Four days until the first practice of the season for the Kansas football program. Forecast is for a high of 104 degrees. So that should be fun. (It is, of course, mild compared to the 113 degrees in Lawrence on Sunday.)
Kansas coach Charlie Weis, embarking on his first season at KU, will release a revamped depth chart this week. But as we wait for that, here’s a first look at the updated KU roster from this season’s media guide.
Let’s start with the offense, by position group:
No., Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Year, Hometown
6 Turner Baty, QB, 6-2, 215, So., Redwood City, Calif. (CC of San Francisco)
9 Jake Heaps, QB, 6-1, 210, Jr., Issaquah, Wash. (Skyline HS/BYU)
10 Dayne Crist, QB, 6-4, 235, Sr., Canoga Park, Calif. (Notre Dame)
14 Michael Cummings, QB, 5-10, 205, Fr., Killeen, Texas (Killeen HS)
17 Blake Jablonski, H/QB, 6-1, 208, So., Wichita, Kan. (Collegiate HS)
At first glance: This one is relatively easy. If Crist’s right arm is attached to his body and he’s still breathing, he’ll be under center for Kansas. Crist looked pretty sharp in the spring game (10 for 19 for 156 yards) and he spent the summer organizing 7-on-7 workouts for the offense.
The second-most talented quarterback in the program is (presumably) Heaps, who must sit out this season after transferring from BYU. That could leave a question mark surrounding the backup spot: Cummings, an undersized redshirt freshman, or Baty, a juco transfer who arrives in Lawrence with three seasons left. Another thought: Baty could redshirt if he wants to preserve a year of eligibility and stay one class behind Heaps.
Running backs (8)
3 Tony Pierson, RB, 5-10 ½ , 168, So., East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis HS)
25 Brandon Bourbon, RB, 6-1, 218, So., Potosi, Mo. (Potosi HS)
28 Marquis Jackson, RB, 6-0, 220, So., Fort Worth, Texas (Arlington Heights HS)
29 James Sims, RB, 6-0, 200, Jr., Irving, Texas (MacArthur HS)
36 Taylor Cox, RB, 5-11, 210, Mill Creek, Wash. (College of the Siskiyous)
37 Ryan Burton, RB, 5-9, 190, Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo. (Air Academy HS)
43 Ed Fink, FB, 6-2, 235, So., Belleville, Ill. (Althoff HS)
45 Nick Sizemore, FB, 6-0, 240, Jr., Lititz, Pa. (Manheim Township/Buffalo)
At first glance: Earlier this summer, Weis was comfortable giving true freshman Tevin Shaw, a two-way standout from Piscataway, N.J., the option of starting his college career at safety. The reason: Weis says Shaw would have started way down on the depth chart at running back. Even with the departure of Darrian Miller — and the looming three-game suspension for James Sims — the Jayhawks remain relatively deep at running back.
It’s probably safe to say that Weis has imagined all sorts of different ways to utilize Pierson’s game-breaking speed, while Bourbon appears to be fully recovered from the leg injury that ended his season after just eight games last year. Cox, meanwhile, rushed for more than 1,500 yards in 10 games last season for the College of the Siskiyous. And Jackson is a converted receiver who switched to running back in the spring. What about fullback? In the spring, Sizemore was listed first on the depth chart, one spot ahead of Fink.
Wide receivers (12)
7 Kale Pick, WR, 6-1 ½, 205, Sr., Dodge City, Kan. (Dodge City HS)
8 Josh Ford, WR, 6-3, 205, Jr., Landover, Md. (Coolidge HS, Arizona Western CC)
11 Tre’ Parmalee, WR, 5-10, 168, Fr., Overland Park, Kan. (Bishop Miege)
12 Christian Matthews, WR, 6-1, 205, Jr., Arlington, Texas (James Bowie HS)
15 Daymond Patterson, WR, 5-8, 180, Sr., Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)
19 Justin McCay, WR, 6-2, 215, So., Shawnee Mission, Kan. (Bishop Miege)
20 D.J. Beshears, WR, 5-9, 185, Sr., Denton, Texas (Ryan HS)
22 Connor Embree*, WR, 5-10, So., Superior, Colo. (BV West/UNLV)
80 Ricki Herod, WR, 6-2, 195, So., Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)
82 Andrew Turzilli, WR, 6-3, ½ , 185, So., Butler, N.J. (Butler HS)
83 Chris Omigie, WR, 6-4, 200, Jr., Arlington, Texas (Martin HS)
89 JaCorey Shepherd, WR, 5-11, So., Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite Horn HS)
At first glance: In the spring, Patterson and Pick were listed as starters, with Beshears and JaCorey Shepherd behind Patterson at the “Z” position and McCay and Chris Omigie behind Pick at the “X” spot. McCay has since lost his battle with the NCAA for a hardship waiver, ruling him out for the season.
But Weis has continually been positive about the team’s depth at the position. Ford is a big-play transfer from Arizona Western CC, averaging more than 14 yards per reception last season. Beshears led the team with 40 catches last season, while Pick hauled in 34. And Patterson, of course, had 60 catches in 2010 before sitting out last season because of injury.
Tight ends (6)
41 Jimmay Mundine, TE, 6-2, 250, So., Denison, Texas (Denison HS)
44 Scott Baron*, TE, 6-2, 245, Fr., Santa Ana, Calif. (Orange Lutheran HS)
84 Mike Ragone, TE, 6-4, 255, Sr., Blackwood, N.J. (Notre Dame)
85 Trent Smiley, TE, 6-4, 245, So., Frisco, Texas (Wakeland HS)
86 Charles Brooks, TE, 6-6, 240, Jr., St. Louis, Mo. (Scottsdale CC)
87 Jordan Shelley-Smith, TE, 6-5, 240, Fr., McGregor, Texas (Reicher Catholic HS)
At first glance: KU must replace the graduated Tim Biere, who is currently going through training camp with the Chiefs. That could start with Ragone, who was selected to the Mackey Award preseason watch list this summer despite limited production during an injury-plagued career at Notre Dame. Mundine was listed as the starter during spring practice, but that was before Ragone or Brooks, a highly-regarded juco transfer, arrived on campus.
Offensive line (15)
56 Josh Burgoon*, OL, 6-1, 275, Jr., Lenexa, Kan. (St. James Academy)
61 Pat Lewandowski, OL, 6-5, 285, Overland Park, Kan. (BV West HS)
64 Randall Dent, OL, 6-4, 300, Jr., Dallas, Texas (South Grand Prairie HS)
66 Dylan Admire, OL, 6-3, 277, Fr., Overland Park, Kan. (BV West HS)
67 Duane Zlatnik, OL, 6-4, 312, Sr., Rossville, Kan. (Rossville HS)
68 Luke Luhrsen, OL, 6-3, 300, Fr., Wheaton, Ill. (Warrenville South HS)
69 Trevor Marrongelli, OL, 6-3, Sr. Austin, Texas (Westwood HS)
70 Gavin Howard, OL, 6-4, 300, Jr., Owasso, Okla. (Owasso HS)
72 Tanner Hawkinson, OL, 6-5, 300, Sr., McPherson, Kan. (McPherson HS)
73 Damon Martin, OL, 6-3, 295, Fr., Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)
74 Brian Beckmann, OL, 6-6, 300, Fr., Overland Park, Kan. (BV West HS)
75 Sean Connolly, OL, 6-7, 295, Fr., Kirtland Hills, Ohio (St. Edward HS)
76 Bryan Peters, OL, 6-3, 300, Fr., La Mirada, Calif. (La Mirada CC)
77 Aslam Sterling, OL, 6-5, 360, Jr., Springfield Garden, N.Y. (Nassau CC)
79 Riley Spencer, OL, 6-6, 305, Jr., Hesston, Kan. (Hesston HS)
At first glance: Hawkinson, a captain who has made 36 consecutive starts, appears entrenched at left tackle. And signs point to Zlatnik, who started at right guard last season, shifting to the left and lining up alongside Hawkinson. Marrongelli was listed as the starter at center during spring practice, and Howard (right guard) and Spencer (right tackle) filled out the other starting spots. Sterling, a juco transfer, is a newcomer to track, while Dent and Lewandowski are moving over to the offense after spending last season on the defensive line.
No., Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Year, Hometown
Defensive line (11)
9 Jordan Tavai, DL, 6-3, 290, Jr., Redondo Beach, Calif. (El Camino CC)
62 Dylan Avery, DL, 6-3, 250, So., Topeka, Kan. (Topeka HS)
71 John Williams, DL, 6-3, 300, Jr., Tulsa, Okla. (Washington HS)
78 Shane Smith, DL, 6-5, 295, Jr., Albuquerque, N.M. (Eldorado HS)
90 Kevin Young, DL, 6-3, 285, Jr., Olathe, Kan. (Olathe North HS)
93 Ben Goodman, DL, 6-3, 260, (RS) Fr., Beaumont, Texas (West Brook HS)
94 Tyler Holmes, DL, 6-3, 280, Fr., Garland, Texas (Sachse HS)
95 Josh Williams, DL, 6-4, 255, Sr., Denton, Texas (Nebraska)
96 Keba Agostinho, DL, 6-2, 280, Jr., Katy, Texas (James Taylor HS)
97 Ty McKinney, DL, 6-3, 310, Jr., Athens, Texas (Trinity Valley CC)
98 Keon Stowers, DL, 6-3, 290, So., Rock Hill, S.C. (Georgia Military Coll.)
At first glance: This might be the most intriguing position group to track during August and the opening weeks of the season. Consider: Back in April, Lewandowski was still being listed as a starter at defensive tackle, and Josh Williams, Keon Stowers, Jordan Tavai and Ty McKinney had yet to arrive on campus. Assuming that juco transfers Tavai and McKinney make it to campus without any problems — both are apparently finishing up classes at their respective schools — both will likely be in the mix. Weis lavished praise on Josh Williams, a senior transfer from Nebraska, earlier this summer. (Williams made 12 tackles while playing in all 13 games for Nebraska last season.) And John Williams, still a junior, returns after tearing his ACL against Northern Illinois last season. (He was granted a medical hardship by the NCAA).
Defensive end/linebackers (4)
35 Toben Opurum, DE/LB, 6-1, 250, Sr., Richardson, Texas (Plano East HS)
38 Josh Richardson, DE/LB, 6-4, 245, Sr., Dublin, Ohio (Scioto HS)
55 Michael Reynolds, DE/LB, 6-1, 240, So., Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)
92 Neal Page, DE/LB, 6-4, 220, Fr., Birmingham, Mich. (Seaholm HS)
At first glance: Opurum, a captain, leads a small group of players listed at the hybrid position of defensive end and linebacker. In KU’s defense, it’s likely that Opurum will move between defensive end and the Sam linebacker position. Reynolds, one of the defense’s true speed guys, had a solid spring game while going after the quarterback.
2 Darius Willis, LB, 6-2, 240, Jr., Houston, Texas (Eisenhower HS/Buffalo)
4 Prinz Kande, LB, 5-11, Jr., 205, Euless, Texas (Trinity HS)
17 Tunda Bakare, LB, 5-10, 205, Sr., Woodbridge, Va. (Forrest Park HS/Highland CC)
31 Ben Heeney, LB, 6-0, 225, So., Hutchinson, Kan. (Hutchinson HS)
32 Schyler Miles, LB, 6-2, 225, Fr., Tampa, Fla. (Berkeley Prep HS)
34 Huldon Tharp, LB, 6-0, 227, Jr., Mulvane, Kan. (Mulvane HS)
39 Jon Shelby, LB, 6-2, 205, Jr., Brockton, Mass. (Brockton HS/Nassau CC)
49 Tyler Hunt, LB, 6-2, 230, Lawrence, Kan. (Lawrence HS)
51 Anthony McDonald, LB, 6-2, 235, Sr., Burbank, Calif. (Notre Dame)
53 Ryan Karlin, LB, 5-11, 220, Fr., Shawnee, Kan. (Rockhurst HS)
57 Jake Love, LB, 6-0, 220, Fr., Tonkawa, Okla. (Tonkawa HS)
58 Courtney Arnick, LB, 6-2, 195, Fr., Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)
At first glance: During the spring, Bakare, Willis and Tharp were listed as starters at linebacker. Now McDonald, the third transfer from Notre Dame, joins the mix. In addition, true freshman Schyler Miles was a nice recruiting coup in Weis’ first few months on the job.
1 Lubbock Smith, S, 5-10, 200, Sr., Dallas, Texas (Carter HS)
23 Dexter Linton, S, 5-10, 195, Jr., Arlington, Texas (James Bowie HS)
24 Bradley McDougald, S, 6-1, 209, Sr., Dublin, Ohio (Scioto HS)
26 Ray Mitchell, S, 6-0, 190, So., Irving, Texas (MacArthur HS)
27 Victor Simmons, S, 6-1, 206, So., Olathe, Kan. (Olathe North)
30 Tevin Shaw, S, 5-11, 185, Fr., Piscataway, N.J. (Piscataway HS)
47 Brian Maura, S, 6-3, 205, So., Miami, Fla. (Felix Varela HS)
At first glance: McDougald, a senior, enters his final season after starting all 12 games at strong safety last season. He was listed as the starter at free safety during the spring and appears a lock in the secondary somewhere, while Smith was listed as the other starter. Simmons, a graduate of Olathe North, played in 11 games as a true freshman last season. And then there’s Shaw, who, according to Weis, could have the ability to start pretty high on the depth chart at safety. How high? We’ll see.
5 Greg Brown, CB, 5-10 ½, 185, Sr., Cedar Hill, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)
11 Tyree Williams, CB, 6-0, 193, Fr., Stafford, Texas (Dulles HS)
14 Nasir Moore, CB, 6-1, 185, Jr., Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge HS)
18 Corrigan Powell, CB, 5-10, 174, Sr., Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS)
22 Greg Allen, CB, 5-11, 199, Fr., Houston, Texas (Alief Taylor HS)
33 Tyler Patmon, CB, 5-11, 180, Jr., Round Rock, Texas (Vista Ridge HS)
At first glance: Brown, a fifth-year senior, is a returning starter, while Patmon made seven starts last season. Moore, meanwhile, is a juco transfer from East Los Angeles College, and Williams and Allen are both true freshmen from Texas.
13 Ron Doherty, P/PK, 5-11, 209, Jr., Klein, Texas (Klein HS)
38 Justin Puthoff, LS/TE, 6-2, 245, Jr., Goddard, Kan. (Goddard HS)
54 Justin Carnes, LS, 6-1, 250, Jr., La Porte, Texas (La Porte HS)
At first glance: Kicker Alex Mueller exited the program earlier this summer, leaving Doherty as the only punter or kicker listed on the most recent roster in the program’s media guide. Doherty was selected to the Ray Guy Award preseason watch list, an award reserved for the best punter in college football, and handled field-goal duties during the last four games last season. He averaged 42.8 yards per punt last season, the third-best average in the Big 12.
* denotes walk-on