Random thoughts/observations from yesterday's open practice, particulary the scrimmage portion. I'll probably repeat some of my comments made on the Slant so for those of you that are Slant members my apologies for being redundant.
- New field turf looked great. I really like the blue end zones. Jayhawk at middle of the field is bigger but not excessively bigger. It did look like parts of the field had too much crumb rubber which kind of gave the field a "muddy" look in places.
- First team defense looked like this: DL - Onyegbule, Patrick Dorsey, Richard Johnson, and Laptad. LB - Drew Dudley and Arist Wright. CB - Anthony Davis, Patterson. S - Stuckey, Thornton. Nickel - Chris Harris.
- First team offense - OL - Hawkinson, Spikes (tackles), Capra, Thorson (guards), and Hatch (center). TE - Biere. WR - Briscoe, Meier, Wilson. RB - Sharp. QB - Reesing.
- Freshmen WRs - McDougald looks like the real deal. When KU's first team offense went to 4 WR's, McDougald was the 4th WR. He looked very good in the 1 on 1 drills where he put some great moves on Stuckey. While he got several reps with the 1st team offense during the scrimmage, he did not get many balls thrown his way. McDougald played the slot receiver (looks like he's taking over Dexton Fields' spot). Omigie got some reps with 2nd team offense and made a great catch along the sidelines. It did not look like McGriff got many reps with the 2nd team. Both Omigie and McGriff are as tall as advertised. To me, both appear a bit stiff when running their routes - not nearly as fluid as McDougald. It would probably be good if both Omigie and McGriff redshirted.
- LB rotation - KU rotated the LBs a lot during the scrimmage portion of practice so it was hard for me to make a lot of sense of pecking order there. I asked others about this on the Slant and they seemed to have as tough of a time as I did trying to figure out the depth chart at LB. Here's how it appeared to me. When KU went with the "1 Nickel" package (i.e. first team nickel defense) the LBs were Dudley and Wright. Looked like they would also rotate Vernon Brooks in for Dudley. 2nd team LBs looked like Steven Johnson and Huldon Tharp with Springer also getting some reps. From what I saw, Quigley got no reps with 1st team defense and very limited reps with the 2nd team.
- DLine rotation - Again, starters were Onyegbule and Laptad at DE with Dorsey and Johnson Jr. at DT. Others getting a lot of reps were Woods and Wheeler at DE and Travis Stephens at DT. Jamal Greene was in uniform but did not get any reps. He might be dinged up as someone on the Slant noted that he did not run with the team at the end of practice. Zlatnik did not play many snaps. There were several plays where the DL consisted of Onyegbule and Stephen Foster on the outside with Wheeler and Laptad inside (strange) - basically no true DT's on the field. Woods had a diving interception on a batted pass (it was a zone blitz play where Woods dropped back into coverage). I did not notice freshmen Sellers and Young getting much, if any, reps during the scrimmage.
- Toben Opurum saw several snaps with the 1st team offense both in a few 2 back sets with Sharp and as the sole RB. Does not look like he will redshirt. From what I saw, Rell Lewis only saw snaps with the 2nd team offense. Opurum also saw snaps with the 2nd team offense.
- Briscoe was...well....Briscoe. Spectacular as usual with 1 handed catches and a catch where he outfought the dback for a ball, tapped it in the air, and then caught it as he was falling down. In the 1 on 1 drills he toyed with several DB's, particularly freshman Tyler Patmon.
- OLine - Have to admit I didn't pay a lot of attention to the Oline though that was not the case with Coach Mangino. He spent the bulk of practice watching (and coaching) the Oline and Dline. Hawkinson looked fine but nothing spectacular.
- Kale Pick - Needs to improve his accuracy. He definitely has good wheels. Had nice deep TD pass to Raimond Pendleton (who beat Ryan Murphy on the play). Meier continues to get QB reps with both 1st and 2nd team offense. I did not think Meier threw the ball very well yesterday - several wobbly passes. The freshmen QBs (Webb and Matthews) did not get any reps during the scrimmage.
- Good to see WR Rod Harris on the field. He had a brace on his knee but it looked like he was going full speed. Looked pretty good to me in the 1 on 1 drills. Would be nice if guys like Harris, Ingram, and Pendleton can contribute this year and allow both Omigie and McGriff to redshirt.
- CB Calvin Rubles on the 2nd team defense looked pretty good to me. At 6'3" he's clearly taller than your average CB.
- Freshman S Prinz Kande - Did not get many, if any, snaps during the scrimmage. 2nd team safeties were Lubbock Smith and Phillip Strozier. Won't be surprised if Kande redshirts.
I'm probably forgetting to mention several things but that's all for now.