University of Kansas

Reesing prepared to play in CFL or be a free agent

LAWRENCE — Kyle Reesing likes his job as an analyst for Gefinor SA, a private equity firm based in Switzerland. He gets to live in New York and work in the financial epicenter of midtown Manhattan; and while the hours may be a bit on the long side, he feels lucky to be in the middle of the action as America rebuilds its economy.

So yeah, Kyle likes his job a lot. Yet, when his little brother, Todd, was debating between entering the business world or going to graduate school or pursuing a career as a professional quarterback, Kyle made sure that he was heard. And the message was not for Todd to hurry up and join him in the Big Apple.

"I've told him many times, he's got the rest of his life to work," said Kyle, Todd's senior by two years. "There's a short window to pursue this football thing. If it's something he still has the drive to do, you go do it. If it doesn't work out, hey, you tried it. There's no regret in trying."

Of course, with Todd Reesing, the most prolific quarterback in Kansas history, there's always this:

"Obviously," Kyle said, "the odds are against him."

Todd knows the deal all too well. The same story keeps repeating itself. Because he is only 5-foot-10, it is unlikely that an NFL franchise will call his name during this weekend's draft.

He had his chance to show scouts that his size is not a deterrent at the East-West Shrine Game in January and during KU's pro day in March, but he is prepared to go undrafted and try to make a roster as a free agent like former Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel did last season with the Saints.

Reesing is also prepared to play in the Canadian Football League. The Saskatchewan Rough Riders have his negotiating rights and will be watching this weekend's developments. Basically, Reesing just wants to play football for as long as he can.

"I don't want to keep playing because I want to prove that I can," Reesing said. "I don't think I have to prove that I can play football. It's more that's just what I want to do. That's what I enjoy doing. It gives you a chance to have a little more freedom while you're young. That's really it for me."

Reesing wasn't always sure he'd pursue a pro career. Early in his junior season, after he led the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory as a sophomore, he was considering studying abroad after he graduated from KU. A double-major in economics and finance, Reesing made it clear that he had plenty of options other than football.

But the closer he got to the end, the more Reesing couldn't deny that he still had the drive to play. So what if he failed — or if he didn't even get a chance to succeed. At least he would know.

And then there was Kyle, up in New York working until midnight some nights, mostly behind a desk. Kyle, who played college baseball at Rice and Purdue, was envious of Todd's chance to further pursue his childhood dreams. Kyle's dream was to play pro baseball; but injuries kept him from reaching his potential at the college level, and the door shut on him.

"Playing baseball was what I loved and still love," Kyle said. "Looking back on it, once it's over with, it's over with. You miss it. You just have to try to find something else that takes the same amount of passion to continue to keep on."

The Reesings are a passionate family. Steve and Debi Reesing raised their kids to achieve and have fun doing it. Kyle is more like Steve, a by-the-book type who works in finance down in Austin. Todd is more like Debi, a free spirit who teaches middle-school English. So for Todd, the journey he is about to take isn't just about football.

"I love to travel," Todd said. "I love to experience new things, meet new people. Football kind of gives you a chance to do that. Say I ended up in Canada. I have a chance to live up there. I've heard great things about the CFL. While I'm young, that's something I want to do, go out and travel."

Eventually, Todd's career will be over, and maybe he'll move into a more serious line of work like his father and Kyle. Even then, Kyle would expect Todd to find something that fits his personality.

"He definitely doesn't see himself working behind a desk," Kyle said. "Personally, I think he'd like to work as a trader. You get that locker-room atmosphere working on the trading floor with a bunch of guys. It's high-intensity from markets open to markets close. You're going, going, going."

For now, Todd will keep heading down the same path he's followed since he gave up baseball in high school.

"At the end of the day," Todd said, "playing football for half the year and making a decent amount of money, whether it's in the NFL or CFL, is sure going to beat working an 8-to-8 up on Wall Street like my brother is doing."