Apr 28, 2012; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks safety Lubbock Smith (1) in the first half of the Spring Game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
Last day of positional previews as we're now down to the final stretch before kickoff. The last position is actually one where Kansas has a very good opportunity at being improved. The talent is there at the safety position. Some of it came to light despite Turner Gill, some of it made a good run prior to Gill.
Bradley McDougald - McDougald has been billed as a player with NFL potential from the start. Yet he's never really hit his stride completely despite playing significant minutes from the word go. This year is his last opportunity, he'll be in a position to work with a defensive coordinator that has had some very strong secondary units during his time as coach and hopefully the product around him will allow for improvement as well.
- Lubbock Smith - Smith started as a redshirt freshman during Mangino's final season. He was one of the bright spots during a dramatic decline and he looked like someone who would be a solid three year starter for the next coach. For whatever reason, Smith faded to the back and never really fit into the plan for speed. Now he has another chance to show what he can do and I for one am looking forward to seeing him back on the field. He always seemed like a coachable player that understood the game when there was a gameplan.
- Ray Mitchell - Mitchell was on and off the field throughout the 2011 season. It's hard to get a good read on his potential but he'll be in the mix for playing time.
- Brian Maura - Maura is a converted wideout. He has very good speed and he's big, really big for a safety. Hopefully this can be a future home for him. It's not often that Kansas pulls a player out of Florida, it would be great to see him have some success.
- Alex Matlock - Matlock was billed as a heavy hitter coming in. He has good size, he's aggressive but he's also still young. This isn't a deep position so he'll compete and start building his case for more minutes.
- Tevin Shaw - Shaw was a late signing by Weis and he might be the biggest indicator as to how deep this unit it. Shaw is on the two deep. He walked in after his senior year and worked into a better position than a handful of others that have been around. Now either Shaw is the real deal, or we don't have much at safety.
- Brandon Hawks - Last year for the senior utility man and special teamer.