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%


dallashawk05 1 year, 11 months 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.


Savion Havon 1 year, 11 months 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


Randy Bombardier 1 year, 11 months 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.


EdwordL 1 year, 11 months ago


OK, so KU football will be interesting again this season. But seriously, isn't it time for you to get back up on the Conference Realignment horse? We need you to investigate those rumors: Who will be coming into the Big XII to make it one of the superconferences for the 2014 playoff? Are Florida State and Clemson really potential candidates, or should we expect Louisville and Cincinnati? Last winter, I heard rumors out of Austin that the Big XII might want Louisville and Rutgers.

You almost can't have FB season without speculating on who is moving where (into and within the BCS, I mean).


NebraskaJayhawk 1 year, 11 months 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 1 year, 11 months 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.


RockChalkSam 1 year, 11 months ago

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


KGphoto 1 year, 11 months 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.


Jim Stauffer 1 year, 11 months 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.


Jim Jackson 1 year, 11 months ago

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


Keith Hummel 1 year, 11 months ago

We are lacking that one tall, speedy receiver who can stretch the field and win jump balls. Ford seems to fit that description best (6-4, 4.4 speed, and great athleticism), but you never know how well these JUCO/CC players are going to transition to the next level. Omigie is the next best candidate (has size, good speed, and great hands), but he has yet to live up to his potential. Mathews has the size and athleticism and work ethic, but I'm not sure he has the speed (ran a 4.6 forty out of H.S.). However, with a vastly improved coaching staff and stability at the QB position (something we haven't seen in awhile), it's possible any of these guys could have a breakout season. All things considered, I would put Omigie as #1, Ford as #2, and Mathews as #3.


Matt Bowers 1 year, 11 months 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


Venkman 1 year, 11 months 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?


baldwinjhawk 1 year, 11 months 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..


Steve Swaggerty 1 year, 11 months ago

According to Dane Crist this is the greatest group of receivers of all time!!


lv_jhwk 1 year, 11 months 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.


merg311 1 year, 11 months 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.


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