Not knowing for sure what the Kansas offense will look like shouldn’t affect the offensive line too much - after all, you still have to have five of them. How much KU utilizes the spread, motion, fullbacks, etc., doesn’t change that. So let’s take a look at what KU has going with the big hogmollies up front.
Case for Optimism
Kansas returns five linemen with starting experience, including LT Hakeem Adeniji, who should find himself on more than one preseason awards list. The Jayhawks are beefy and deep; in fact, there were zero offensive line recruits in Miles’ first class. Most if not all of the two-deep will likely be juniors and seniors, so even a semi-competent coaching staff ought to be able to get something out of these guys.
Case for Concern
Recent history, I guess? Kansas hasn’t had great line play over the past several years, so it comes down to the question of whether or not returning experience is actually a good thing. Heck, even when Kansas was good, Todd Reesing was still constantly running for his life (it seemed like it, anyway).
I think Adeniji and Feder are pretty much locked in at the tackle spots; the rest is a complete (semi-educated) guess.
LT - SR Hakeem Adeniji / JR Earl Bostick or SR Antione Frazier
LG - R-JR Malik Clark / R-FR Jacobi Lott
C - JR Api Mane / SR Andru Tovi
RG - JR Chris Hughes / R-JR Adagio Lopeti
RT - SR Kevin Feder / Clyde McCauley /
This is the part where I reiterate that I’m totally guessing and throw a bunch of names at you, which, if you’re a frequent reader of RCT, you’ve probably seen before.
Yes, Jacobi Lott was cleared to resume football activities in December and is back and practicing after a scary incident last August. Jalan Robinson and Nick Williams are a couple more redshirt freshmen to keep your eyes on this year; both had decent offer sheets coming out of high school. Malik Clark and Joey Gilbertson may also crack the two-deep. Heck, they may have done so already, I don’t know, I’m not at practice!
Needless to say, Kansas has plenty of bodies, including a lot of upperclassmen, and enough underclassmen that the future isn’t dire.
The OL is coached by Luke Meadows, who comes to Kansas from Eastern Michigan (Go Eagles). Prior to being a part of the turnaround at EMU, he was also part of the staff that transformed the Southern Miss offense from 2014-15, and has been an offensive coordinator at the FCS level (South Dakota State, 2006-11).
The words “cautiously optimistic” come to mind as I try to wrap up this piece on the offensive line in general. I like the idea of having experienced players that are juniors and seniors. I like the younger guys that Beaty brought in, especially Williams, Lott, and Robinson. The cupboard is not bare here.
With the change in the coaching staff, hopefully we can avoid this and have some more success on fourth and short instead of just automatically running the punter out there after calling timeout oh god I’m having flashbacks somebody please help me.