July 25, 2006

Kansas lineman ready for senior year

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- David Ochoa arrived at the Marriott Plaza Hotel on Tuesday morning sporting a blue collared polo style shirt with the Jayhawk logo and a smile that could have been seen a mile away. More than anything else in this world, Ochoa, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound center from Houston Texas, loves to play the game of football. Coming off a win in the Fort Worth Bowl, Ochoa and his teammates have very high expectations this season.

Ochoa has seen all that there is to see during his time in Lawrence. There have certainly been some memorable moments along the way, both good and bad. However, as the former three-star prospect begins to prepare for his final season, there is no doubt that he and the rest of his teammates have high expectations.

"I think you build on it (last year's success) by not looking back at your success," said Ochoa. You don't take what you did for granted and you have to keep working hard. When we went to a bowl game in 2003, I think that we rode that success for a little bit too long, which caused a dip in the win-loss column the following season.

"But this year, the first week we came back, we had team meetings," he added. "We said, that's it. We went to a bowl game and a lot of the same guys aren't here anymore, so let's create our own mark for 2006."

If Mark Mangino and the Kansas Jayhawks hope to make it back to their second consecutive bow game, everybody will have to raise their game to another level. Replacing the likes of Nick Reid, Banks Floodman, Charles Gordon, Charlton Keith, Mark Simmons, Jason Swanson, Jermial Ashley and a host of other players will be no easy task.

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