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Friday, May 7, 2010

KU depth chart doesn’t reveal No. 1 QB

Kale Pick runs drills in spring practice on March 28. Pick is in a quarterback battle with Jordan Webb.

Kale Pick runs drills in spring practice on March 28. Pick is in a quarterback battle with Jordan Webb.

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The first official Kansas University football depth chart of the Turner Gill era is out and, as expected, it provides no definitive answer to the question of who will start under center for the Jayhawks this fall.

Red-shirt sophomore Kale Pick and red-shirt freshman Jordan Webb essentially are listed as co-No. 1’s, with Pick’s name appearing first and Webb coming next with the word, “OR,” stashed in front of his name.

Pick, who played sparingly last season as the backup to Todd Reesing, was the most productive player in this year’s spring game, hitting on 14-of-22 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. That performance may have led to him being listed first but does not necessarily indicate that he is the current leader.

Following the spring game, Gill said the competition for the starting quarterback job would continue into August and was down to Pick and Webb. In the days since the game, the first-year KU coach has maintained that position.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a leader,” Gill said. “But I can say Webb and Pick are the two guys. And they’re going to continue to battle it out as we go on.”

Another position worth noting is running back, where sixth-year senior Angus Quigley currently is listed as first string with red-shirt freshman Deshaun Sands listed as his backup. The team’s top returning rusher, Toben Opurum, who ran for 554 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009, missed the end of last season and admitted this spring that he was not yet completely healthy.

“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent. I’m not going to lie to you about that,” he said. “But I’m out here, I’m moving around with everybody. We say it every year, but this year I really feel like we have a chance to have great depth with our running backs. We all bring a different style to how we run.”

The rest of the depth chart featured few surprises, especially when taking into account the fact that several potential starters were injured for most, if not all, of spring drills.

The offensive line shapes up with sophomore Tanner Hawkinson at left tackle, senior Sal Capra at left guard, junior Jeremiah Hatch at center, sophomore Trevor Marrongelli at right guard and senior Brad Thorson at right tackle. Junior Jeff Spikes is listed as a second-stringer behind Thorson.

At the crowded wide receiver position, senior Johnathan Wilson, junior Daymond Patterson and sophomore Bradley McDougald were listed as starters. Patterson also is listed as the first option at both punt returner and kickoff returner.

On the defensive side of the ball, seniors Calvin Rubles and Chris Harris emerged from a group of eight candidates at the cornerback position while sophomore Lubbock Smith and senior Phillip Strozier were listed as first-team safeties.

Up front, the D-line includes junior Jake Laptad, an honorable mention all-Big 12 selection in 2009, and red-shirt freshman Kevin Young at defensive end with juniors Patrick Dorsey and Richard Johnson listed as first-team defensive tackles. Senior Jamal Greene, who often was praised by Gill for his play during spring drills, is listed behind Dorsey.

In the middle, Huldon Tharp and Steven Johnson are listed as first-team outside linebackers with senior Justin Springer starting at middle linebacker. Senior Drew Dudley, the team’s leading returning tackler from 2009, was injured this spring and held out of most contact drills.

Though the depth chart makes for good fodder for fans to debate and dissect, Gill has said time and again that the final version won’t be set until practice picks back up in August.

“There’ll be competition at every position,” Gill said. “Obviously, quarterback’s going to get all of the attention; I understand that. But we’re going to make it where there’s competition at every position.”

Comments

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 8 months ago

Im' a little surprised that Sands is listed ahead of Opurum, but I guess it doesn't necessarily mean anything at this point. I'm a big fan of Toben and Angus. Toben just seems like such a great kid both last year and this year. I hope that he gets back to 100% soon and is a difference maker for us this year.

I am excited about Sands though, I really didn't know what to expect from him. He's got the pedigree. He's a southern Florida guy, which may or may not mean anything, but it should at least mean that he's played against good competition.

I'm not too surprised with the defense. It's the same guys as last year for the most part... got a few new faces.

KUFan90 11 years, 8 months ago

I think Sands is listed ahead of Opurum just because of O's injury...

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 8 months ago

it's Pick's job to lose, IMO, despite what the depth chart says. HCTG is just trying to hedge, and keep open the competition going into the fall.

this depth chart is not the starting 22 for the home opener. i guarantee some folks will change before the end of August. so in that mode, this depth chart means nothing.

KGphoto 11 years, 8 months ago

Okay, I may be on a little Bourbon bender here, but why no talk about the potential of new recruits to break the chart come August?

I absolutely love Quigs, not only getting another shot, but "for real" getting another shot, to run the ball. Between him and Opurum there is much pain to be dealt. But from what I've seen out of BB, you can't keep him off the field.

And how about DT Jeremiah Edwards and DE Pat Lewendowski? There are so many other guys that have a chance to crack this depth chart.

S Dexter McDonald WR Ricki Herod RB James Sims RB Darian Miller

God I would hate to be a running back on this team. There are 7 legitimate players fighting for a couple of spots next year. Poor Rell Lewis never really had a chance.

So, I know it's not PC for a coach to talk about players who aren't there yet, but you gotta believe that he recruited these guys with a purpose. So c'mon KUsports.com, lets throw around a few names. Get the skinny on who's gonna make a splash this fall.

KGphoto 11 years, 8 months ago

Oops. Scratch Miller. I think he's 2011.

jmsuther 11 years, 8 months ago

KU has a lot of talent at running back this year. I just hope we will be running it from under center more than we showed in the spring game, our backs havent been able to do anything for the past 2 years because they are having to avoid a guy before they get to the line. Hope sands can devlope, KU hasent had a big play running back really since John Randle,

Matt Kenton 11 years, 8 months ago

Sorry for the negative post, but I can't let this go...

There are no longer last names on the back of the jerseys because 'there are no individuals here, we are all one team, etc, etc.'

But during spring practice we have first AND last names on the FRONT of the helmet!?!?

kuhawk78 11 years, 8 months ago

KUMatt2001,

That is for the coaches benefit, they dont know who all the players are yet. We had that on our helmets the first couple weeks of practice even in high school.

pup35 11 years, 8 months ago

Sorry kuhawk78...we must have been typing at the same time.

pup35 11 years, 8 months ago

That's for the coaching staff to familiarize themselves with the players. Normally it's just last names, but I assmue they want to be a little more personal with the players and use first names too.

shelleysue 11 years, 8 months ago

I for one think that thought behind no names on the jerseys is ridiculous. Fans like to see the names plus I think it gives each player a sense of pride. They all wear the same jerseys so everyone knows they are Kansas Jayhawks football ... one team. They also need to be individuals, so I just really don't understand the logic.

KCHawk81 11 years, 8 months ago

Shelleysue, I believe there was already a spirited discussion about that here: http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/fe...

Did you have some new information to add about Rudy's?

Matt Kenton 11 years, 8 months ago

KUhawk and pup, that is my point exactly... So you are saying that it is helpful for identifying players by placing their name on the uniform? Huh, that is a novel concept. I wonder if there is a way we could put their name somewhere so the fans can easily identify players too... Hmmm.

DutchMo 11 years, 8 months ago

KuMatt, really the only other place you could put a name other then the helmet would be on the back of the jersies, but Coach Gill decided not to do that. I think other teams are going to be intimadated by the names on the helmets anyway, just think about a D linemen staring at your name before he gets plowed over by you. He won't be forgetting that anytime soon!

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 8 months ago

It is going to be a long summer. Can't wait for football season. How about articles speculating on what we will see, what we won't see like defensive schemes, offensive schemes, offensive strategies.

I am in the prognosticating mood so:

KU will beat NDSU at home, but it may not look pretty. NDSU has a pretty good program. 1-0

KU will get embarrassed by GTech at home. People will start to wonder and we will hear early grumblings about the hiring of TG. The Coach will get very conservative in future games that could get ugly and will instill more of a ball-control offense to keep the high rollers down in the 40s anyway. 1-1

KU will lose to So. Miss in a grudge match for taking Torbush, et al from the staff. 1-2

Team matures and improving week to week gradually with some tinkering by the staff. KU beats NMSU at home. 2-2

KU travels to Baylor and plays a tough game, but loses. 2-3

Wilcats come to town and dominate every phase of the game. More grumbling. 2-4

Homecoming and A&M comes to town. KU seems like a different team and thoroughly beat the visitors. 3-4

KU travels to Ames and beats ISU in a slug-fest for its first road win. ISU has been playing well and this upset will get a little more confidence going. 4-4

Colorado comes to Lawrence and the players from last year remember that awful game in Boulder last year and smash the Buffalos thoroughly in Lawrence. 5-4

KU travels to Lincoln and appear to be moving the ball on the opening drive when two consecutive 15-yd penalties kill the drive. After this occurs several times, NU is up several tds and the refs then let the players play the game. Of course KU never recovers and the spin is what a resurgence Nebraska has had. Nevertheless, the Hawks show heart and play a tough game to the last second. Every Hawk knows that next year is going to be different, and of course, it is. 5-5

The big shocker. OSU comes to Lawrence and loses. KU grits it out and wins it to the surprise of many. 6-5

Border War. God, I hate Mizzu, but we lose anyway. MU is having a good season and just has too much offensive firepower for the Hawk D. 6-6

KU goes bowling and beats Illinois to finish 7-6. Lots of signs for encouragement.
Recruiting in 2011 exceeds all expectations.

Jonathan Briles 11 years, 8 months ago

There was a lot I agreed with with you post, but there were a few things mixed up. First off, NDSU does not have a good football program. They only won three games last year and they are not really looking to get any better. Also Torbush did not come from Southern Miss, he is from Mississippi State. Gill looks to have a run first offense from the get go and keep the other team off the field. I also have to disagree with the wildcats dominating us in every aspect of the game. There team has been inconsistent through the spring and I believe that we will beat them quite handily. I think by then the players will understand the system have baught into Gill and will have no trouble at all handling the Cats. Other than that though I agree with you on everything else for the most part, except for the fact I think we stick it to the tigers RCJH.

JBurtin 11 years, 8 months ago

Lol, I love the specifics on the Nebraska game. LMAO

troutsee 11 years, 8 months ago

I see us doing better than 6-6. KSU will be lucky to beat us. Baylor will be tough down there. I think every game will be close. GT runs the wishbone, which all college teams have a tough time defending. However, Gill was playing during the wishbone days and I think we will be ready for them. Thus, that game could go either way. I think we will beat S. Miss (incidently,Torbush came from Miss State). ISU will be real tough at Ames, as they usually are. It'll be tough to get out of there with a win. However, I just have this feeling in my gut that we will be better than a lot of people think. The cupboard is not exactly bare. Gill is stressing the importance of turnovers, and if we fare better in this area than we did this year, look out. Prediction..8-4.

The best QB is Pick. He will be the starter.

gardenjay 11 years, 8 months ago

I've seen it before - even beating Oklahoma - and I believe in heart, and if it's there you can throw away those stupid rivals.com ratings. Grab some life and show the b-ball team how to run the table AND win your bowl game.

Put the men back on the KU Crew team and KU swim team.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 8 months ago

I stand corrected. Now, because football news is too slow for me, my second article in speculation, how the Big 12 will become the Big 8 times 2.

Missouri, Nebraska go to Big 10. Hate to lose Little Red Riding Hoods, but love to see the Tiggers move on. Colorado joins the Pac 10. Big 12 adds Arkansas, Southern Miss, Colorado State, TCU, Miss. State, Air Force, and New Mexico. The Big 16 split East/West.

East: S. Miss, Texas, Iowa State, Arkansas, TTech, Kansas, Miss St., and Baylor West: Colorado State, Air Force, New Mex, Texas A&M, K-State, OU, TCU and OSU.

Can we really get anyone out of the SEC? In a new super-conference, maybe. Fun to speculate though. I think some schools may just opt for a change of scenery. I actually think Air Force, CSU, and TCU are doable and would be good additions to the conference. I think it reasonable for So. Miss and Miss. State to question their fortunes in football if they stay where they are. Of course Arkansas would be a steal and probably no chance of that happening but then who knows. Thoughts?

troutsee 11 years, 8 months ago

Not much chance of getting Arkansas or Miss State. Boise State, Houston, or Wyoming would also be reasonable candidates.

Texas could go Pac 10 too.

I think Mizzou, if given the opportunity, will bolt. I don't see NU accepting an offer to play in the Big 10.

Randy Bombardier 11 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, I think I agree with you Trout, that NU will stay home. Good riddens to MU. Frankly, would love to see it. Hope Texas does not go, but see them going to SEC as the biggest possibility, but I think that would be a major mistake in the long run for them. Had not thought of Texas and the Pac 10. Gosh, they could dominate that conference I think. Don't see them in the Big 10 as some articles suggest they are being courted. Geographically that does not work. One has to think of all the other sports that have to travel. Houston would make a good replacement in the Big 12. What about the East/West allignment? The reason I like it is that the power teams being mostly in the South can be broken up.

MitchumMan 11 years, 8 months ago

If MU bolts to the Big 10 (which sounds like it's going to happen) and nobody else besides CU leaves, then I don't see UT going anywhere. This conference is setup around them basically. They control way too much for them to head over to the PAC-10. If we want to add 2 teams to keep the way we have it, It would be great if the Big12 could land Arkansas, but don't see it happening. If we do land two more teams I could see OU and OSU moving up to take MU's and CU's spot in the Big 12 North.

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