On Tuesday afternoon Charlie Weis released the depth chart for Saturday's opener against South Dakota. There are plenty of new faces on the roster for the Jayhawks and some interesting position battles have taken shape. The full depth chart listing is posted below, but let's take a glance at some of the positions and questions that might pop up with this new look at who's playing where.
This is a completely new group with 3 of the 5 players being new to the roster in 2014. Fondal has been said to be the best pass blocker in the group at right tackle and Sterling has trimmed down to a weight where Weis thinks he can really take the next step forward. In the middle you have players that have joined the Jayhawks from winning programs at the junior college level and both have had personal success as well. Lewandowski is the most notable player with minimal experience, but he's also a player that Weis identified early on during his time at Kansas as someone who could be molded into a productive player.
Perhaps the most notable piece here is the complete absence of Riley Spencer and Damon Martin. Spencer has been injury prone but constantly discussed as a mountain of potential. That seems to be fading. Martin played last year and looked poised to make a move, he has since fallen off to the point of not even traveling with the team at times late last year. Those non-traveling roster members were being sent a message according to Weis, Martin doesn't seem to have dug out of that doghouse.
Tony Pierson, Christian Matthews and Justin McCay. Rodriguez Coleman is the first on the two deep that I see as potentially moving into a no. 1 spot. Josh Ford makes the list. His energy level was great last year on special teams but something kept him off the field on offense. Lastly, no Andrew Turzilli, interesting to see.
There has been some fan talk about Cox potentially redshirting. Who knows how realistic that ever was for the staff. It would appear unlikely with Cox and Miller listed as 'co' no. 2's.
Nothing more to say other than I really like this group. We have some speed, we have players that can be physical and we have players that have been very successful at the junior college level that will elevate this position group from where it would have been without them. Victor Simmons earned his way into the lineup. And who's not excited to see this Dexter McDonald story unfold? Has to leave the University, comes back with higher expectations and has the potential to be a great local player.
A little surprised to see Kevin Young move into a starting role but at the same time it's almost a situation where we shouldn't be. Young is a senior, he was highly thought of out of high school and sometimes it's easy to get stuck staring at the best new thing. This will be a rotation, but the fact that Keba and Young beat out Jordan Tavai and Tedarian Johnson makes me very curious about the effects of the increased competition on the interior.
Also very interested to see Stowers, McKinney and Combs all work in. I'd place an emphasis on Stowers who has clearly become a team leader and put in whatever work it took to go from a rarely used newcomer last year, to what Weis calls the best interior guy on the team.
LT - Aslam Sterling, Zach Fondal
LG - Ngala Fusimalohi, Randall Dent
C - Pat Lewandowski, Dylan Admire
RG - Mike Smithburg, Randall Dent
RT - Zach Fondal, Brian Beckmann
TE - Jimmay Mundine, Trent Smiley
X - Justin McCay, Josh Ford
Z - Christian Matthews, Rodriguez Coleman or Tre Parmalee
QB - Jake Heaps, Michael Cummings
H - James Sims, Taylor Cox or Darrian Miller
F - Tony Pierson, Brandon Bourbon
LC - Jacorey Shepherd, Brandon Hollomon
NB - Victor Simmons, Courtney Arnick
RC - Dexter McDonald, Kevin Short or Greg Allen
SS - Isaiah Johnson, Tevin Shaw
FS - Cassius Sendish, Dexter Linton
LE -Kevin Young, Tedarian Johnson
NT - Keon Stowers, Marquel Combs or Ty McKinney
RE - Keba Agostinho, Jordan Tavai
Buck - Ben Goodman, Michael Reynolds
MLB - Ben Heeney, Schyler Miles
WLB - Samson Faifilli, Jake Love
Trevor Padula - KO, Punter
Matthew Wyman - Place kicker
Blake Jablonski - Holder
Taylor Cox, Brandon Bourbon - Kickoff return
Connor Embree - Punt return