There will be plenty of changes between now and signing day but what does the early 2013 Kansas football depth chart look like based on who we have on campus today?
This is always a challenge because you hate to throw something out there when we all know certain positions must be addressed through junior college recruiting and some positions have already been addressed if the current recruiting commitment list holds. In the interest of not counting our chickens before they hatch, we'll stick with what we know, who we have on campus today and revisit this down the road.
For now, here's one 'way too early' look at the 2013 Kansas football depth chart.
Based on what we've seen, Heaps needs to be the man. Michael Cummings did an admirable job bridging the gap in year one and he will certainly have the opportunity to compete, but Kansas needs a significant upgrade at this position and that isn't likely to come from some miraculous offseason player development. Heaps and Baty are the unknowns, Heaps has been built up in similar fashion to Dayne Crist. Now Charlie Weis need Heaps to deliver or it could be a significant blow to his chances of a rebuild at Kansas during his originally stated timeline.
Pretty easy here. Sims is a potential All Big 12 player once again. A healthy Pierson is a one of a kind weapon. Taylor Cox provides solid depth at the position. Bourbon has moved into a fullback type roll but he does have the ability to carry the football or make a reception out of the backfield. Some people might like to see him get more touches, but he's come along way in terms of his contributions to the program this season.
Mundine is going to be the guy next year at this position and with the right quarterback he can be a very effective weapon for Kansas. Smiley might fill the Mike Ragone roll as more of the blocking tight end and also fill in at the fullback spot as he did this year. Brooks and Smith are the wild cards. Both are big and athletic targets that could provide some much needed relief in the passing game if they can show some progression from year one to year two.
C: Dylan Admire/Damon Martin
RG: Randall Dent/Brian Peters
Aslam Sterling is probably the player that seems like the most likely success story out of this group. He's developed quite a bit during this season and he'll enter next year with a whole lot more in the way of offseason preparation. Dent is another one that could do well. Yes he had some moments that left you scratching your head, but he also had some very positive stretches and for a guy that has been jerked every which way by the previous two coaching staffs and shuffled from offense to defense on multiple occasions, he might have finally found a home.
Now we get into the major question marks. Can Riley Spencer stay healthy? If he can that has to help the overall situation but if he can't is Pat Lewandowski ready for the responsibility at left tackle? Damon Martin stepped into a pair of games this year and then didn't even make a road trip because coach Weis was "taking only the players that really cared". What does that say about his potential? Dylan Admire has been the heir apparent at center for some time now, but we hear very little about him. Then you have the Turner Gill crop sitting behind most every spot on the two deep. This was a highly thought of group, next year is when we start to figure out what we really got our hands on.
X Andrew Turzilli/Tre Parmalee
Z Justin McCay/Josh Ford or Chris Omigie
Another scary position with absolutely nothing to point to as a proven commodity. This position had its struggles in 2012 and we're relying on Justin McCay to step in, Turzilli to develop some aggressiveness or Omigie and Ford learning to catch the ball. Tre Parmalee might be the guy that has the most upside, but that's really only because we could point to his play this year and say he's young. Kansas is going to need to do something with this position or have the position coach of the year in order to turn this group into an advantage.
When you look at the offense we're looking at our major questions being the offensive line and receiving corp. Yes quarterback is a question mark in terms of production value, but we pretty much know who is going to start. Everyone is optimistic that Heaps can be everything that Crist was not, but unless Kansas puts an offensive line on the field that can block and a receiving corps that can make plays, it's still going to be tough. This year we were able to rely heavily on the running attack, next year this team will need to be more balanced if they want to improve the results in the win loss column.