The beginning of the Turner Gill era will have to wait another day.
Friday afternoon, Kansas University football officials announced that, because of the threat of rain in today’s weather forecast, the first practice of spring drills would be pushed back to Sunday.
Gill and the Jayhawks were scheduled to take the field at 1 p.m. today but will go instead at 3:45 p.m. Sunday. Practice is scheduled to last until 6 p.m. and is the first of 15 dates during the next four weeks that Gill and the Jayhawks will hit the field.
The final spring practice of the year will be the team’s annual Spring Game, which is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. The Spring Game is the only one of the 15 dates that is open to the public. Fans will be admitted to the game free of charge.
Here are a few highlights regarding who will take the field on Sunday, when the Jayhawks officially kick off the 2010 season:
• In all, KU returns 39 letter winners and 17 starters from last season’s 5-7 team, which began the year 5-0 but lost seven straight games to close the year.
• Five of the eight Jayhawks who started all 12 games in 2009 will return this season.
• Ten players with at least 10 career starts will suit up for for the 2010 squad.
• Sophomore running back Toben Opurum, who became the first freshman to lead the Jayhawks in rushing since 2002 (Clark Green gained 813 yards on 197 carries) will return to the KU backfield. Opurum tallied 577 yards and 10 TDs on 133 carries last season.
• Sophomore quarterback Kale Pick, who backed up Todd Reesing in 2009, will compete for the starting job with red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb and junior college transfer Quinn Mecham. Despite his status as the team’s top returning passer (4-for-5 for 22 yards in ’09), Pick led the Jayhawks in runs of 20 yards or more (3) in 2009 and also had the team’s two longest single runs of the year, 55 yards and 32 yards.
For more on what to expect this spring, check out Wednesday's story about the eight players who will start the 2010 season in a different position than the one they played in 2009.