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Right tackle spot unsettled for Kansas football

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Kansas offensive lineman Antione Frazier (75) and the Jayhawks head out to the field through the smoke prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas offensive lineman Antione Frazier (75) and the Jayhawks head out to the field through the smoke prior to kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

On offenses led by right-handed quarterbacks a coach usually will put his most talented offensive lineman at left tackle to protect the quarterback's blind side. If a team's offensive tackles are comparable in ability and experience and one happens to be left-handed, he likely will line up at left tackle and the right-handed blocker will be at right tackle.

Kansas opened camp with the right-handed Hakeem Adeniji at left tackle and left-handed Antione Frazier at right tackle. Adeniji has a year of experience at left tackle. Frazier appeared in the season-opener and never again, so it wasn't a tough decision. Frazier will have plenty of time in fall camp getting used to having his right hand on the ground and right foot back before the season opener, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

Strength and conditioning coach Zac Woodfin was extremely impressed with Frazier's pro-active attitude during camp and liked the way his body responded to a nutrition and lifting plan designed to add good weight. Frazier arrived at Kansas 250 pounds and is up to 285 and it's not a soft 285.

Frazier's a work in progress and had a rough time keeping defensive end Josh Ehambe from getting to the quarterback in the spring game. The coaches love his quick feet and earnest attitude.

Based on the 20-minute window open to reporters from Tuesday's practice, it appears Frazier was working at right tackle with the first-team offensive line, Zach Hannon the second team and Charles Baldwin, wearing No. 58 for the practice instead of his normal number, 72, was with the third team.

Hannon, a graduate of Rockhurst High, spent four years on a football scholarship at Nebraksa and graduated with a degree in marketing/management. Kansas did its research on Hannon and found that he was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll three times, brought a positive attitude and consistent work ethic on a daily basis, took his special-teams work seriously and did not have the same degree of athleticism/agility that those ahead of him on the depth chart at Nebraska had. In games, he strictly was used as a special-teams player.

Ideally, Baldwin will go after a starting spot with more gusto than he ever has gone after anything in his life and will land it and Frazier can continue to develop while backing up both tackle spots. But if Baldwin hasn't done so to this point, it might be a bit unrealistic to think that he'll transform from someone who apparently has fallen all the way to third team into Charlie Hustle Baldwin overnight.

The other four spots on the offensive line look to be pretty close to settled, with Adeniji at left tackle, Jayson Rhodes at left guard, Mesa Ribordy at center and Larry Hughes at right guard. The right tackle position is one worth watching throughout camp.

Comments

Brett McCabe 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Disappointing to see Baldwin fall so far, so fast. We offered the scholarship, however, so at least 50% of the responsibility lies with the staff. He wasn't a developmental prospect from high school, he was known entity.

An earlier column included comments from at least one player highlighting Ehambe as the most improved player on the team, so let's hope that it was Ehambe and not Frazier who made the impression at the spring game.

At the end of the day, most coaches go with the guy they can trust rather than the guy who might have the most ability. Looks like Frazier has earned some trust and Hannon has done the same.

Chris DeWeese 2 months, 2 weeks ago

This is a bit surprising considering how highly touted Baldwin was. He has all the tools, presumably the size and strength, to hang with B12 defenses. I'm curious what it is specifically that has caused him to fall to 3rd team (lack of effort, inability to read D line schemes, lack of communication, not accepting feedback/coaching). I also wonder if it's at all related to the reason he was dismissed from Alabama. You would think he would've ironed all this out during spring, but I guess not. He can still ramp things up in time for the first game. We do have a bit of depth now, so if he doesn't make it back to the two deep, it's not catastrophic.

Dirk Medema 2 months, 2 weeks ago

It sounds a lot like what Coach was talking about yesterday. No matter who you are or where you are from you still have to earn it.

Some players are gamers. They just perform better when the lights are brighter than they do in practice. It is probably easier for bigger or more talented players to fall into this category but I'm also guessing most coaches would say the gamers are not maximizing their potential if they are not developing with full effort in practice.

It also sounds from Beaty's comments like it might have to do with responsibilities off the field as well as on.

John Fitzgerald 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Talk about being overrated. I wonder how he feels to get all this hype then be dropped down to 3rd string on a team that's arguably one of the worst in D-1. A coward would cry and make excuses. A man owns up to it and fights his way back to the top. We'll find out which one Baldwin is by the end of camp.

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