To be fair, I received a copy of KU’s updated depth chart at Charlie Weis’ news conference earlier this afternoon.
But just because I had a head start did not mean that I didn’t notice quite a few of the new looks during Wednesday’s practice.
Rather than leading with a couple of nuggets about how sunny it was or how focused they looked, I figured we’d start this one out with a quick look at those depth chart changes.
In all, I circled 10 significant pieces of information on this week’s depth chart, by far the most of any so far this season.
So, without further ado, here’s a look at the changes, followed by a couple of quick practice tidbits:
In — Randall Dent
Out — Aslam Sterling
• Sterling is now listed as the back-up at both right guard and right tackle and Weis said he would be involved in a three-man rotation with Gavin Howard and Dent at those two spots.
In — Andrew Turzilli
Out — D.J. Beshears
• Simply put, Turzilli is performing better at the moment, as evident by his 100-yard game last week.
In — James Sims as an “Or” option with Taylor Cox for the back-up spot behind Tony Pierson
• All three guys will play Saturday and all three bring different elements to KU’s offense.
In — Kevin Young
Out — Jordan Tavai
• Tavai is now listed as the starter at defensive tackle, as Weis said he wanted to find Tavai a home he could settle into instead of playing him all over. This move also bumped John Williams up to the lone second-stringer behind Young.
In — Jordan Tavai
Out — Keba Agostinho
• Again, Weis was looking for a home for Tavai. This is not a reflection on Agostinho, who still remains a front-line guy when the Jayhawks play “big” and kick Toben Opurum out to Sam linebacker.
In — JaCorey Shepherd as a back-up to starter Tyler Patmon
Out — Greg Allen
• Not only has Shepherd worked his way into this spot, but I’m guessing Allen has emerged as a strong red-shirt candidate. Win-win.
In — Dexter Linton
Out — Lubbock Smith
• Lubbock is still battling an injury that kept him out of last week’s game and Linton has done a nice job in his absence.
In — Justin Carnes
Out — Trevor Marrongelli (short snaps) and Reilly Jeffers (punts)
• Weis said Carnes would have to earn his spot back after returning from a three-game suspension, but it seems like a safe bet that he’ll be able to do that. This should help KU’s struggling kicking game.
In — Tre’ Parmalee
Out — D.J. Beshears
• Weis said he was very disappointed in the kick return game last week and simply wanted to see if getting someone else out there could give KU a lift. Parmalee has earned it.
• OK, so there you have it.... A quick look at the depth chart changes and why they might have happened. As for the guys who are coming back from injury, Lubbock Smith certainly still looks a little hobbled out there and I’d guess it’s 50-50 whether he’ll be able to play this weekend at Northern Illinois. Kale Pick looks a lot better and Weis said he’d be shocked if Pick didn’t play. The good news is Pick looks close to 100 percent while running through drills and making cuts. Away from the action, though, you can still tell he’s favoring that left leg. Both Pick and Smith are wearing braces on their afflicted knees.
• Alex Matlock, Sean Connolly and Brian Maura were on the exercise bikes at today’s practice. Other than that, the rest of the team looks like it’s preparing to play in this weekend’s game, except, of course, for Prinz Kande (out) and Riley Spencer, whom Weis said earlier today would miss the rest of the year in order to “get his knee fixed.”
• Finally, the Coach Weis song of the day was “Cover Me” by Bruce Springsteen. A message to KU’s defensive backs, perhaps?