Mangino says KU players earned spotlight

LAWRENCE | Kansas coach Mark Mangino is happy for his players, saying that they deserve the opportunity to play on center stage against Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium.

But that’s not all.

“I’m happy for the former players here, players that played a long time ago,” Mangino said at his weekly media gathering on Tuesday. “In the last couple of weeks, I’ve received scores of letters, e-mails and phone calls from former players.

“One particular gentleman told me that he feels good telling his son about his days of playing football at KU. They follow it on TV, and he’s proud. He’s proud now of the football program.”

Mangino also has heard from former players from earlier in his Kansas tenure.

“Many of them have called and written, thanking me,” Mangino said. “They really don’t need to thank me. They need to thank the players that continued to work hard, continued to believe in the program.”

* Mangino said the chances that left tackle Anthony Collins, an Outland Trophy finalist, plays against Missouri are “pretty good.” Collins sat out last game with discomfort due to an undisclosed injury.