Monday, September 11, 2017


Tom Keegan: Charles Baldwin vanishes from Kansas football depth chart

Kansas newcomer, Charles Baldwin, 72, a transfer from Alabama, gets stretched out with the offensive line during practice on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas newcomer, Charles Baldwin, 72, a transfer from Alabama, gets stretched out with the offensive line during practice on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.


In an offseason rife with hollow hope for the Kansas football program, nothing shapes up as more off base than celebrated anticipation for right tackle Charles Baldwin’s Div. I debut.

Baldwin’s claim to fame, the source of such bliss for KU football fans when he announced he was transferring here, was that he spent a semester as a student at Alabama and entered spring football as a projected starter. Never mind that Nick Saban dismissed him from the program before he ever played a game. He wore the crimson-and-white helmet, so he must amount to a major upgrade.

Well, two games into the season, Baldwin has not played a snap and has fallen off the depth chart, replaced by Zach Hannon behind not-ready-for-prime-time starter Antione Frazier. Might Baldwin be injured? I suppose that’s possible given that Kansas has hidden the hand injury that sidelined reserve quarterback Carter Stanley in the first two games. But I haven’t heard that Baldwin’s injured. Plus, heading into the season, head coach David Beaty said the competition between Frazier and Baldwin wasn't close. So unless the doghouse collapsed on Baldwin and injured him in some way, there is no reason to suspect health is the cause of his absence on the depth chart.

So any hope that Baldwin would make a smashing KU debut Saturday in Athens, Ohio, was dashed when the revised depth chart was released Monday night. Hannon, a graduate transfer from Nebraska who draws high grades for attitude, lacks game experience, other than on special teams. He played 13 games as a red-shirt freshman as a shield blocker on the Cornhuskers’ punt unit. He also appeared in two games on the kicking unit as a junior.

Ultimately, if Frazier needs another year or two of seasoning, moving Mesa Ribordy from center to right tackle and starting Jacob Bragg at center could be the best way to go.

It’s too early to reach a verdict on Baldwin, but early returns suggest he’ll join recent KU transfers from four-year schools who made little impact.

You remember the names: Dayne Crist, LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Jake Heaps, Anthony McDonald, T.J. Millweard, Quincy Perdue, Mike Ragone, Joshua Stanford, Kent Taylor, etc. Every time one of those players was recruited, it removed a scholarship that could have gone to a high school player who might have been developed into a key contributor.

Quick fixes, especially at programs that need to develop raw talent, don’t work in college football. It takes discipline to steer clear of them.


John Fitzgerald 5 years, 2 months ago

If it's not an injury I wouldn't expect him in a KU uniform next year.

Randy Bombardier 5 years, 2 months ago

Very good point. We need 5 year players and I'll take more kansas kids thank you. Build em up and they will get it done. Especially small town kids. They tend to have the right focus and appreciate opportunity and know it when they see it. I mean we're getting beat by zero star kids. Thats all hype that does very little good.

Kent Clark 5 years, 2 months ago

Never should've done what we did the Mangino... Mark was bringing in kids from the TERRIBLE, Washington (Kansas City) High School football program and those kids did solid work, Stuckey was a staple for KU.. We only thought the 5-6 season Mangino closed out on was bad.. At least we weren't getting spanked by Central Michigan..

Dirk Medema 5 years, 2 months ago

That's disappointing to hear about Baldwin. We lost 1 player from last year's OL.

Unfortunately, taking a shot at Baldwin wouldn't make a difference this year. It didn't keep us from recruiting another player that would be contributing in his second year. There are also plenty of HS players that have been recruited and not contributing.

Most of the players mentioned aren't Beaty's recruits. Fortunately, Beaty's history of recruiting non-HS players has been significantly better than previous regimes, and any glitches are easily offset by the many in-state walk-ons and other non-traditional recruits that have become contributors.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 2 months ago

If running an article about changes to the depth chart, wouldn't it be appropriate to also have an updated, current version of the depth chart? The DC currently on the site is still from the beginning of the season; lists Baldwin at RT.

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. If it's released, why don't they post it here?

Brett McCabe 5 years, 2 months ago

We were desperate at the position and Beaty trusted Saban's initial talent evaluation of Baldwin. It seems clear that the problem with Baldwin is between the ears.

Regarding Stanley, I saw him warming up when the team came out at half and actually thought he might be going in. He looked fine throwing but I couldn't tell much more.

I was also surprised that we didn't see Starks late in the game when it was essentially over. I thought we should give him some game reps that would include throwing the ball around a bit. It couldn't have harmed anything and, who knows, maybe he's one of those gamers?

Edward Daub 5 years, 2 months ago

Charles Baldwin was rated as the #14 difference-maker (d-m for short) by KU Sports during the pre-season. Something has gone wrong here.

Daylon Charlot was rated as the #5 d-m and has received very little playing time so far.

The Alabama transfer pipeline is closed. The Louisiana HS pipeline remains open!

Danny Delgadillo 5 years, 2 months ago

If you follow the recruiting much on twitter..... That Louisiana pipeline doesn't look that solid anymore. Also DC is technically from Louisiana, I believe. Him not playing, in conjunction with us getting smashed, is likely to have a negative impact in recruiting those LA boys. IMO Also LSU has been paying attention and is coming back for them. Giving them extra attention. Not to be a pessimist or anything. Jus sayin

David Kemp 5 years, 2 months ago

Wow, the good news just keeps on comin

David Kemp 5 years, 2 months ago

Remember "better depth means no more shuffling on the oline" so much for that after only 2 games

Chris DeWeese 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm telling myself to trust the process. It's taken Mike Leach this long to get back into the top 25, but he is by far a better head coach than Beaty. Perhaps in a few years Beaty will be better and his ability to evaluate talent will improve as well. I wonder if Baldwin is just a gamer, and if you put him in a game situation he'll shine. Unfortunately, this goes against Beaty's philosophy of "earn it."

Dillon Davis 5 years, 2 months ago

Leach became WSU's coach in 2012. They have been in and out of the top 25 since 2015. It only took him 3 years to get that mess to where they are now. More and more it's seemingly like Beaty is meant to be a positions coach or a coordinator. I hope I'm wrong but that's how it seems.

Jim Stauffer 5 years, 2 months ago

Baldwin missing from the lineup had very little to do with our DL caving in and being totally unable to even frighten their QB a bit. It might be more important to figure out why we cannot sack a QB from the two weakest teams on our schedule than concerning ourselves about an OL prospect. We have talented players on our team who have contributed little to this point.

Bob Bailey 5 years, 2 months ago

Why after all this do you refuse to look at coaching?

David Kemp 5 years, 2 months ago

Have to agree. If Saban thought this guy could play I bet you he would have been playing down there. Should be able to find 5 300 lb guys out there who can sustain a block more than 1 second

Chris Bulgren 5 years, 2 months ago


Any word on making a change at the D.C. position?

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