Weis focuses on a win for seniors this weekend

Kansas coach Charlie Weis made it clear during his weekly press conference that he wants this week to be about the seniors. He doesn’t want to win this Saturday against Iowa State for his satisfaction. He wants a win this week to give the seniors a win to remember. Weis went as far as taking it to Twitter, asking fans to come to this Saturday’s game.

Saturday’s match against the Cyclones will be the final time 23 Jayhawks take the field at Memorial Stadium. Kansas will honor its 23-member senior class prior to this week’s game.

Like Weis, the seniors would like to finish their long season on a high note after all they’ve been through this season. Those who have spent their entire playing career in Kansas have played under three different head coaches.

“I can’t even imagine that,” Weis said. “They’ve gutted it out and bought in (to all three coaching systems). I would like them to walk out of here with a good taste in their mouth.”

But even through the rough times, the seniors will always treasure the opportunity to play football in the Big 12. From the moment they committed until the day they turn in their uniforms, the seniors will leave Lawrence with long-lasting memories and friendships.

“They’re going to remember the camaraderie with their teammates,” Weis said. “You don’t focus on the bad things. You focus on the good things and there are still a couple of opportunities for some good memories yet to be created.”

This senior class is unique compared to previous ones. Weis not only worked with seniors who have spent their entire college careers at Kansas, but also worked with three seniors who transferred to Kansas from Notre Dame to play football under Weis one last time.

One of those transfers includes tight end Mike Ragone, who overcame adversity after being sidelined due to multiple knee injuries. Ragone found the strength to move forward and make up for the lost time in Kansas and received some words of encouragement from Weis.

Ragone believed in Weis’ system and Weis believed in Ragone’s ability to play football. Ragone took advantage of his opportunity to play football and develop new relationships, but also continued to be around his teammates from Notre Dame.

“If I didn’t have that opportunity, I wouldn’t be able to spend my time with guys like Dayne [Crist] and Anthony [McDonald],” Ragone said. “I cherish this. We’ve had a good time.”

The 23 seniors will be introduced with their families before Saturday’s game. Players will walk out to Memorial Stadium one last time and will have a quick moment to reflect on their time in Kansas.

The seniors will approach the field while other family members and friends watch in attendance. Wide receiver Daymond Patterson looks at this as a big moment for him and his family before playing in front of them at home one last time.

“I think I’ll have a lot of emotions just being out there with my family,” he said. “Just knowing how hard, not only me, but my whole family, how hard we worked to get to this point and making it through the five years I’ve been here. I know that without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

  • Updated Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:52 pm
  • Edited by Brian Sisk