What caught my eye at Tuesday's practice: Sept. 18


KU's wideouts run through a drill during Tuesday's practice.

KU's wideouts run through a drill during Tuesday's practice. by Matt Tait

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:

Right Guard:
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.

Z Receiver:
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.

Nose Tackle:
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.

Defensive Tackle:
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.

Boundary Corner:
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.

Strong Safety:
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.

Long Snapper:
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.

Kickoff Returner:
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.

KU receiver Kale Pick is moving better this week than last and seems likely to play this weekend vs. Northern Illinois.

KU receiver Kale Pick is moving better this week than last and seems likely to play this weekend vs. Northern Illinois. by Matt Tait

• 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?


JayHawk_from_SWKS 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm still waiting for the expose where Matt goes undercover as a new walk on player, and gets in depth coverage of practice on the inside. Keep up the good work, Matt.

Dale Stringer 5 years, 8 months ago

Who knows, Matt may earn a spot as kicker.

Max Ledom 5 years, 8 months ago

Man, too bummed about D.J. Beshears. I thought he was a guy who had a shot at the NFL and was going to get a combine invite. Bummed out right now.

Bobby Burch 5 years, 8 months ago

Me too on the bummed out part. He certainly appeared to have the speed and quickness last year -- but then again he and Pick were basically our only receiver options under Gill ...

I must say, though, that Beshears did a horrible job as kickoff returner against TCU. When you run out a ball from the -7 yard line, it's time to give someone else a chance. Hope Parmalee will step it up.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 8 months ago

I was bummed out during the games so far (by DJ's play), but a bit relieved at the moment. Is DJ a player that wold have transferred (with the new coaching regime) if he was not a Sr? He certainly has underwhelmed more than anyone to date.

Patrick Leiker 5 years, 8 months ago

Wish Lubbock Smith were going to be back. Linton seems to consistently take bad routes to the ball.

mikehawk 5 years, 8 months ago

The approach keeps everyone on edge to practice hard and perform. No sure deals, no room for letdown, and pressure to make plays in the games. When you have as little talent as we do, seems like a good approach to me. Get knocked out of your spot, you can either pout or earn it back. Everyone on their toes. The question is, does the system apply to Crist, or is he just so much better than the others they really can't get him out of there. I think at some point Coach may have to make a move and see what the other QB's can do in games. If we get behind in some games and it is out of reach, watch for the next in line to get some game reps. Some guys are practice guys, and some guys are gamers. Is Crist a practice guy? bout it? Would you address how Crist looks in practice compared to what we are seeing in the far?

Bobby Burch 5 years, 8 months ago

I admit it that it'd be fun to see a QB that can scramble again. But I think Crist is definitely on the right track, and once the WRs step up, we should have an effective passing game. What's more, with Turzilli and Omigie getting more reps, Crist will have bigger targets for the 15-plus yard passes.

Eric Dawson 5 years, 8 months ago

Matt, four questions --

  1. What's the story on medical red shirts for this year for Prinz Kande and Riley Spencer?
  2. Also, are there any other players currently being redshirted besides Greg Allen?
  3. Does Jordan Tavai seem to be catching up with the rest of the players conditioning-wise?
  4. Has there been any word on what is happening with Ty McKinney? I'm assuming he has finally completed his last summer course and is busy in school this semester in prep for arriving on campus in January.


Jeff Soisson 5 years, 8 months ago

Everyone can give Beshears a hard time for not staying in the end zone but our kickoffs were awful! They were getting the ball at the 30's/40's, this needs to be fixed now! Someone needs to kick it out of the end zone once we start scoring touchdowns.

Andy Hess 5 years, 8 months ago

they were short kicking it intentionally to keep it away from the returner. It's a pretty common practice when your kicking game is garbage like ours.

april28 5 years, 8 months ago

The eye test tells me that Taylor Cox should get more carries. He looks strong, fast and explosive on every carry.

Shocked that Kale Pick can come back - after that play - I assumed he wa done for the year. Good for him.

A freshman returning kickoffs....holy crap. That kid must be brave.

Yakihawk 5 years, 8 months ago

There was a 'Missouri Fanatic' banner ad on the title page of the site, tighten up LJW!

Jack McEnaney 5 years, 8 months ago

What I want to see is our wide receivers throwing blocks down field. Every week I watch college football "highlight plays" and every time it is a highlight because the wide receivers down the field are sustaining their blocks to give the ball carrier time to make a couple cuts and make the big play. We need to start making big plays! Please, Please wide receivers start sustaining your blocks. Especially Beshears and Patterson. You guys are the worst downfield blockers I think I have ever seen

Mark Lindrud 5 years, 8 months ago

Beshears just isn't cutting it this year. A big concern was the size of our recievers and he is dimuitive for the typical receiver standards. He doesn't block well and he hasn't produced this year. For the sake of the offense I hope this change helps. He maybe better suited in the slot, but I get the feeling we may put Pierson there on occasion to utilize his speed. I think it is safe to say Beshears will be a forgotten man as the season progresses.

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