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Open KU football practice provides hints of what depth chart could look like

Kansas quarterback Thomas MacVittie looks to take a snap from offensive lineman Api Mane on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the indoor practice facility.

Kansas quarterback Thomas MacVittie looks to take a snap from offensive lineman Api Mane on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the indoor practice facility. by Nick Krug

If Kansas football coach Les Miles and his assistants currently have a depth chart they feel good about during the final stage of spring practices, they’re certainly not making it public.

However, during the Jayhawks’ open practice on Thursday — a light, pads-free warmup for Saturday’s spring game — the 11-on-11 session provided a glimpse of what KU’s two-deep just might look like right about now.

The first-string units that were in place for the 13th practice of the spring may not even look exactly the same when the Jayhawks reconvene under the lights for No. 14, when fans will get to watch KU scrimmage at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Still, this particular practice was the first prolonged opportunity those outside of the program have had this spring to watch the offense and defense go toe-to-toe.

More players will join the roster in the summer, and some undoubtedly will factor into the two-deep at preseason camp. So it’s safe to describe the current state of the various position battles as fluid.

For Thursday at least, here’s who started on each side of the ball when the team period began inside KU’s new indoor practice facility.

None by Benton Smith

OFFENSE

QB - Thomas MacVittie

RB - Dom Williams

WRs - Daylon Charlot, Andrew Parchment, Kwamie Lassiter II

TE - Jack Luavasa

LT - Hakeem Adeniji

LG - Malik Clark

C - Api Mane

RG - Chris Hughes

RT - Clyde McCauley III

DEFENSE

DE - Cody Cole

NT - Jelani Brown

DE - Darrius Moragne

Hawk - Azur Kamara

LB - Drew Harvey

LB - Dru Prox

CB - Hasan Defense

S - Bryce Torneden

S - Mike Lee

S - Davon Ferguson

CB - Corione Harris

After all of those presumed current starters took a fair amount of reps, coaches rotated in other Jayhawks.

Here are the players who showed up most often in reserve roles as KU spent most of its afternoon session pitting the offense against the defense.

OFFENSE

QB - Carter Stanley

RB - Khalil Herbert

WRs - Takulve Williams, Ezra Naylor, Stephon Robinson Jr.

TE - James Sosinski

LT - Earl Bostick Jr.

LG - Jacobi Lott

C - Andru Tovi

RG - Adagio Lopeti

RT - Antione Frazier

DEFENSE

DE - Willie McCaleb

NT - Sam Burt

DE - Jelani Arnold

Hawk - Najee Stevens-McKenzie

LB - Kyron Johnson

LB - Cooper Root

CB - Kyle Mayberry

S - Ricky Thomas

S - Jeremiah McCullough

S - Shaquille Richmond

CB - Elijah Jones and Elmore Hempstead Jr.

Other reserves got their fair share of reps at the practice, as well. These are the other backups who participated during the 11-on-11 work.

OFFENSE

QBs - Miles Kendrick and Torry Locklin

RB - Donovan Franklin

WRs - Kameron McQueen and Evan Fairs

FBs - Sam Schroeder and Mac Copeland

OL - Joey Gilbertson and Kevin Feder

DEFENSE

DL - Jalan Robinson

LB - Robert Topps III

S - DeAnte Ford and Julian Chandler

Again, there were no pads involved, so there wasn’t any real hitting or tackling. But there were some players who stood out as the KU football program opened its practice up to both the student population and members of the media.

A senior safety, Mike Lee, intercepted two passes on the afternoon. Another defensive back from New Orleans, junior safety Ricky Thomas, made another pick.

None by Shane Jackson

Although several receivers had a crack or two at some deep shots, it was junior Stephon Robinson Jr. who hauled one in successfully, despite solid coverage.

What was the most impressive catch of the day? Quarterback Thomas MacVittie gave that honor to one of the tight ends.

“I think our tight end, Sosa, had a one-handed, kind of behind him,” MacVittie recalled of a snag by senior James Sosinski that drew oohs and ahhs from his teammates nearby on the sideline.

“That just shows how athletic he is,” MacVittie added of the grab.

None by Shane Jackson

KU’s spring game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday. It will be available to stream on ESPN+ and broadcast locally and throughout the state on various cable platforms.

Reply 5 comments from Dirk Medema Chriss Dillon Davis Jerry Ryan

‘Painful’ early-morning conditioning work introduced Jayhawks to Les Miles’ standards

Kansas quarterback Thomas MacVittie pulls back to throw during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility.

Kansas quarterback Thomas MacVittie pulls back to throw during football practice on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 within the new indoor practice facility. by Nick Krug

Don’t bring up the Kansas football team’s offseason conditioning sessions around Thomas MacVittie if you don’t want an honest response.

And if for some reason there happen to be children nearby when you do broach the subject with the junior quarterback, just tell the kids to earmuff it before MacVittie is reminded of those pre-sunrise sprints.

“(Expletive),” was MacVittie’s instant and visceral reaction when those workouts were mentioned.

Head coach Les Miles, his assistants and KU’s strength and conditioning staff made a point in February and early March, before the team’s spring football practices began, to push the players with intense conditioning work that doubled as a wake-up call — and an early one at that.

“It’s hard to kind of put into words, because there’s so many pieces that went into that puzzle,” MacVittie elaborated a few weeks back, when asked about how challenging that form of training was for the players. “First of all, waking up at 5 in the morning was a struggle, knowing the stuff that you were about to go through.”

The conditioning began promptly at 5:55 a.m. And even Miles admitted the workouts were not exactly designed to bring joy to the players’ lives.

“It tests you,” the KU football coach said. “It’s painful.”

However, as MacVittie would explain, the players understood how important it was to experience those mental and physical demands. A 6-foot-5, 215-pound QB from Cincinnati, Ohio, MacVittie said even though he’s no early riser, he appreciated the discipline instilled in the Jayhawks through the process.

To further their early a.m. misery, MacVittie said the coaches used what he called a “ding” system while watching the players’ runs. Any time a player failed to touch a certain line while sprinting back and forth on the turf at the indoor practice facility that player got dinged for coming up short.

“They time every rep that you have,” MacVittie added. “So if your rep is a couple of seconds (off), you’re not trying as hard, you’re dinged for that.”

According to Miles, the Jayhawks had to run “perfect sprints” at the very end of each morning workout, and they went through eight drills that were “very much like football games.”

The scrutiny didn’t end there, though. MacVittie said the whole coaching staff would watch video footage of the conditioning sessions “for two hours” after each one concluded. Each and every drill and every last Jayhawk was accounted for, thanks to the multiple cameras that captured every second of it from every feasible angle.

Even the players who were waiting in line had to be in “an athletic position,” with their wrists above their knees.

“And if you weren’t,” MacVittie said, “you would get dinged.”

As the Jayhawks endured it all, there was also a T-shirt system that measured their progress. MacVittie said everybody started off in gray KU football T-shirts. A player would receive a white one to wear if coaches deemed that particular Jayhawk was showing proper progress. What’s more, if players were what the QB described as “super-disciplined,” they got to wear a blue T-shirt.

What did that signify?

“You’re being a leader. You’re excelling in the things you need to do and you’re driving the team. Everybody was striving for the blues,” MacVittie shared. “If you got one ding you couldn’t get a blue shirt.”

Of course, all of this also made it easier for the Jayhawks to transition to spring football practice mode, once that began on March 6.

“I think it shows to the team that the details matter,” MacVittie said of the idea he took away from those demanding drills and sprints. “The details are why you win in the fourth quarter or overtime. Details are important. They’re going to be a first down or a fumble. It’s that small. It’s that small, getting your wrists above your knees. It’s that small, touching the line.

“That’s going to win games, believe it or not,” MacVittie said, “just that discipline.”

Reply 10 comments from Greg Ledom Dirk Medema Brett McCabe Mcgirl Brian Hosfelt Estebanbugatti Len Shaffer Rockchalk1990 Daddioku

KU’s Peyton Bender projected in bottom 20 percent of FBS starting QBs

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) throws during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender (7) throws during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Spring football came and went in Lawrence without anyone knowing for sure who will open the 2018 season as the starting quarterback at Kansas. But if forced today to take a stab at the winner of the competition nearly four months ahead of the Jayhawks’ season opener, the safest bet would be senior Peyton Bender.

So even though some KU football supporters might think new sophomore QB Miles Kendrick or redshirt junior Carter Stanley would be better suited for the job, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given the unpredictability of the battle, that Athlon Sports rolled with Bender when ranking the top starting quarterbacks in FBS.

A 6-foot-1 senior who began his college career at Washington State and played at Itawamba Community College (Miss.) one season before transferring to Kansas, Bender started eight games and threw for 1,609 yards (20th all-time at KU), 10 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while completing 54.2 percent of his 273 throws in 2017. Those numbers landed Bender at No. 108 out of 130 passers on the list.

“The Jayhawks have finished last in the Big 12 in scoring offense for eight consecutive seasons,” Steven Lassan wrote for Athlon. “Without better play under center in 2018, that streak is likely to extend to nine.”

Bender didn’t finish last among Power Five quarterbacks. That unflattering distinction went to Illinois’ Cam Thomas (116th). Another Big Ten QB, who happens to be on KU’s schedule this fall, Rutgers’ Artur Sitkowski (110th) also ranked behind Bender. The only other QB from a power conference lower than Bender was Oregon State’s Jake Luton (109th).

While Bender registered closer to 130th-ranked Kilton Anderson of Coastal Carolina, one of his Big 12 peers, West Virginia senior Will Grier, is Athlon’s No. 1 QB in the country.

The majority of the league’s other quarterbacks ended up closer to, or in, the middle of the pack: Baylor’s Charlie Brewer (32nd), Iowa State’s Kyle Kempt (33rd), Texas’ Sam Ehlinger (34th), Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (35th), Kansas State’s Skylar Thompson (54th), TCU’s Shawn Robinson (70th) and Oklahoma State’s Dru Brown (77th). The only Big 12 QB in Bender’s neighborhood was Texas Tech’s McLane Carter (97th).

Although Bender experienced enough turmoil in his debut season with KU that he lost the starting job seven games into 2017, Stanley didn’t show enough to win the gig for himself entering the off-season, and Kansas brought in sophomore junior college transfer Kendrick to enter the fray this spring.

The battle to become KU’s starting QB could very well continue through the week of preparation leading up to the team’s Sept. 1 opener versus Nicholls State. Bender didn’t do well during his junior year when the offensive line broke down, so if the coaching staff envisions such scenarios becoming commonplace again in 2018, Bender might not end up starting.

But if head coach David Beaty and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham see enough promise and improvement up front from O-line coach A.J. Ricker’s group, it could become Bender’s job to lose. A fifth-year player — he took a redshirt his first season at WSU, in 2014 — Bender has studied and made throws in some version or other of the Air Raid longer than Stanley or Kendrick. Plus, Bender projects as the most consistent downfield passer.

If Kansas can find a way to balance its offense by featuring Khalil Herbert, Dom Williams and Pooka Williams in the run game, it might help the offense play to Bender’s strengths and make him a more effective QB.

Of course, all of those best-case scenarios hinge on the success of the offensive line, which lost center Mesa Ribordy to retirement this off-season.

As usual with KU football, more questions exist than easy solutions.

Reply 5 comments from John Brazelton Dirk Medema Pius Waldman Jmfitz85 Marcus  Balzer Chrisdeweese

On list of college football’s top Power Five coaches, David Beaty finishes last

Kansas head coach David Beaty shows his frustration after a West Virginia touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty shows his frustration after a West Virginia touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Headed into his fourth season in charge of the ever-floundering Kansas football program, David Beaty has boundless miles to go before proving he is capable of making the Jayhawks winners.

A reminder of the deficit in which Beaty finds himself operating surfaced Tuesday, when CBS Sports published the first installment of its Power Five conference coaches rankings.

On the worst-to-best ordered countdown of head coaches employed in the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12, Beaty’s name popped up at the top — that is to say, the writers at CBS judged KU’s coach as the worst among the 65 candidates.

Beaty inherited a challenging situation at Kansas when he took over in December of 2014, for sure. After an 0-12 debut season, the Jayhawks went 2-12 in Beaty’s second year on the job, prompting some hope for the future. But 2017 bottomed out with an 11-game losing streak following KU’s season-opening win over outmatched Southeast Missouri State.

Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports explained no specific guidelines were used for the rankings. Still, it’s easy to quickly dissect the list and determine how Beaty landed at No. 65. KU’s coach is 1-26 in Big 12 games and 1-32 versus Power Five competition. The only head coach from a major conference Beaty has defeated is Charlie Strong, whom Texas fired a week later. Strong resurfaced outside of the Power Five, as head coach at South Florida.

In what some thought could be a relatively competitive season for KU football, the Jayhawks not only went winless in the Big 12 in 2017, but also were outscored on average, 46.4-14.3, in league games.

Kansas finished Beaty’s third season at the helm ranked 100th or worse among 129 FBS programs in 26 of 47 statistical categories tracked on the NCAA’s official website.

“I’m not sure how my colleagues based their rankings,” Fornelli wrote, “but my approach was likely similar to theirs. I took into account all that a coach has accomplished, and then I considered which coach I'd want to hire the most were I an athletic director with deep pockets and a vacancy to fill. Then we put the results together, and we got our final rankings.”

Beaty dropped five spots from a year ago on the CBS Sports list. He finished behind Arizona State’s Herm Edwards (No. 64), Oregon State’s Jonathan Smith, Ole Miss coach Matt Luke, Indiana’s Tom Allen and Rutgers’ Chris Ash. The Jayhawks play host to Rutgers on Sept. 15 this coming fall.

The Big 12 coach closest to Beaty in the rankings was Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury, at No. 49.

See the entire list at CBS Sports: Power Five coaches ranked 65-26

Reply 45 comments from Marius7782 Charlie Gaughn Dane Pratt Dirk Medema Len Shaffer Tim Orel Matt Herrera Bryce Landon Blogthis The_muser and 18 others

‘I think he’s here to stay’: KU’s Daylon Charlot reinvigorated by return to WR

Kansas wide receiver Daylon Charlot (2) gets past Kansas linebacker Denzel Feaster (18) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas wide receiver Daylon Charlot (2) gets past Kansas linebacker Denzel Feaster (18) during an open practice on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Daylon Charlot didn’t transfer from Alabama to Kansas to play safety.

So this spring, and a return to his old position, wide receiver, invigorated one of the most intriguing talents on the Jayhawks’ roster.

Late this past fall, Charlot’s first as an active member of KU’s roster, a void at safety, as well as the apparent inability of the one-time four-star prep prospect form Patterson, La., to crack the offense’s two-deep, inspired coaches to move Charlot into the secondary.

Too raw and inexperienced at his new position to get onto the field in any of the Jayhawks’ final five games, Charlot tried to make the best of his predicament at practices. In that setting, he often let the receivers he had spent more than a year working alongside know he looked forward to squaring off with them.

“Daylon always tried to hit us,” KU receiver Steven Sims Jr. said, grinning. “That’s all he talked about, ‘He’s gonna catch us slipping,’ and stuff like that. It’s good to have him back.”

The extent to which Charlot feels revitalized, for now, is known only by the the 6-foot, 209-pound receiver and those with which he has shared that notion directly. Though requested for interviews throughout the spring, a KU communications staff member said Charlot had a schedule conflict on each of the three days in April when players were made available. Interview requests were not taken following the spring’s final, open-to-the-public practice.

Sims, who has spent plenty of downtime and prep time around Charlot since the Class of 2015 Alabama signee arrived in Lawrence as a ballyhooed transfer in 2016, shared his assessment of Charlot’s mindset this spring.

“I know he’s happy to be back. He feels a little rusty, but I know he’s happy to be back on offense,” Sims said. “Nobody wants to play defense. He got abused by us every day in practice.”

The KU offense needs Charlot to start resembling the type of receiver many envisioned when he was a consensus four-star prospect in Louisiana, as a high schooler. The kind of player renowned Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban didn’t want leaving his program.

Kansas wide receiver Daylon Charlot (2) works out his arms on the ropes during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Kansas wide receiver Daylon Charlot (2) works out his arms on the ropes during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. by Nick Krug

Redshirt junior Carter Stanley said he and KU’s other quarterbacks noticed the short-lived safety responding positively this spring upon returning to the offense.

“I think it’s his natural spot. I really like Daylon as a receiver. He’s put in great work already,” Stanley said. “I think he’s there to stay.”

According to fourth-year Kansas coach David Beaty, the need for some depth at safety forced what proved to be a temporary relocation project for Charlot.

“You know, we always knew that if we were able to go and get what we needed in recruiting, we wanted to bring him back over (to offense),” Beaty remarked. “So he's back in the position that he started at. I know he's excited about that.”

Charlot added 14 pounds to his frame from a year ago this offseason, but Sims related his fellow receiver might cut some of that weight in the weeks ahead in hopes of maximizing his speed.

“I do think moving him back refocused him,” Sims observed. “I feel like Daylon’s ready to take on his role now at wide receiver and I feel like he’s focused. He’s learning it over again, because he kind of forgot the stuff a little bit,” Sims noted early in the spring. “He’s getting his confidence back. It’s good to see that.”

Among the 15 Jayhawks who caught a pass in 2017, Charlot ranked last in productivity. His one reception, in a Week 2 loss to Central Michigan, registered no gain — a zero-yard catch. Kansas has to get substantially more out of the receiver in his upcoming junior season.

Kansas loses two of its top three receivers from a year ago, with Ben Johnson graduating and Chase Harrell transferring. While Sims, Evan Fairs, Jeremiah Booker, Ryan Schadler and Quan Hampton give the receiving corps capable options with varying degrees of experience, Charlot finally living up to his potential and performing like one of the Big 12’s top-flight receivers should stimulate the offense.

Remember: KU only averaged 14.3 points and 237.8 yards per game in Big 12 play in 2017. The Jayhawks will take an uplift anywhere they can find one, and Charlot holds the pedigree and potential to do his part in putting a more effective offense on the field, if focused and eager.

Reply 6 comments from West_virginia_hawk Dirk Medema Ronfranklin Jacob Zutterman Jeff Coffman Jmfitz85

David Beaty identifies spring standouts on offense, special teams

Kansas sophomore quarterback Miles Kendrick pulls back to throw during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Kansas sophomore quarterback Miles Kendrick pulls back to throw during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. by Nick Krug

During the first couple of weeks of spring football, Kansas coach David Beaty hesitated to heap too much praise on individual players for their performances.

Though measured again in his tenor, the fourth-year KU coach found himself more willing to identify spring standouts earlier this week, having observed nine of the team’s 15 practice sessions.

When solicited to disclose which offensive players have delivered behind the closed gates of the practice fields, Beaty said several Jayhawks “have really stuck out” and “deserve to be mentioned.”

The first skill position player’s name to leave Beaty’s mouth belonged to the program’s newest quarterback, sophomore Miles Kendrick.

“His work ethic,” Beaty began, regarding the 5-foot-10 QB who transferred to KU from College of San Mateo (Calif.). “He's thrown 127 passes in the spring through team and seven-on-seven, and he's had two balls intercepted. That's not bad. That's good ball security. That means a guy's prepared and he knows what he's seeing.”

Next, Beaty lauded a pair of upperclassman receivers, both of whom are expected to feature prominently within the team’s passing game this coming fall.

Steven Sims sticks out to me again, just athletically,” Beaty said of the 5-10 senior from Houston. “But just understanding how to become even more of a savvy route-runner, he's doing a nice job.”

The coach then pointed to 6-3 junior Evan Fairs, who began to stand out in November of 2017, with a seven-catch game at Texas and six receptions versus Oklahoma.

“I think he can be a really good player,” Beaty said of Fairs. “I really think he can. We have high hopes for him.”

Subsequently, the coach shifted his focus to what’s left of the team’s offensive line — numerous injuries at the position led KU to cancel a traditional spring game and replace it with a practice. Beaty began at left guard, with redshirt sophomore Malik Clark.

“He's kind of been forced to take more reps than probably he would like. But I think back to him coming in … he was 350-something pounds, and he's down to 325 or so (listed at 320), and he looks good,” Beaty said of Clark, a New Orleans native. “He's getting a lot of reps, and you're starting to see him improve.”

Kansas offensive lineman Andru Tovi, right, Antoine Frazier and Beau Lawrence shuffle through a line of pads during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Kansas offensive lineman Andru Tovi, right, Antoine Frazier and Beau Lawrence shuffle through a line of pads during practice on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. by Nick Krug

KU’s head coach also mentioned banged-up junior O-lineman Antione Frazier before extolling the development of redshirt junior Clyde McCauley, “another guy that nobody talks about very much,” Beaty said of the 6-5, 305-pound tackle, McCauley. “But he may be one of the more improved guys that we've had up front, which is good. He's going into year four for him, so you're starting to see guys' experience pay off a little bit.”

Beaty then circled back to the quarterback position and the improvement of senior Peyton Bender, calling him a “very, very talented guy,” who, like Kendrick, is completing more than 70% of his passes at practices, during team periods and seven-on-sevens.

“Some of the things that we're doing with understanding what we're seeing,” Beaty said in reference to Bender reading defenses, “I think it's really helping him.”

The coach closed his spiel by mentioning tight ends James Sosinski and Mavin Saunders, too, but actually led into his whole rundown of high-quality offensive performers by hailing the efforts of two special-teamers.

“Maybe one of the guys that is most well-respected on this team is Gabe Rui,” Beaty declared of the redshirt senior kicker who made 17 of 20 field goals and went 23-for-23 on extra points in 2017. “Now I know he is not an offensive football player, but he puts up a lot of numbers for us. He has had a terrific spring. He's really done well. His confidence is pretty impressive for a kicker.”

At an often overlooked position, long snapper, Beaty commended redshirt senior John Wirtel for reshaping his body.

“He's almost 255, 260 pounds now,” the coach said of the specialist who missed most of both the 2016 and 2017 seasons with injuries. “He's got NFL caliber. He's a talented guy. Having him back healthy has been good.”

Reply 10 comments from Lucas Town Texashawk10_2 Spk15 Hawkfanatic John Brazelton Jmfitz85 Bryson  Stricker

A peek inside KU football’s 9th spring practice

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) hits a pad as he runs through a drill during practice on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Kansas wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) hits a pad as he runs through a drill during practice on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. by Nick Krug

Tuesday afternoon’s Kansas football practice marked the ninth of the spring for the Jayhawks.

The brief 15-minute window made open to media members provided at least a little bit of insight into some of the more minor details of the off-season work.

Here are a few observations from the open period:

• Kansas, on this day at least, had just a handful of players taking reps at punt returner as most of their teammates went through stretches and warm-ups elsewhere on the practice fields.

Joining senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. on the south end of the facility fielding punts were sophomore receivers Quan Hampton and Kwamie Lassiter II, senior receiver Kerr Johnson Jr. and sophomore safety Davon Ferguson, a junior college transfer from Hartnell College.

• Senior quarterback Peyton Bender worked on his quick kicks before passing drills began. On one attempt the QB punted the ball directly toward the pylon at the front of the end zone, along the right sideline. The ball appeared to head out of bounds in the air, right around the 1- or 2-yard-line, prompting head coach David Beaty to joke with Bender, claiming that specific placement wasn’t what the QB intended when he punted the ball away.

• Redshirt senior kicker Gabriel Rui looked just as accurate as ever, drilling field goals from 37, 42 and 47 yards, connecting on one as Beaty tried to distract him a few yards away with taunts of a pending misfire.

Sophomore QB Miles Kendrick served as holder on the field goals for Rui. When left-footed sophomore Liam Jones took his reps, junior defensive back Bryce Torneden, who played QB in high school at Free State, came in to hold.

Reply 14 comments from Pius Waldman Bryson  Stricker Stephen Johnson Spk15 Hawkfanatic Adioszenger

Numerous Jayhawks already bulking up this offseason

Kansas offensive lineman Chris Hughes (76), left, Beau Lawrence (60) and Hunter Saulsbury (66) work through a drill during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

Kansas offensive lineman Chris Hughes (76), left, Beau Lawrence (60) and Hunter Saulsbury (66) work through a drill during practice on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. by Nick Krug

The football offseason is all about gains.

Bigger, stronger, faster. You’ve heard the go-to individual goals for the months between one year’s finale and the next’s opener a thousand times.

Returning Kansas players are just more than a week into spring practices and have countless more workouts in front of them before pre-season camp opens late in the summer.

But numerous Jayhawks, thanks to sessions with strength and conditioning coach Zac Woodfin and his staff, already have added weight to their frames, per the recently-released first edition of the 2018 roster.

A number of players expected to play prominent roles on KU’s 2-deep this coming fall have increased their weight by double digits, compared to their 2017 listings, including sophomore linebacker Kyron Johnson (+10), sophomore offensive lineman Earl Bostick Jr. (+16), senior quarterback Peyton Bender (+15), junior running back Khalil Herbert (+10) and four of the team’s key receivers, junior Daylon Charlot (+14), redshirt junior Chase Harrell (+13), junior Evan Fairs (+15) and senior Jeremiah Booker (+12).

Below are the weight gains — and some losses — among Jayhawks who were on the roster last year.

— Note: Players still listed at the same weight as 2017 were not included.

Defensive line

KU DEFENSIVE LINEMEN
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
88 - Sr. DT J.J. Holmes — 6-3, 330 -5
91 - R-Fr. DE Jelani Arnold — 6-2, 255 +30
92 - R-Fr. DT Dai Coye Haley — 6-2, 280 -10
95 - Soph. DE Vaughn Taylor Jr. — 6-3, 248 +18
97- Soph. DE Sam Burt — 6-4, 272 +32
98 - Sr. DL KeyShaun Simmons — 6-2, 295 +10

Linebackers

KU LINEBACKERS
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
9 - Soph. LB Kyron Johnson — 6-1, 220 +10
18 - R-Jr. LB Denzel Feaster — 6-3, 225 +5
29 - R-Sr. LB Joe Dineen — 6-2, 235 +5
30 - R-Fr. LB Cooper Root — 6-2, 232 +12
31 - Sr. LB Osaze Ogbebor — 6-1, 225 +5
43 - R-Fr. LB Jay Dineen — 6-2, 230 -5
47 - Sr. LB Keith Loneker Jr. — 6-2, 228 +3

Defensive backs

KU DEFENSIVE BACKS
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
1 - Jr. S Bryce Torneden — 5-10, 197 +7
4 - Jr. S Shaquille Richmond — 6-0, 202 +7
8 - Sr. CB Shakial Taylor — 6-0, 178 +3
11 - Jr. S Mike Lee — 5-11, 181 +5
13 - Jr. CB Hasan Defense — 5-11, 188 +8
16 - Jr. CB Kyle Mayberry — 5-10, 180 +5
20 - Sr. S Emmanuel Moore — 6-0, 208 +18
22 - Sr. S Tyrone Miller Jr. — 6-0, 188 +6
25 - Jr. CB Julian Chandler — 6-0, 187 +2
27 - Jr. CB DeAnte Ford — 5-10, 181 +6
28 - R-Fr. CB Robert Topps III — 6-2, 201 +11
45 - R-Fr. S Nick Caudle — 6-0, 191 +6

Offensive line

KU OFFENSIVE LINEMEN
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
55 - Sr. OL Jacob Bragg — 6-4, 280 -11
60 - Jr. OL Beau Lawrence — 6-5, 315 +6
62 - R-Fr. OL Jack Williams — 6-3, 275 +5
68 - Soph. OL Earl Bostick Jr. — 6-6, 286 +16
71 - R-Soph. OL Cam Durley — 6-6, 315 +15
74 - Jr. OL Clyde McCauley III — 6-5, 305 -5
76 - Soph. OL Chris Hughes — 6-3, 310 +10
77 - Jr. OL Andru Tovi — 6-3, 320 +10
78 - Jr. OL Hakeem Adeniji — 6-4, 300 +10
79 - R-Fr. OL Joey Gilbertson — 6-4, 290 +5

Quarterbacks, running backs and fullbacks

KU OFFENSIVE BACKFIELD
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
7 - Sr. QB Peyton Bender — 6-1, 205 +15
9 - R-Jr. QB Carter Stanley — 6-2, 198 +2
10 - Jr. RB Khalil Herbert — 5-9, 210 +10
15 - R-Fr. QB Miles Fallin — 6-5, 220 +10
25 - Soph. RB Dom Williams — 5-10,195 +5
26 - Sr. RB Deron Thompson — 5-9, 193 +8
32 - Sr. RB Reese Randall — 5-11, 220 +4
35 - Jr. FB Caperton Humphrey — 6-2, 225 +18
37 - R-Fr. FB Quinton McQuillan — 6-2, 265 +40
46 - R-Fr. FB Sam Schroeder — 6-0, 243 +18
49 - Sr. FB Hudson Hall — 6-2, 230 +10

Receivers and tight ends

KU RECEIVERS & TIGHT ENDS
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
2 - Jr. WR Daylon Charlot — 6-0, 209 +14
3 - R-Jr. WR Chase Harrell — 6-4, 228 +13
6 - Soph. WR Quan Hampton — 5-8, 178 +8
14 - Sr. WR Kerr Johnson Jr. — 5-11, 193 +13
16 - R-Fr. WR Takulve Williams — 6-0, 196 +11
19 - Jr. WR Evan Fairs — 6-3, 210 +15
80 - R-Fr. WR Hunter Kaufman — 5-11, 183 +13
81 - Soph. WR Kameron McQueen — 6-0, 195 +5
83 - Soph. WR Kwamie Lassiter II — 5-11, 170 +5
88 - Sr. WR Jeremiah Booker — 6-2, 212 +12

Specialists

KU SPECIALISTS
(CURRENT MEASUREMENTS)
WEIGHT
ADDED OR
LOST
37 - R-Fr. K Cole Brungardt — 6-5, 218 +18
38 - Soph. P Kyle Thompson — 6-4, 215 +5
39 - Sr. K Gabriel Rui — 5-11, 205 -10
46 - Soph. K Liam Jones — 5-10, 178 +8
67 - Jr. LS Logan Klusman — 6-1, 220 -10
87 - R-Sr. LS John Wirtel — 6-3, 250 +15
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