or not yet for KU?

October, 15, 2011
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Kansas entered tonight's game as a five-touchdown underdog to No. 3 Oklahoma.

After last week's 42-point loss to Oklahoma State and OU's 38-point drubbing of Texas, there wasn't much reason to believe Kansas had a chance.

The Jayhawks, though, are hanging in while Landry Jones has looked average through the first quarter.

A play after a scary injury to Jeremiah Hatch, James Sims caught an awkward pitch from Jordan Webb and took it 56 yards for a touchdown that got the Jayhawks to within 10-7.

Can Kansas keep it up?

I'm guessing no, but through almost an entire quarter, the progress is impossible to ignore. A great sign for Turner Gill, too, who hasn't had his team quit on him.

Last week, Kansas trailed Oklahoma State 35-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Jones is just 4-of-11 for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Jayhawks lose senior captain to injury

October, 15, 2011
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Kansas center Jeremiah Hatch is one of the Jayhawks' leaders. It may be without him for awhile now.

The three-year starter from Dallas went down with a curious injury on a running play, and remained down for several minutes while the crowd at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence remained silent and trainers attended to Hatch.

He was carefully loaded on a stretcher and taken off the field on a cart.

A scary injury, especially considering it was difficult to tell how he was injured.

Now, Kansas must try and move on while trailing 10-0 late in the first quarter.

Lunch links: Hunt together, kill together

August, 8, 2011
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Stop being so pretentious, Kyle!

Lunch links: Big 12 QB battle ends early

July, 27, 2011
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Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is with Patty Mayonnaise.
A week from today, college football will feel oh-so-close. The Big 12 will kick off its media days, slimmed down to two days with its new 10-team configuration, instead of 12 teams over three days like it's been in the past.

[+] EnlargeRobert Griffin III
Thomas Campbell/US PresswireBaylor's Robert Griffin III will be attending Big 12 media days after missing last year's event.
I'll be there for every second of the action, with plenty of stories and videos, just like last year. Here's a look at what we had for you every day at media days last year.

You can expect more of that, and here's who we'll be dealing with here in Dallas.

Monday, July 25

Baylor
Oklahoma State
Missouri

  • Jacquies Smith, DE
  • Kenji Jackson, S
  • Elvis Fisher, OL
  • T.J. Moe, WR
Texas

  • Emmanuel Acho, LB
  • Keenan Robinson, LB
  • Blake Gideon, S
  • Fozzy Whittaker, RB
Texas A&M
Tuesday, July 26

Kansas

  • Steven Johnson, LB
  • Tim Biere, TE
  • Jeremiah Hatch, OL
Iowa State
Kansas State
Oklahoma
Texas Tech

I've got a lot of thoughts about this lineup:

  • Texas' quarterbacks haven't spoken to the media since the Thanksgiving Day loss to Texas A&M, and that streak won't end next week. Not that it necessarily should, at least not at this event. For better or worse, bringing a quarterback to media days implies a certain amount of confidence in said player, and every indication we got during the spring is that this race is wide open. Last year, Texas Tech brought both Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts, and Mack Brown raised eyebrows when he brought his first-year starter, Garrett Gilbert, to media days before fall camp and before his first-ever start. He won't be making a return trip in 2011.
  • Kansas State's contingent is rather telling. If Bill Snyder was trying to temper the hype surrounding Arthur Brown, he wouldn't bring the transfer who has never played a game for Kansas State to Dallas. But Brown is coming, and his brother, running back Bryce Brown, isn't. That's plenty telling. As is Collin Klein's presence. It's not like Kansas State is starved for marketable talents. Cornerback David Garrett would fit in nicely, but he won't be coming. It's not explicit, but Klein will enter fall camp with the lead in the quarterback race, but Snyder has to feel good about him at this point. Bryce Brown's role on this team is still a bit unclear with Robert Rose and John Hubert still competing with him for carries, but I'm still feeling very good about making Arthur Brown my pick for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Except for Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege, he's the only player in the entire league to come to Big 12 Media Days without at least a season of starting experience, and Doege at least has one start on his resume.
  • Serious, serious star power in Oklahoma and Oklahoma State's crews. Some of the biggest names in college football will be heading down to Dallas from just up north across the state line. Landry Jones will be making his first trip this year, as will Justin Blackmon. Weeden, Lewis and Broyles all attended in 2010. Another good bunch from A&M this year, too.
  • Glad to see Iowa State bring Kelechi Osemele to Dallas. He's a quiet star in this league who's been one of its best linemen for a couple seasons now. He'll finally get a bit more exposure in his first trip to media days. I'm a little surprised to see ISU bring Darius Darks, though, instead of Darius Reynolds, who Paul Rhoads went out of his way to praise this spring. That said, Darks is a solid choice as a co-captain and a contributor for three seasons heading into 2011, vs. Reynolds, a high-profile juco transfer who only emerged as a major contributor in 2010 after a quiet 2009.
  • Baylor's Robert Griffin III is back on Baylor's wagon after sitting out last year's media days to give the cameras and notepads a chance to get to know his teammates (and avoid about 4,000 questions about his knee, which was clearly fine last season).

Big 12 puts three on Rimington watch list

July, 13, 2011
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The Rimington Award watch list has been released and three Big 12 players made the three-man list. The award is given annually to college football's best center.
  • Philip Blake, Baylor
  • Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
  • Jeremiah Hatch, Kansas

¿Dónde está Ben Habern? Outside of the missing Sooner, it's a pretty good list. When I made my All-Big 12 preseason team, it became pretty clear that center is a weak position for the Big 12 this year, but I went with Garner. I was still surprised Habern was left off the 43-man list. Don't be surprised if he earns the nod from the media as the All-Big 12 center in the preseason.

The SEC led all conferences with seven players on the list.

Nebraska's Dominic Raola won the inaugural award in 2000, but no Big 12 team has ever had a Rimington Award winner.

Additionally, no school has ever had multiple winners.

Three Big 12 centers on Rimington watch list

May, 20, 2011
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Three Big 12 players made the cut on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Award, given annually to college football's best center.

Baylor's Philip Blake, Oklahoma State's Grant Garner and Kansas' Jeremiah Hatch were the three Big 12 representatives on the 42-man list.

Nebraska's Dominic Raiola won the inaugural award in 2000, but no Big 12 player has won the award since. No program has more than one Rimington winner.

KU's Gill elects to make a QB switch

September, 9, 2010
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Turner Gill gave redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb his first chance to run the Jayhawks offense in the fourth quarter. Down 6-3 late, he kept the ball in Webb's hands, needing a game-winning drive.

Webb was unable to deliver, but Gill decided his efforts were enough to name him the Jayhawks' starter in Week 2 against No. 15 Georgia Tech, relegating sophomore Kale Pick to the bench.

"Looking at things that happened in the game and overall with the things going on, [Webb] gives us the best opportunity at this point and time and he deserves an opportunity to see what he can do as a starter," Gill told reporters on Wednesday

Pick threw for 138 yards with an interception in a little more than three quarters, completing 13 of 22 passes. Webb replaced Pick early in the fourth and went 6-for-11 for 59 yards. Both were sacked twice.

"Obviously I am excited," Webb said. "It is what I wanted all along. It is what everybody wants. Everybody wants to be the starter. It is something I hope I can make the most of and run with."

Kansas is also shaking up the offensive line. Gill moved Jeremiah Hatch, a two-year starter at center, back to starter at his usual position. Sal Capra moved to left guard and relegated Duane Zlatnik to the bench.

Big 12: What we know with two weeks to go

August, 23, 2010
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Preseason camps are about half gone. Opening weekend is less than two weeks away, and it's just over a week away for teams like Iowa State.

But plenty has been resolved in camps so far. Here's the best of what we know:

1. Three quarterback battles have been won. Two (Kansas State and Nebraska) have yet to be decided, but Tyler Hansen won the job over Cody Hawkins at Colorado. Kale Pick beat out Jordan Webb at Kansas. Taylor Potts beat out Steven Sheffield in an epic duel at Texas Tech between two seniors who could start for about anyone in the conference.

[+] EnlargeTaylor Potts
Karl Anderson/Icon SMITaylor Potts beat out Steven Sheffiled to be Texas Tech's starting quarterback.
2. Nebraska and Kansas have been hit hardest by injury. Nebraska lost linebacker Sean Fisher and utility lineman Mike Smith for the season, each with a broken leg. Backup cornerback Anthony Blue will also miss the season with a torn ACL. Tight end Dreu Young also required back surgery and may miss up to the entire season. None figured to be game-changers, but without them, the Huskers depth suffers, leaving them more reliant on less experienced players. That's not the case in Lawrence, where Turner Gill will coach his first season without Huldon Tharp, one of the conference's best linebackers and one of his most exciting young talents. Backup running back Rell Lewis will miss the season with a knee injury, as will offensive lineman Jeff Spikes, who had a chance to start.

3. Gill: What have you done for me lately? Turner Gill cares not about your recruiting stars, Jayhawks. Toben Opurum was the Jayhawks leading rusher as a freshman, with 554 yards. As one of the nation's best fullbacks, he came to Kansas because Mark Mangino planned to let the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder play running back. He was injured in the spring, but returned to full strength by preseason camp. Unable to crack the depth chart at running back, he's been moved to linebacker to help solve the Jayhawks' depth problems at the position. Meanwhile, two-year starter at center Jeremiah Hatch was sent to the bench in favor of senior captain Sal Capra, who played both guard positions last year.

4. Iowa State is even more huggable. The team rallied behind rookie head coach Paul Rhoads in 2009 and raced to a seven-win season after just five wins in the previous two seasons combined. This fall, one of the teams practices was canceled so the players could sandbag the athletic facility to prevent damage from a major flood in Central Iowa. To do the team's laundry, team managers had to travel nearly 20 miles to the nearest source of fresh water.

5. Robert Griffin's arm isn't rusty. The Bears sophomore quarterback has strung together two masterful scrimmages through the air, completing 33 of his 44 passes for three touchdowns and one interception. He has yet to prove he can run with the same explosiveness he showed as a freshman, but coach Art Briles isn't going to be getting Griffin hit many more times than is necessary.

6. Texas is talking up its defense. Coach Mack Brown isn't keeping quiet about his expectations for his defense in 2010. ""I do think this could be our best defense," Brown told the Dallas Morning News last week, noting health and depth as variables. "We should be really, really good on defense." The Longhorns already ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense last year, but bring back one of the nation's best secondaries and perhaps the best and deepest group of defensive ends anywhere.

KU shakes up depth chart, names QB

August, 20, 2010
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Busy day for the Jayhawks, who released a pretty impactful depth chart late Thursday afternoon.

At the top of the list, Kale Pick has officially beaten out redshirt freshman Jordan Webb and juco transfer Quinn Mecham to be the team's starting quarterback. That's expected, but it's further proof of how important experience is, even if it's limited experience like Pick got as a freshman last year as a running complement to Todd Reesing.

[+] EnlargeKale Pick
John Rieger/US PresswireQuarterback Kale Pick topped the Jayhawks' detph chart released Thursday.
Coach Turner Gill sounded confident in the decision and I don't see anything outside Pick struggling in-season changing that.

"He probably separated himself from the aspect of ball security which was huge. He didn’t really turn the ball over there," Gill said. "I love the way that his demeanor has been, not to say that Jordan Webb has not had a good demeanor but Kale Pick’s has just been a little bit better as far as the intangibles and his demeanor in the huddle, outside the huddle and when plays are going well and when plays aren’t going well, just how he’s handled himself."

Pick noted that Webb wasn't happy about the decision, of course, but there's a silver lining for him: He's only a freshman and Pick, a sophomore, has a ways to go before he proves he's a franchise quarterback. This isn't Texas Tech, where two very talented, experienced seniors are fighting it out, and injury, almost certainly, is the only thing that would cause them both to play.

“I definitely had a smile when I received the news. I’m excited and I think we’re going to have a good season this year," Pick said.

I'm no history buff, and things like this are tough to look up, but can anyone else recall -- in the history of the Big 12 -- another team's leading rusher beginning the following season as a linebacker? Fans, feel free to let me know if that's happened to your team before.

If not, Toben Opurum is a trailblazer.

Gill has sounded unimpressed with Opurum since he got to Lawrence, but plenty of people -- myself included -- chalked that up to Opurum being hobbled by injury in the spring. Not the case. Opurum has officially moved to linebacker, but is still 0-for-3 on depth chart appearances under Gill. Judging from his quote to the Topeka Capital-Journal last week, my guess is he isn't thrilled about the decision.

"I expect to see my name at the top of any depth chart. I have to use that to drive myself," he told the paper.

Sixth-year senior Angus Quigley -- who, in light of Opurum's new position, ironically played linebacker last season -- held on to the starting job and should lead what sounds like a running back by committee situation. That's a good move with a lot of talent behind Quigley, like freshmen DeShaun Sands and Brandon Bourbon, as well as Rell Lewis, who was listed as the co-No. 2 back with Sands.

"We’re going to probably rotate some guys, again we’re still evaluating some of the guys so things can change but there are still some things happening at running back and we just have to get some guys some more reps," Gill said. "We have to dwindle that down because you can’t get four, five or six running backs reps and you can’t see them improve and so that is why we aren’t able to make that decision at this time."

Elsewhere for the Jayhawks, Jeremiah Hatch, a two-year starter at center, has been benched in favor of Sal Capra, who was listed as the starting left guard after the spring. Reports that Duane Zlatnik was rising proved correct, as Zlatnick moved into a starting spot at left guard after being listed as the position's No. 2 afer spring.

Big 12 puts five on Rimington Watch List

May, 24, 2010
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The watch list for the Rimington Award has been released, and five from the Big 12 made the cut.

The award is given annually to the nation's top center and is named after former Nebraska star Dave Rimington.

Of the 11 winners in the 10-year history of the award, no school has won twice, but the last Big 12 player to take home the honor was Nebraska's Dominic Raiola in 2000, the first year the award was given.

All five players on the watch list for 2010 hail from the North division.

Here's who to watch for this season:

  • Tim Barnes, Missouri
  • Mike Caputo, Nebraska
  • Jeremiah Hatch, Kansas
  • Keenan Stevens, Colorado
  • Wade Weibert, Kansas State

Quick note: Of the 37 players on the list, 11 have last names that begin with the letter "B." What's up with that?

Kansas spring wrap

May, 6, 2010
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2009 overall record: 5-7

2009 conference record: 1-7

Returning starters: Offense (7), Defense (7) P/K (2)

Top returners: RB Toben Opurum, OL Brad Thorson, OL Jeremiah Hatch, LB Drew Dudley, WR Johnathan Wilson, LB Huldon Tharp, DE Jake Laptad

Key losses: WR Dezmon Briscoe, QB Todd Reesing, WR Kerry Meier, S Darrell Stuckey, RB Jake Sharp, S Justin Thornton, Coach Mark Mangino

2009 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Toben Opurum* (554 yards)

Passing: Todd Reesing (3,616 yards)

Receiving: Dezmon Briscoe (1,337 yards)

Tackles: Darrell Stuckey (93)

Sacks: Jake Laptad* (6.5)

Interceptions: Ryan Murphy* (2)

Three spring answers

1. This is how we do things. Coach Turner Gill set the tone for his program early, speaking out about his curse-free zone at practices and other team functions. That goes for coaches and players. Practices are slightly uptempo, and Gill gave each position a fresh start. Everyone wanted to know how Gill would run his program when spring began, and he gave a good look in his first 15 practices.

2. Pick leads the way. Kale Pick was the only one of Kansas’ six quarterbacks with past experience and looked like the front-runner to win the job. He and Jordan Webb emerged as the front-runners in the final week of practice before Pick took a firm hold of the job with his performance in the spring game. He threw a pair of touchdowns, including a game-winner to Christian Matthews—who he also beat out for the job.

3. Linebackers ready to play. Kansas entered the spring with way more questions on defense than offense. The linebackers answered those early on. Defensive coordinator Carl Torbush feels like he has six or seven linebackers ready to see action in the Big 12, led by Drew Dudley, the Jayhawks leading returning tackler.

Three fall questions

1. Can Gill compete in the Big 12? Gill accomplished a remarkable turnaround at Buffalo, but Kansas isn’t looking to rebuild and get back to winning eight games, Gill’s previous career high for wins in a season. Gill hasn’t competed in the Big 12 since coaching Nebraska’s wide receivers in 2004. Kansas likely won’t compete for any serious titles in 2010, but can he take a step toward doing it in the future?

2. Are the wide receivers ready? Pick is replacing record-holding quarterback Todd Reesing, but he won’t have two NFL draft picks, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier catching his passes. In their place, senior Johnathan Wilson and sophomore Bradley McDougald. McDougald has moved outside, but both will be counted on for major production this season.

3. Can Kansas find a defense? The Jayhawks finished 2009 on a seven-game losing streak, finishing at 1-7 in conference. During that span, they gave up an average of almost 36 points per game. With no major defensive stars taking the field this season, can Kansas find playmakers and make that number shrink? If they don’t, year one of the Turner Gill era won’t be much fun.

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