McCay's out, so where does that leave KU's receiving corps?


OK, so we now know — whether we agree with the NCAA’s decision or not — that Kansas University sophomore wide receiver Justin McCay, a transfer from Oklahoma, will have to sit out the 2012 season and will not be eligible to play again until 2013, when he’ll be a junior.

It’s a tough break for McCay, for sure, but it does not cripple the KU offense. Not at all.

Based on what they did this spring, along with what they’ve done in the past, it looks as if seniors D.J. Beshears, Daymond Patterson and Kale Pick will be three of the guys who catch passes from Dayne Crist this fall.

The question now becomes — who will join them? I had thought all along that McCay would be that guy, but now that he’s out, let’s look at some other candidates, in no particular order.

• Christian Matthews, 6-1, 200, junior
Former quarterback still making the adjustment to wide receiver. Had a quiet spring, but his big springs of the past never carried over into the season. Could the opposite be true this fall for the bigger, more polished wideout?

• Chris Omigie, 6-4, 202, junior
Could this be the year that Omigie becomes a legit option in the passing game? If that question sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Omigie always has looked the part, but has had a hard time delivering at gametime. Weis’ offense has always treated tall targets well.

• Josh Ford, 6-4, 195, junior
Big, fast, athletic target who attacks the ball in the air. I think he gains the most from the McCay news and his is a name KU fans should learn quickly.

• Erick McGriff, 6-1, 214, junior
Familiar face, but I didn’t hear his name much this spring and he didn’t show up on the initial depth chart.

• JaCorey Shepherd, 5-11, 185, sophomore
Had a solid freshman season when KU needed someone to step up. Listed third at his position on the pre-spring depth chart, but has a ton of talent and confidence.

• Andrew Turzilli, 6-3, 185, sophomore
Could very well be on the verge of breaking through. So far, Turzilli pretty much has only played in mop-up time, but he’s caught darn near everything thrown his way when he’s been in there.

• Ricki Herod, 6-2, 190, sophomore
Third year in the program, but has yet to make a name for himself.

• Connor Embree, 5-10, 186, sophomore
The son of Colorado coach Jon Embree is more out of the mold of Patterson and Beshears, which will make playing time tough to come by until they’re gone.

• Tre Parmalee, 5-10, 160, freshman
With this much depth, the Bishop Miege High prospect known for sensational route-running is a likely red-shirt candidate unless the coaching staff believes he can help on special teams.

For those still with me, I’ll leave you with a little treat — a percentage wheel regarding which KU receiver on this list will make the biggest impact for the KU offense this season.

  1. Josh Ford -- 36%
  2. Christian Matthews -- 25%
  3. Chris Omigie -- 18%
  4. JaCorey Shepherd -- 14%
  5. Other -- 7%


merg311 6 years, 1 month ago

Pretty tricky sneaking in that percentage wheel at the end! I like it, although I am a bit surprised Shepherd isn't higher on the list.

GridironHawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Being only 5'11'' hurts Shepherd's chances because of Patterson and Beshears. Probably going to need a tall receiver to step in as the #4. I like Ford's chances especially with his speed.

hawk316 6 years, 1 month ago

Agree. How do you keep Shepherd off the field? The kid's got talent.

hawk316 6 years, 1 month ago

Uh, I meant that I agreed with merg311. Although Gridiron makes a good point, I think Shepherd has enough speed and talent to overcome any height deficiencies. But we'll have to wait and see.

lv_jhwk 6 years, 1 month ago

My thoughts too. I would have switched him and Omigie at the least, if I wasn't putting him in Matthews' spot to begin with.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 1 month ago

according to the receivers, Dane Crist is the greatest QB of all time, even better than Brock Berglund

baldwinjhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

I was at the spring game and Crist's first look was always to Kale Pick. I think he will have a stellar senior season..

Venkman 6 years, 1 month ago

Matt, I'd love to see you do an article about impact guys who aren't on campus yet. And not just WRs. Who didn't we see in the spring game that could be big contributors for us next year?

texashawk10 6 years, 1 month ago

Think DLine for that one. There's potentially 3 starters on the DLine that aren't on campus yet. Toben Opurum seems fairly safe at his DE spot and I wouldn't be shocked if John Williams keeps his starting DT spot, but that's not a certainty and the other DT and DE spots are going to be up for grabs this summer when the JuCo guys get here.

Matt Bowers 6 years, 1 month ago

Not to change the subject, but this is unacceptable. I know that we don't get much love from the KC Star, but this does not paint a very appealing picture. This is a wake up call to our coaches, especially if we can't pull this type of talent out of our backyard.

Rock Chalk

Chris1955 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure I agree with your assessment. The OL is not as much a need for KU as other areas, such as DL. Considering Grunnny's connection to KC area HS football, I'm guessing there was a reason we didn't go strong after this kid. It also could be that this took place during the transition limbo period from Gill to Weiss.

texashawk10 6 years, 1 month ago

You can never have enough good players on the OLine. I would bet that the majority of the recruiting happened before Gill was fired and Gill never seemed to place the emphasis on recruiting the KC area that KU should have placed on KC recruiting. Because of that, we're going to see Missouri dominate KC in the 2013 class because of the head start they got, but I starting with the 2014 class, we should see KU catch up and start to take control of the KC area.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 1 month ago

We will need O linemen next year, I think they are projecting 3 of the starters as seniors.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

Blech. Just listening to that kid talking about falling in love with Missouri makes me wanna puke. He wants to play for a national title in the SEC. LMAO! He ain't all there is he?

You can have him Pinkel. He obviously belongs in Misery.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm with KG. "I want to go to mizzoo so I can play for a national champioship." The only time they were in serious contention even for a conference championship, they were blown away. But they are a "football school."

It sounds like politics - you can make any claim you want when you aren't required to produce. I looking forward to some road kill, cuz I think they get trucked in the SEC. They'll finish middle of the pack there, just as they have in the Big12, but don't expect it to really be particularly close to the top.

KUAlum2000 6 years, 1 month ago

He's not saying he wants to go the Mizzou to win a NC, he's saying he wants to go to the SEC to win a NC. Pretty clear that the NC runs through the SEC and if Mizzou does alright there then he's got a shot. Not saying they will do anything, but if they get hot one year, the SEC is the place to make it all happen.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

If they got hot one year, they would place 4th in the SEC, and be out of any BCS contention.

Jim Jackson 6 years, 1 month ago

Tait, what happend to Neal Barlow? The guy who originally committed to Arkansas?

Jim Stauffer 6 years, 1 month ago

As far as Clay Rhodes goes, he has family and friends galore with Mizzou backgrounds. Just too much to overcome with only one year to recruit him. Mizzou staff had much more time and a more favorable atmosphere from which to recruit him.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

A 265 pound tackle. Yeah, we'll see you in about 3 years Rhodes. Have fun dredging the bottom of the sec until then.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

Although we saw little from the tight end position during the spring game, I think they'll poach a lot of the 4th WR catches.

I'll set the over-under for 4th WR catches in 2012 at 25.

Gotta go with Ford. I don't remember hearing Omigie's name in the spring game and Weis certainly wants some height out there.

RockChalkSam 6 years, 1 month ago

Im still not sold on Kale Pick, yes he is reliable but not near the athleticism.

texashawk10 6 years, 1 month ago

Kale Pick is going to be the safety blanket for Crist much like Meier was for Reesing. Pick isn't going to burn defenses deep very often, but because of his background as a QB, he has the ability to read defenses and find the holes in the defense and make a lot of 8-10 yard receptions that keep the chains moving. Pick isn't going to blow anyone away with his athletic ability as a WR, but he will probably be KU's leading receiver this year because of his consistency with his ability to get open and to catch the ball.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Kale Pick seems like a nice kid, but athletically he is no Kerry Meier. If he is our leading receiver this season we are in trouble offensively.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

Ooh, I don't know about that. I think he's faster than Meier. Meier has more strength and at-least-as-good hands, but Pick is quicker.

texashawk10 6 years, 1 month ago

Depends on how you define leading receiver. If it's receptions or TDs, Pick may very well lead KU in both because of his hands and ability to find holes in a defense. If he leads in yards as well, that could be troubling for the offense because that means a homerun threat never emerged and the space that opposing defenses have to cover is compressed and will make the offense look a lot more like the past two years instead of the Reesing era offenses.

merg311 6 years, 1 month ago

Not sure how you can say that Pick isn't as athletic as Meier. They were both recruited as athletic QBs, neither panned out at that position, but both have the speed and hands to move to the WR position to help the team. Pick probably doesn't have the body that translates to the NFL like Kerry, but at the college ranks I think they are extremely similar.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree with your assement of Pick. He is no Kerry Meier. That's not to fault him, but he's just not. Doesn't have the size or speed. Some people don't realize how fast Meier was. He was one of those guys that had deceptive speed.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

Kale Pick is faster than Meier. According to Rivals, coming out of high school Meier ran a 4.6 and Pick ran a 4.5.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Dude, that means absolutely nothing. It really doesn't. When you put pads on guys, it changes things entirely. Meier is fast in pads...I don't think Pick is.

KGphoto 6 years, 1 month ago

Absolutely nothing? I agree that a 40 time doesn't make a player great, or terrible, but to say it means absolutely nothing is ignorant.

My guess is as good as yours, and I guess he's a little faster than Meier, pads or not.

bigtex 6 years, 1 month ago

Pick will do great as an all-around receiver. Do you idiots evey pay attention to the depth chart, Weis had Pick ahead of McCay after winter workouts that shows me Pick put an a$$ kicken on somebody and showed some Athleticsm. Thats what winter workouts are all about strength, speed and guts. Pick looked great in the Sping Game. Weis will have the O going in the right direction,Long and Gill were terrible. Go Hawks!!

machinegun 6 years, 1 month ago

Kale Pick is an outstanding receiver who will catch around 70 passes for 700 yards and 7 TDs this season. We need to be concerned about the other receivers. They obviously need a lot more coaching because of the dropped passes during the Spring Game.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

@ Machinegun

What makes you think that? What has Pick done the past 2 seasons as receiver to make you think such a thing. Granted, we have a much more capable QB this season than what we've had the last two, but I don't see why people think he's going to all of a sudden produce. Maybe he will..I hope you're right, but I just don't see it happening. Just because he's a "QB turn WR" does not mean he's going to pan out like Meier did. I think Josh Ford will be the guy this year. Pick might grab 30-40 receptions if he has a good year, but Ford is the guy that needs to produce right away...he needs to grab 100-110 for Kansas to have a good season I think.

machinegun 6 years, 1 month ago

OK-you are sold on Josh Ford because he played well at a Community College last year. My point was that we need receivers who can catch Dayne Crist's passes. Kale Pick is going to catch the ones that come his way.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 1 month ago

Well, like I said...I hope you're right. But Kale Pick won't be open to catch them, so I'm opting for someone with more size and speed.

Randy Bombardier 6 years, 1 month ago

I sure would like to see Pierson in the mix. Having a quick read go-to-guy like that would be huge. Being able to just heave it downfield and let Pierson beat feet to the ball would help keep defenses from overloading the box. I see Pierson as more of a receiver than a running back anyway. His presence as a receiver will dictate a lot on defense. I do not see the same when he is in the backfield. I see using Pierson the same way K-State used Brandon Banks.

But, overall I like our receiving corps. I think this group of receivers and this group of running backs is the best in a long time. Now with a staff that knows what they are doing and a great QB I think this season's success is going to be defined by mental toughness, especially on defense and in the trenches.

Savion Havon 6 years, 1 month ago

Omigi dropped 2 or 3 balls that hit him in the hands and gave up on routes hand fighting with cb's instead of using his frame to his advantage

David Meredith 6 years, 1 month ago

Matt, or if anyone was at the spring game.... will the offense still race to the line of scrimmage, set, then stand up and look to the sideline for an audible? That grew very tiresome.

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