Competition abounds at receiver

Kansas receivers coach Rob Ianello didn't waste any time explaining to his players what he expects from them if they are to contribute during the coming season, outlining it in simple fashion during their very first position meeting. He expects them to be complete.

During his very first position meeting with his wide receivers, Kansas assistant coach Rob Ianello made crystal clear what it would take to see the field this season.

One must be complete. Complete receivers run good routes. They block. They run after the catch, they're aware of their assignment and they're in great physical condition.

"So that's what it's gonna take," Ianello explained. "There's a line, and you want to have as many guys as you can above that line that can perform in a game, play for you and help you win. We're just trying to work every day to see how many guys we can get above that line."

"We're three days in," he added. "So in no way, shape or form are we in a position to determine any of that."

Still, Ianello likes what he's seen so far from his personnel, and said the position features great competition at the moment. D.J. Beshears, Daymond Patterson and Kale Pick are the senior leaders, but in terms of familiarity with the offense - and in the eyes of the coaching staff - everyone began the spring at square one.

Ianello cited younger players such as Chris Omigie, Andrew Turzilli, JaCorey Shepherd, Josh Ford, Christian Matthews and Tre Parmalee as those also in the mix.

To their credit, the receivers have taken Ianello's message to heart. It began during winter conditioning, carried over into the spring and continued through Scott Holsopple's brutal summer conditioning regimen.

Everything is different, Pick said, and it falls on veterans such as he, Beshears and Patterson to continue to set a good example.

"It's so much more serious this year," he explained. It's business-like. It's not for fun. The joking around kind of just trickled off. This is more business and we have a mature team. Even the young guys are really mature that came in."

"We have a good work ethic," Pick added. "We had a really good summer and it was really productive. I think that's transitioning over to fall camp."

One new weapon the receivers have in their arsenal actually players another position - quarterback Dayne Crist.

It would be unfair to lay all the blame for the lack of offensive production during the past two seasons at the feet of former quarterback Jordan Webb - now with the University of Colorado - but the reality is the quarterback play has been…inconsistent for the Jayhawks since the departure of Todd Reesing.

Crist is an animal of a different color. Not only is he physically gifted with a powerful right arm and the frame of a linebacker, but he's set a standard for the rest of the team to follow from the moment he arrived on campus.

"The biggest thing that helped us out in the spring was his leadership," Pick said. "From Day One he brought great leadership to our team and we knew he was our leader. And then the next thing he brought is he already knew the offense so head could teach other positions what they need to work on and what they need to look for against certain defenses."

How many receivers see action as part of the regular rotation this season will be up to the players themselves. Their goal is to get as many players as possible performing to the staff's standard.

From there, the coaches can begin to paint a clearer picture of what the offense needs to be in order to be successful.

"It's a personnel driven system," Ianello said. "As we get through training camp, and as a coaching staff we see where our personnel sits, Coach (Weis) - as the offensive coordinator - will design a system that will take advantage of the playmakers, whatever position they are."


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