Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New-look KU offensive line takes shape

Kansas offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski (61) works through a drill with the other linemen during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas offensive lineman Pat Lewandowski (61) works through a drill with the other linemen during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.


Positional battles continue nearly everywhere on the field as Kansas University's spring football game approaches, but the Jayhawks’ offensive line, which lost three multi-year starters from last season, is coming together.

“There’s been movement and there will continue to be movement,” KU coach Charlie Weis said of the O-Line. “Going into camp, we know where everyone’s gonna be, position-wise.”

During Tuesday’s final spring session with the media before Saturday's scrimmage, Weis said that junior-college transfer Mike Smithburg had moved to center — his more natural position — and likely would stay there.

Weis said the top options at both guard spots include juco transfer Ngalu Fusimalohi, sophomore Damon Martin and senior Randall Dent. All three have received first-team reps this spring, with Dent the most recent lineman to make the leap.

“We have a chance of throwing a pretty physical offensive line out there,” Weis said.

As for KU’s depth up front, Weis said senior tackle Riley Spencer had worked his way back into contention behind junior Pat Lewandowski at left tackle and that red-shirt freshman Brian Beckmann had looked better than expected behind starting right tackle Aslam Sterling.

Receiver update

Early this spring, Weis said senior Christian Matthews and junior Justin McCay would start at wide receiver if the Jayhawks had to play a game this spring. The same message rang true Tuesday.

“If we had to play today, they would start,” Weis said.

Both began the spring as second-string players before moving to the first unit in the first week of practices. One wideout who took a major step forward during the past week was sophomore Tre’ Parmalee.

“We challenged him,” Weis said. “He’s young, and a lot of times when you’re young, you’re not real physical, but he’s been significantly improved over the last week and change.”


spenc1324 5 years ago

Tre is gonna be a beast yall just watch keep that Kansas chip on your shoulder Tre and show this country what your all about!!!

Adam Tyler 5 years ago

I agree 100%.

I just wish he had a chance to red-shirt and mature for another year.

David Leathers 5 years ago

Parmalee should be an exciting player to watch but I doubt he'll ever have quite the impact that I anticipate coming from Tony Pierson this year. If Weis is the football genius that I think he is, Pierson could end up with some awards at the end of the season. I'm more interested in seeing what Dave Campo does with the defense this year. I hate to say it, but I'm stirring up the Kool-Aid again, except this time I'm going to wait to take a sip. No doubt that KU football is headed in the right path, and this alone excites me.

kay_you 5 years ago

My doctor has me on a non kool aid diet. We’ve had 3 dismal seasons of football so I have no predictions and I’ll take each game one at a time with no expectations.

spenc1324 5 years ago

Yeah that would have been nice unfortunately with the state of our program we don't have the luxury to red shirt our best players. If wies don't win at least 2 games this year mainly 1 in the conference he may not be our coach next year which I think would be a tragedy.

Jonathan Briles 5 years ago

His seat may get warm, but his contract has all the money guaranteed so I don't think we would fire him. We would owe him far too much money to send him out of town.

texashawk10 5 years ago

Didn't stop Zenger from running Gill out of town after 2 years. Of course unlike Gill Weis actually has a plan to get KU to a competitive level and it'll take more than 2 years for Charlie's plan to pan out. I believe Zenger will give Weis his full 5 years to try and build KU because Zenger knows you don't turn a crappy program around 2 years from his time with Snyder at KSU.

texashawk10 5 years ago

The trenches are the key to every good team. A good line (on either side) can mask a lot of weaknesses on a team (not all) and a bad line can make quality players behind them look average to awful. Play mean, play nasty and don't take crap from anybody on the other side of the ball.

spenc1324 5 years ago

I definitely don't want this to happen BUT if we lay another egg in conference play his seat will be on fire and the alumni already proved they will fire and payout a coach just like gill. All we need is 1 win in conference and the alumni will be ok. I think we will get at least 2 in conference wins and at least 2 non and we win at least 4 this year making this conversation moot I am definitely glad to see everybody excited about football as I am. Lets go get em this year. ROCK CHALK!!

David Leathers 5 years ago

I agree that if the circumstance was different that the alumni wouldn't hesitate after another winless conference season to fire the coach. In this case, The alumni can and will see the vast differences between the nice guy Turner Gill and the disciplinarian Charlie Weis. Weis is a man with a plan, and I have faith that it will work.

kay_you 5 years ago

Has Mangino been paid off? What about Gill?

Matt Tait 5 years ago

Both have been fully compensated for a long time...

spenc1324 5 years ago

Yeah not getting blown out 60-10 every week like we did under Gill its not hard to get better than that. Unfortunately all the alumni looks at is W and L. And our L far out weigh the W as of late even worse on conference. They wanna see W this year even if it is only 2 with 1 coming in conference that would be considered an ok season.

Carolyn Troupe 5 years ago

Absolutely. I thought our O-line did a great job last year. We had a qback who couldn't throw an accurate pass and/or receivers who couldn't get open and hold onto a ball that was thrown accurately. Most often, Crist had all the time he should have needed. When he was sacked, it was not the line's fault, it was that he took too long. You can't hold your block forever. Plus, they opened some great holes for the RBs.

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