Advertisement

Monday, August 26, 2019

7 starting jobs up for grabs on KU’s 1st published depth chart

Kansas center Api Mane, left, and defensive tackle Jelani Brown go head-to-head in the Jayhawk drill during practice on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Kansas center Api Mane, left, and defensive tackle Jelani Brown go head-to-head in the Jayhawk drill during practice on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Advertisement

The starting quarterback job isn’t the only one on the Kansas football team that remains unresolved as the Jayhawks go through game week preparations for their season opener.

The first published depth chart of the Les Miles era arrived Monday, and it lists seven first string spots up for grabs ahead of KU’s Saturday debut versus Indiana State.

While the QB battle between junior Thomas MacVittie and senior Carter Stanley has received the most attention throughout the preseason, five other starting spots on the offensive two deep came with two names separated by an “or” instead of one definitive starter.

As one might expect, a few of those inconclusive spots exist up front, where Miles and offensive line coach Luke Meadows had already made clear their plans to rotate players.

Senior left tackle Hakeem Adeniji and junior left guard Malik Clark are the only absolute O-line starters on the depth chart, while KU has options at each of the other three spots: junior Api Mane or senior Andru Tovi at center; junior Chris Hughes or junior Adagio Lopeti at right guard; and senior Kevin Feder or senior Clyde McCauley III at right tackle.

“I have to be honest with you, I think our line is going to get comfortable in that spot,” Miles said during his Monday press conference of the three positions to the right of Adeniji and Clark. “I think those guys are talented and they’ll play a lot of football.”

Besides QB, the depth chart also vacillates at two other spots in the backfield. With sophomore running back Pooka Williams Jr. suspended for the opener after his offseason domestic battery charge, KU will start either senior Khalil Herbert or junior Dom Williams.

The starting fullback spot also remains tentative, with senior Hudson Hall and sophomore transfer Ben Miles listed as potential starters.

The only other position where Miles and his staff remain in evaluation mode is at place kicker. As the head coach and special teams coordinator Mike Ekeler said previously, the competition involves freshman Jacob Borcila and junior Liam Jones.

“It’s very close,” Miles said. “I would think in this season it’s likely that both could play. Liam Jones is hot as a firecracker, just knocking the tar out of the ball. And we’re getting great specialist play.”

Outside of the ambiguous spots for the offense, joining Adeniji and Clark as conclusive starters on the depth chart are receivers Stephon Robinson, Daylon Charlot and Andrew Parchment, as well as tight end Jack Luavasa.

The defensive two deep, meanwhile, includes no pending starting jobs.

While some uncertainty existed about who would start at various spots up front before the depth chart was released, it seemed most of the No. 1 positions in the secondary were more fixed.

The biggest surprise on the published depth chart came at one of the cornerback spots, where sophomore Corione Harris was listed as a reserve and junior Kyle Mayberry appeared on top of the two deep.

Harris started 11 games for KU as a true freshman in 2018, while Mayberry took a redshirt season. Miles didn’t provide a lot of details when asked what went into the decision.

“I think Kyle has had a really good camp, OK,” Miles said. “I think Corione Harris is also going to play a lot of football.”

Elsewhere in the secondary, senior Hasan Defense also is a first-string cornerback, with senior Mike Lee at free safety and senior Jeremiah McCullough at back safety. Though he has been listed at safety on the roster, senior Bryce Torneden will start at the “Hawk” spot, as almost a hybrid outside linebacker and defensive back.

On the defensive line, senior Darrius Moragne and junior Sam Burt are listed as first-team defensive ends, along with senior Jelani Brown at nose tackle.

The starting “Jack” position, where KU will play its primary pass rusher, belongs to senior Azur Kamara. At its three linebacker starting spots, KU lists senior Najee Stevens-McKenzie as the strong side outside linebacker, junior Kyron Johnson in the middle and junior Dru Prox as the weak side inside linebacker.

On special teams, Jones will continue to handle kickoffs, junior Kyle Thompson is the starting punter and junior Logan Klusman is the top long snapper.

It appears junior Kwamie Lassiter II will be the primary punt returner, with Robinson listed as another option.

On kick returns, redshirt freshman speedster Jamahl Horne will be joined by true freshman cornerback Kenny Logan Jr.

Junior Donovan Gagen is listed first at holder, followed by graduate transfer Manny Miles.

KU Football Depth Chart

Week 1 vs. Indiana State

OFFENSE

LT - Hakeem Adeniji

Earl Bostick Jr. OR Antione Frazier

LG - Malik Clark

Jacobi Lott

C - Api Mane OR Andru Tovi

RG Chris Hughes OR Adagio Lopeti

RT Kevin Feder or Clyde McCauley III

TE - Jack Luavasa

James Sosinski OR Mason Fairchild

FB - Hudson Hall OR Ben Miles

RB - Khalil Herbert OR Dom Williams

Velton Gardner

QB - Thomas MacVittie OR Carter Stanley

Manny Miles

Z WR - Stephon Robinson

Evan Fairs

X WR - Daylon Charlot

Kameron McQueen

Jamahl Horne OR Ezra Naylor

H WR - Andrew Parchment

Kwamie Lassiter II

Quan Hampton

DEFENSE

DE - Darrius Moragne

Caleb Sampson

Jelani Arnold

NT - Jelani Brown

Da’Jon Terry

Reuben Lewis

DE - Sam Burt

Codey Cole III OR Marcus Harris

Jack - Azur Kamara

Steven Parker

Sam - Najee Stevens-McKenzie

Willie McCaleb

Shaq Richmond

Will - Dru Prox

Gavin Potter

Mike - Kyron Johnson

Jay Dineen OR Cooper Root

Hawk - Bryce Torneden

Nate Betts

CB - Hasan Defense

Elijah Jones

Elmore Hempstead Jr.

FS - Mike Lee

Ricky Thomas

BS - Jeremiah McCullough

Davon Ferguson

CB - Kyle Mayberry

Corione Harris

Kenny Logan Jr.

SPECIALISTS

KO - Liam Jones

PK - Jacob Borcila OR Liam Jones

P - Kyle Thompson

Donovan Gagen

LS - Logan Klusman

Kolin Hayes

PR - Kwamie Lassiter II

Stephon Robinson

KR - Jamahl Horne

Kenny Logan Jr.

Holder - Donovan Gagen

Manny Miles

Comments

Dirk Medema 1 year, 6 months ago

Very interesting to see the new names rising and sometimes over more established players. Hopefully it’s from greater improvement not declining.

Any Malcolm Lee news? Was thinking he was going to contribute this year and potentially significantly. He had the dui arrest earlier this summer but haven’t seen a follow up. Was expecting him to get a suspension and maybe that’s why he’s not listed here at all.

1 year, 6 months ago

from the other article: "He’s not on the depth chart at this moment,” Miles said Monday. “When he’s eligible, we’ll certainly include him.” He is scheduled to appear in municipal court on Tuesday for a plea hearing.

Titus Canby 1 year, 6 months ago

Never heard of the Jack or Hawk positions until this. Benton, thanks for explaining what they are.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.