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January 5, 2013

KU players invited to all-star games

There could be a good showing of Kansas Jayhawks in the post-season. Jayhawk Slant has learned there could be as many as eight players involved in post-season all-star games.

Tanner Hawkinson and Bradley McDougald have been invited to the East-West Shrine and will be on the West team. The game will be played January 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida. It will be televised on the NFL Network. Hawkinson and McDougald have also been invited to the NFL Combine.

McDougald said he will wear the white helmet Kansas helmet to represent the Jayhawks.

Cornerback Greg Brown has been invited to play in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game in Allen, Tex. One source said Brown has accepted the invitattion but we have not confirmed it with him.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist will play in the Casino Del Sol All-Star game on January 11 carried by one of the ESPN stations.

The biggest group of Jayhawks are set to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles. Jayhawk Slant has learned offensive linemen Trevor Marrongelli and Duane Zlatnik will participate in the game. The defensive line will be represented by Josh Williams and Toben Opurum. Both Williams and Opurum confirmed to Jayhawk Slant on Saturday they will play.

One NFL source told Jayhawk Slant Kansas head coach Charlie Weis made several calls to get as many players involved in all-star games as he could. One reason for landing four Kansas players in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is believed to be Weis connections and Don Davis.

Davis is a former Kansas and Olathe South standout. He works with the NFLPA and played for the New England Patriots when Weis was an offensive coordinator there. Herm Edwards and Dick Vermeil will be the head coach in the NFLPA game. ESPN2 will show the game on January 19.

It is a strong post-season showing for the Jayhawks, especially coming off a tough season.

"That's the benefit of having NFL ties on a coaching staff," said one source with NFL connections. "These games are all about getting exposure in front of NFL scouts. It speaks highly of the people that (Charlie) Weis knows and effort he makes for his players. It is good exposure for Kansas football."

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