Next Up: Defensive Line 10:30AM CST
A year ago the Kansas offensive line was viewed as a strength headed into the season. As with much of the team depth turned into a major concern and a strength turned into a weakness. For Kansas and Turner Gill that seems to have translated into a focused effort at building from the inside out.
The Jayhawks will return Tanner Hawkinson, Jeremiah Hatch, Trevor Marrongelli and Duane Zlantik all starters at some point in 2010. Kansas will also return reserves Riley Spencer, Gavin Howard and Tom Mabry while Jeff Spikes returns from a redshirt year due to injury.
Without question it's an important position for Jayhawk success now and it will be critical for the future. On to the signings.
Dylan Admire - G/C - 6'3" 265
Committed: 7/30/11 (Switch From Nebraska)
Breakdown: Admire is the third mid year player for the Jayhawks joining Darrian Miller and Brock Berglund at Kansas at the start of January. Admire is a player that seems to fit the mold of what Gill is looking for on his offensive line and that's a player that has decent size and good feet. Admire moves well, he finishes blocks now he just has to work to get his body physically prepared for playing at the next level.
I asked Admire about his goals for the coming year with the head start that comes with a January arrival.
Just working on getting bigger, stronger and faster. Hit the weights and conditioning, work with the nutritionist and get my body right so that I can contribute in whatever way the coaches see fit next season.
I also asked Admire to talk a little about his thoughts on the incoming class and how things are shaping up.
It's a great class, I think we're close to 32nd in the nation and it's been neat to see it all come together. I helped with Anthony Pierson and Terry Redden who is supposed to announce today between Kansas and Memphis. But really the staff has done a great job, especially coming off last season. I mean to me and I think most of the recruits that was never even a question, it didn't even come into play because of what the coaches believe and what these coaches are trying to accomplish at Kansas.
Question Marks: If there's one question mark with Admire it's size early on, but in all reality that's not even a concern. He's an 18 year old he's on campus now working on adding good weight while maintaining the footwork that the staff liked and he has plenty of time to get his body where it needs to be. In reality you want your offensive line to be comprised of 3rd, 4th and 5th year players whenever possible. Admire will be ready to go by then.
Travis Bodenstein - G/T - 6'5" 295
Breakdown: Bodenstein is another big physical offensive lineman in a class full of them. Bodenstein also does come from one of the top high school programs in Arkansas and it never hurts to land players who know how to win. He committed very early on in the process and was actually a bit of the beginning of the domino affect that filled up the Kansas class with a total of 6 offensive lineman over the summer months. At this point he probably fits better in a run blocking scheme but again, it's early and he'll have time to develop.
Question Marks: Mobility might come into question. Some feel like he moves well for a kid his size and others point to a little bit of "stiffness". I'll let you decide based on the video. He does seemt to throw a pretty punishing block and he gets out on a few bubble screens so that shows decent mobility to start. As with any lineman it's about putting on the right weight and molding a player that is physical and still able to move.
Phil Ford - T - 6'6" 325
Breakdown: The buzz word surrounding Phil Ford is potential. The good news is he's shown the staff he has the work ethic needed to reach it. If there is one player in the class that has shown the most enthusiasm when it comes to being a Jayhawk it's Big Phil Ford. The staff asked him to show he could drop weight from a 350 pound frame, he did that and recieved an offer. Ford committed in July and has been lobbying for Kansas ever since. Most see him as a guy that has a great ceiling 2-4 years out and that's perfect. Potential left tackle in the making?
Question Marks: Right now it's all about potential. Phil isn't as polished as most of the offensive lineman in the class but he does have the physical tools to eventually be one of the best. Now it's just a matter of putting in the work to get there.
Luke Luhrsen - G - 6'5" 286
Breakdown - Luhrsen is a player that earned his scholarship at Kansas through the OL/DL camp over the summer. He came in to Lawrence for the camp, the Jayhawk were looking at his quarterback and shortly after Luhrsen was offered. Mobiltiy is the biggest strength as the 6'5" most likely future guard also plays hockey with a 286 pound frame. He has good footwork, body control and shows the ability to be a very solid run blocker.
I asked Luhrsen what it was that the staff liked most about him at camp and he pretty much echoed those thoughts.
What I've heard the most from coach Long, coach Grimes, and coach Gill is that they like my athleticism. I try to be modest but I would say I can move pretty well for a 286 pound guy. That was something that made me stand out at all of the camps I went to. I usually had a much faster 40 time and shuttle time than the other offensive lineman and coaches like to see the big guys that can still move real well.
As for his signing day plans, Luhrsen wasn't going to waste anytime getting his business taken care of.
Yeah school is already canceled so I plan on faxing my letter of intent from my home at 7:01
Obviously that's done and Luhrsen is a Jayhawk.
Damon Martin - OL - 6'5" 265
Breakdown: If there is one thing I like when watching an offensive lineman play it's a mean streak. Martin probably has that more than anyone else in this group and honestly most in this group have it. Martin is aggressive, he's strong and he'll throw a punishing block.
Question Marks: Some of his tape shows a guy that can get by on a mean streak and raw strength. He'll need to polish up his technique at the next level and he'll need to add some weight at the next level as well. Time is on his side just like it is with others in the group. He looks like a guy who is going to enjoy surfing with coach Stamn.
Bryan Peters - OL - 6'5" 305
Breakdown: Peters is viewed by many as the offensive lineman who could come in and make the immediate impact. He already has the size and his coach has gone on record stating that Peters has more potential in his mind that a teammate who signed with Alabama. That's pretty good company. He's a big player with good technique and understanding of the game.
Question Marks: Right now the only knock seems to be explosiveness at the snap but he really does seem to overcome any concern there with his technique.