There is bound to be a lot of excitement this weekend around Kansas football as the Jayhawks welcome UCF to Lawrence for the first time as Big 12 opponents. But what makes the day even more special is that two former Jayhawks will have their names added to the Ring of Honor inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Running back Tony Sands (1988-91) and linebacker Nick Reid (2002-05) will become the 24th and 25th members to be inducted into the Ring of Honor – the highest honor given to a Kansas football alumnus.
When Sands graduated from KU in 1991, he held the school record for rushing yards (3,788), rushing attempts (778), and rushing touchdowns (28).
But Sands’ ever-lasting legacy comes from his last performance in a Kansas uniform, where he set the FBS single-game rushing attempts record (58) and rushing yards record (396) in a 53-29 win against the rival Missouri Tigers on Nov. 23, 1991. Sands’ 396 yards rushing still remains a KU school record to this day.
Sands also still holds the KU record for most games with 100+ yards rushing (17).
His performance his senior year earned him the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year award and Third Team All-American honors by the Associated Press (AP).
To this day, Sands ranks second in school history in rushing yards and attempts.
"“It is unbelievable to have this recognition and to know that my name is going to be in the stadium up amongst the greats,” said Sands. “When I go into the Ring of Honor, that means everyone that took part in my success goes in, and that just means the world to me.”"
Reid was a dominant force on defense during his time at KU.
Reid, a Kansas native and three-time All-Big 12 selection during his time as a Jayhawk, led the Jayhawks in tackles in three consecutive seasons from 2003 to 2005.
He finished his KU career with 416 tackles (currently second in school history) and 40 tackles for loss (fourth in school history), along with 14 sacks, six forced fumbles, and three interceptions.
Following his senior season in 2005, Reid was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. (To this day, he remains the only Jayhawk ever to win the award.)
Reid was also named First Team All-Big 12 and AP Third Team All-America that same year.
Reid was a member of two KU bowl teams during his time at KU – the Tangerine Bowl and Fort Worth Bowl. The Jayhawks won the Fort Worth Bowl in 2005, and it was the first bowl win in a decade for the program.
"“I am truly honored to be getting this recognition, but I know for a fact, it wouldn’t have happened without my teammates,” Reid said. “To think that my children will be able to take my grandchildren to Memorial Stadium and see my name in the Ring of Honor is more than I could have ever dreamt about. I am forever grateful to be a Jayhawk.”"
In attendance for the Ring of Honor inductions will be Sands’ and Reid’s former coaches (and all-time KU coaching greats) Glen Mason and Mark Mangino.
Mason, a two-time Big Eight Coach of the Year – led the Jayhawks to two Aloha Bowl appearances in his nine years at the helm. The Jayhawks won the matchup against now-Big 12-foe BYU in 1992 and beat UCLA in 1995.
Mangino led KU to four bowl appearances, three of which the Jayhawks won – including the forever-celebrated Orange Bowl win against Virginia Tech in 2008.
For more about their KU playing days, you can listen to Sands and Reid on the latest episode of the Jayhawker Podcast.