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This year it's definite: Bert Coan will not play for Kansas. Again ineligible because of his penchant for expense-paid trips to all-star games, Halfback Coan has hied himself off to the less confusing world of pro football. Unhappy Coach Jack Mitchell lost another 50% of his dream backfield when All-America Quarterback John Hadl and multi-all-conference Halfback Curt McClinton picked up diplomas. Sadder yet are the line coaches, who have seen the last of every first-teamer. Clearly these are not the Jay-hawkers of the past, but there are bright spots. Ken Coleman, a spectacular fullback, running Quarterback Rodger McFarland and some tough reserves, including Slotback Tony Leiker, End Jay Roberts and Center Kent Converse, remain. Running, receiving and passing from halfback, sophomore Gale Sayers will cheer Kansans. So will an improving line if, as Mitchell hopes, his new flip-flop deployment succeeds.
CONCLUSION: Last year the Jayhawkers often creditably imitated a Kansas tornado. In 1962 they could look like the aftermath.
Certain unworthy Kansans, never known to I jaywalk, let alone tackle below the knees, would like you to forget the state's old gun-slinging tradition, and for most of 26 years I they seemed to have Kansas State football teams in their camp. But Coach Doug Weaver & Co., weary of being model citizens, are plotting insurrection. Nine of the 11 starters who beat Indiana and Air Force last year are back—with friends. The Wildcats are three-deep at six positions, and have enough sophomores around to forestall any malingering in the ranks. Fast Ends Darrell Elder and Willis Crenshaw (second team Big Eight in 1960 with 18 catches for 190 yards) return to action and are backed by five returnees. Tackle is full-up, too, but the backfield has real depth. Larry Corrigan, Joel Searles, Spencer Puls, Ralph McFillen and Ben Cochrun—all potent, if small—must hold off sophomores Doug Dusenbury, Jim Perry, Denby Blackwell, Larry Condit and Bud Roper.
CONCLUSION: Determined to forget the past, dangerous Kansas State will garrote at least one major opponent, possibly more.
Kent can still improve at several positions but quarterback is not one of them. In one season plus four games, Jim Flynn has completed 50 of 105 passes for 557 yards and eight touchdowns. His importance as leader was never more evident than in 1961, when Kent lost seven straight after Flynn was injured. It was only Kent's second losing season in 20 years. But Coach Trevor Rees has other accurate passers in George Jenkins (34 for 74, 387 yards, 3 touchdowns in 1961) and Arnold Edwards (23 for 41, 278 yards, 3 TDs). Tom Kilker, Bob Harrison and Dick Wolf, top Mid-American receiver, head the league's best end staff. Strong and fast, Tackle Jim Phelan (255 pounds) and Guard Jim Eismon will clear holes for the option, along with Bob Thiele and Denny Kempf. Sophomore Fullback Willie Asbury may displace Marty Malatin and Dick Merschman, who rushed 479 yards. The team's weak spots are at center and halfback.
CONCLUSION: A healthy Flynn will make a world of difference. Alternating passes and fullback smashes, Kent will improve.