With Kansas losing its best two receivers in Andrew Parchment and Stephon Robinson to the transfer portal, this is going to take some
guessing projection, as KU doesn’t have a clear #1-WR coming into the season. On top of that, there’s a new coaching staff in town, and we don’t know how they’re going to evaluate the guys that were here last year.
Here goes nothing...
We’ll go ahead and include tight ends here, since they catch passes too.
WR1 - SO Luke Grimm / SO Steven McBride
WR2 - RS-FR Lawrence Arnold / SO Tristan Golightly
WR3/Slot - S-SR Kwamie Lassiter / JR Kevin Terry
WR4 - RS-SO Trevor Solomon-Wilson / JR Jamahl Horne
TE1 - RS-FR Will Huggins / RS-FR Trevor Kardell
TE2 - JR Mason Fairchild / RS-JR Mac Copeland
With the new coaching staff in, we don’t really know what KU’s offense will look like. That said, I’m guessing we’ll see more of a power+spread run game (think K-State) and fewer four and five-WR sets.
Trevor Solomon-Wilson is one of the transfers from Buffalo. He put up 319 yards on 16 receptions and 3 TDs in just 7 games last season for the Bulls, and was poised to be the lead receiver there should he have stayed. I look for him to push the top 3 returning guys (Grimm, Arnold, Lassiter) for playing time right away.
Will Huggins had a bit of a breakout at the spring game, leading the team in receiving. However, Fairchild was the favorite child of the Miles regime, playing in all 12 games as a freshman and starting six times at tight end last season.
Note that Takulve Williams tied for third on the team in receptions last year, but has moved to safety.
Emmett Jones returns for his third year as the coach of the WR group. Jones served as interim coach in the spring, and has been considered one of KU’s top recruiters since he got to campus.
Jones came to KU after serving three years on Kliff Kingsbury’s staff at Texas Tech. Prior to Tech, Jones was the head coach at South Oak Cliff High School in Texas, going 30-8 in three seasons. Prior to that he was an assistant coach at the high school level at various places in the Dallas area. As a player, Jones was a walk-on at Texas Tech in the mid-1990s.
Cause for Optimism
There’s just so much potential with this group. The Jayhawks are young and talented, and multiple guys have the chance to break out this season. If you’re really into the kool-aid, Grimm, Arnold, Wilson, and Huggins are all healthy and able to showcase their abilities, and KU has one of the top WR corps in whatever conference they’re in going into 2022. *Drink*
Cause for Concern
A lot of this actually hinges on the offensive line and quarterback. If those two positions don’t improve over last year, the wide receivers aren’t going to have any production either. Lassiter, Grimm, and Wilson are the only receivers who had double-digit receptions last year. Kansas hasn’t had a 900+ yard receiver since both Dez Briscoe and Kerry Meier did it in 2009.