Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Offensive lineman Pearce Slater hasn’t returned to KU

A close-up of KU offensive lineman Pearce Slater at Saturday's practice. Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics.

A close-up of KU offensive lineman Pearce Slater at Saturday's practice. Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics.


Kansas offensive lineman Pearce Slater still has not returned to Kansas University, KU coach Charlie Weis announced at his weekly press conference on Tuesday.

"He's not here. I'll talk about the guys that are here," Weis said. "That's the end of my comment."

Weis also released his team's depth chart for Week 1, which included quite a few changes.

Among them: Cassius Sendish, who previously was listed as the starting nickel, was moved to the starter at free safety; Victor Simmons was moved up to the starter at nickel; Marquel Combs was moved from the backup at left end/tackle to second team at nose tackle; Kevin Young moved from nose tackle to left end/tackle and is now a starter; Samson Faifili jumped above Jake Love at Will linebacker; Zach Fondal moved up to starter at right tackle; and Taylor Cox (kickoff returner) and Connor Embree (punt returner) earned first-team nods on special teams.


Brett McCabe 9 years, 1 month ago

This probably means no redshirt for Taylor. Love watching this guy play and I hope they can find ways to get him the ball.

Though this is only the first-week depth chart, there is a lot of good news for 2014. An incredibly high number of listed starters will be back next year.

Dennis Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

yes i noticed that about returners for 2014

Chris Bailey 9 years, 1 month ago

Is anyone else worried that combs isn't starting? That means one of last year's guys is the starter. I was expecting him to dominate. This is not good news. Nor is Sendius moving spots. That means we were weak there. Hope they figure this out!

Brad Farha 9 years, 1 month ago

Not sure what to make of this. Maybe 2 seasons into the strength and conditioning program has the returning players too far ahead of him. Maybe he's got that much more motivation and fire to try and take the starting spot. Hard to tell, but I can't wait to find out. Saturday can't get her soon enough for me.

Chris Bailey 9 years, 1 month ago

Agreed! I was sure he'd start. And maybe he's letting the senior's start since it should be an easy win. I guess we'll see.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 1 month ago

Sendish had moved to the nickel during the summer and is moving back to his more natural position at safety. This is actually a good sign that we are stronger at nickel than expected and he isn't needed to play out of position to cover up for that weakness.

Clarence Haynes 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe he's a gamer that doesn't practice well!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

Stowers is the starter, and tho recruited for last year, this is his first year playing (Jr). The fact that he is playing ahead of this year's top JC recruit is exciting! Sendish moving means that we WERE weaker at FS than Nickle. It also means that Simmons and Arnick have stepped up enough to allow Cassius the freedom to be more of a playmaker where his talent will shine through. This too is exciting!

KGphoto 9 years, 1 month ago

Lot’s of interesting moves on the depth chart. I wonder if Sendish to FS is a result of Simmons being a better fit for what they want from that position. Size. It’s not a traditional NB position because it’s the base defense. At 220 pounds, Simmons is going to be an enforcer underneath and a stud against the run. Basically a hybrid LB/SS.

Now that I see this I think it was the original plan for our base defense, even before the MJM injury. I think MJM would’ve been manning the NB slot if he was healthy, and if he earned it, of course. Even if they called him an OLB, he’d have most of the same duties.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 1 month ago

Here's a quote from Jesse's take on today's press conference. This may have been published after you posted your comment:

• KU’s coaches were happy with the play of nickels Victor Simmons and Coutrney Arnick in camp. KU’s staff decided to strengthen a weakness by moving Cassius Sendish to free safety. Simmons and Arnick are playing good enough where it allowed the team the flexibility to move Sendish back to safety.

Kyle Sybesma 9 years, 1 month ago

Correct me if I'm wrong but when the 5 helmets were released didn't I hear that new uniforms will be coming too?

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 1 month ago

The important thing to remember is that as Tait said numerous times, Slater was not supposed to come in and immediately lead the OLine. He would have been someone that played in the 2nd unit and worked up to a starter in the next season or two (he would have had 4 years to play 3 if I remember correctly). This is not a guy that the fate of our season rested on, so while it is disappointing that he isn't here as part of the team, it doesn't spell doom for us like most posters on other articles would have us believe. Like Weis, I'd like to focus on the guys that are actually here to play and win games for us.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 1 month ago

I think people are making too much of a deal about Combs not being a starter. I think he will be the first guy off the bench and make a nice impact. I also think the guy ahead of him earned it. Stowers was hurt last year and we never got to see his true potential and heard nothing but good things all spring and fall camp. He is a work horse and a lead on this team in more ways than one. Combs probably just needs time to adjust to this level of play and will come off the bench while he does. In the mean time we should be happy that we have a guy like Stowers. I look at it as a good thing to see a guy with the talent that Combs has coming off the bench. All that says to me is that we have some damn good depth.

Sae Thirtysix 9 years, 1 month ago

Slater - Buh Bye

Admire your optimisim, but Combs - Over Hyped

KGphoto 9 years, 1 month ago

Why do you think that? I mean, really we have nothing to go on until some games have been played. We don’t know if Stowers is the next Ben Heeney of the KU DL. Maybe he’s just that good. Maybe the reports of KY and Keba having a great camp are true and they are just that much better with two years of CSH. Same for Tavai. These guys have played big-boy football already. Combs hasn’t. At the very least give him a game or two to adapt.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 1 month ago

Agreed 27.

Depth is the difference between good and other teams, between 4th quarter success and failure.

Very encouraging to see Stowers step up.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

Sendish moving to FS is good; that is his natural position. Simmons moving to nickel is also a postivie sign. He is extremely fast and is built to stop the run at 6'2 220

Jim Jackson 9 years, 1 month ago

However, having the same 3 guys on the Dline that were there last year, does concern me.

rastameta 9 years, 1 month ago

Combs is backing up Stowers, who had the best camp of all the DL, and maybe all of the defense. It isn't a bad thing. Stowers has really improved.

Rivethead 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure has improved, but I think it has more to do with the fact he's now healthy and stronger.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

Don't underestimate how much missing spring practice impacted Combs' development along with all the other summer and fall arrivals. Those guys are a full offseason behind in terms of strength and conditioning and they won't be fully caught up until sometime during season or next offeseason. The smaller physical positions like DB, RB, or WR don't usually need the same amount of time as a linemen to get into game shape.

kooky 9 years, 1 month ago

Linton at S was the only spot on defense I was worried about. Now that Sendish is there, I feel really good about our D.

Dale Stringer 9 years, 1 month ago

Combs is going to see plenty of game time. The nickle with its three-man line is going to wear down anyone playing Nose. He's going to be double teamed or even triple teamed on everyplay. Look like Coach Campo is planning a three-man rotation to keep from running out of juice in the 4th quarter.

Rivethead 9 years, 1 month ago

If our NTs are good enough to get double and even triple teamed, then our sack total is going to sky rocket because that'll leave the LBs and NB and Safeties great chances to have free shots at the QB.

Robert Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Then why doesn't Weis say that instead of some cryptic statement about only talking about players who are here. JUCO is always hit and miss. There is a reason these guys are in JUCO and not a four year program.

Rivethead 9 years, 1 month ago

Coach Weis has already told you the reason: he doesn't talk about players that are not here. He only talks about players that are here. That doesn't just apply to Slater, but to everyone.

I don't think there is anything cryptic about it.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 1 month ago

With Sendish I figured it was only a matter of time until he's at safety and that is now vastly improved. I never saw Young as an NT so this is a good thing that he's in his position he's suited for. As fas as Combs, lets see him play and go from there. Having depth and someone that can contribute is still better than what we had. Good luck whatever happens to Slater because maybe he needs to be near home right now. Quite a few a juco guys have come in and upgraded spots on this team so we are better in 2013 than we were in 2012.

We bring in guys and hope for the best. Now, with the hand we've been dealt lets see how the season plays out. Saturday is quickly approaching and the new season is upon us. Rock Chalk!

eastcoasthawk 9 years, 1 month ago

This is not news to many of us closely following the Jayhawks.

kugrad93 9 years, 1 month ago

Junior college guys are a crapshoot. Mangino signed 13 juco transfers in his second recruiting class at KU, and six of them were gone by second semester of their first year. Some of the guys who stayed weren't very good.

Dennis Marshall 9 years, 1 month ago

So does that mean KU can't block him from going to any other college in 2014, like the sooners

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