By Aaron Cede�o Phog.net Senior Writer August 6, 2010
With training camp opening Wednesday, there’s already been a fair amount of talk among the local media about depth issues at certain positions for the Kansas Jayhawks.
Linebacker, defensive line and offensive line are all potential areas of concern in this regard, with the coaches as well as the fans.
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“I think the depth is a little bit tough at this point in time,” said Head Coach Turner Gill Wednesday afternoon, of the offensive line. “(Redshirt freshman offensive guard Tom )Mabry got injured, obviously we lost (junior offensive tackle Jeff) Spikes for the whole season from that standpoint.”
“I think right now depth is a concern in several positions,” said defensive coordinator Carl Torbush. “Defensive line because of some of the things that have happened, linebacker. But we’ve got what we’ve got. And what we’ve got to do is make sure we’ve got our guys in the best position to be successful. If that means tweaking the defense a little bit or putting in some different personnel packages that’s what we’ll have to do.”
If there’s one area where talent is plentiful, however, it’s at wide receiver. The Jayhawks have a number of dangerous weapons at the position, and it all starts with senior Johnathan Wilson.
Having worked diligently in the shadow of Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier for the past two seasons, Wilson has shown occasional flashes of all-conference ability. In 2008, with Briscoe sidelined due to suspension, Wilson stepped up in a big way in a nationally-televised contest at South Florida. Then a sophomore, he hauled in 10 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns. In 2009, he placed third on the team in both receptions and yards in 2009 with 35 catches for 449 yards.
This year, it looks as if the senior is poised to thrive in the spotlight, earning praise after the first day of practice from quarterback Kale Pick and running back Angus Quigley. If Wilson can reach his potential and become a bona-fide star in his final year on campus, the Jayhawks offense will be that much more dangerous.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of talent alongside him as well. Junior Daymond Patterson, back at wide receiver after a year-long stint at cornerback, looks to be the starter in the slot, and there may not be a more explosive player in the Big 12 North. Bradley McDougald had a solid freshman year in 2009, and should claim the other starting spot moving forward.
However, offensive coordinator Chuck Long is known for rotating fresh legs in at wide receiver throughout the game, so expect talented underclassmen like redshirt freshmen Chris Omigie and Christian Matthews, as well as sophomore D.J. Beshears, to earn their fair share of snaps as well.
Not matter who wins the quarterback battle on Mount Oread, be it Pick or redshirt freshman Jordan Webb, he can rest easy knowing he’ll have some serious talent on the receiving end of his passes in 2010.