Position Outlook: Wide Receiver

One of the most experienced positions on the entire team, the wide receiving corps for the Kansas Jayhawks features a talented trio of seniors as well as some surprising depth - depth that managed to surprise even Head Coach Charlie Weis when he first evaluated it.

Let's talk receivers.

Since Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier left Kansas for the NFL following the 2009 season, the production from the wideouts has been...well...spotty to say the least.

In 2009, Briscoe hauled in 89 passes for 1,337 yards and nine touchdowns. Meier topped the century mark in receptions with 102, for 985 yards and eight touchdowns. The team's third-leading receiver, Johnathan Wilson, caught 35 passes for 449 yards.

To put that in perspective, the following year - the first of Turner Gill's two-year tenure as head coach - the team's leading receiver, Daymond Patterson, caught 60 passes for 487 yards. And in 2011 the production dipped even more steeply, when D.J. Beshears led the team with 40 receptions for 437 yards.

Now, the play of receivers is obviously dependent largely upon outside factors - namely the quarterback. The quarterback needs time to throw, which means the O-Line needs to protect him, then he needs to make the correct read and deliver the ball on target - all before the receiver is able to think about making a play of his own.

After two seasons of fluctuation on the offensive line and inconsistent play under center, things have a chance to solidify rather nicely during the 2012 season thanks to a great deal of experience in the trenches and the presence of Dayne Crist at quarterback. Add to that the knowledge that Head Coach Charlie Weis believes the receiving corps has more talent than he originally though, and things could be looking up for the Jayhawks in the passing game.

It should come as no surprise that the top three receivers on the depth chart will almost assuredly be the three seniors - Beshears, Patterson and Kale Pick. Each brings a little something different to the table. Beshears is undersized but powerful and a straight-line speedster, while Patterson - who returns from a redshirt year following an injury during the 2012 season - is a dynamic playmaker in the open field. Pick might not have the explosiveness of his veteran counterparts, but he's got size, at almost 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, a great football IQ thanks to his time spent at quarterback and ACME brand glue for hands.

The rest of the group provides a nice mix of abilities as well. The official depth chart for Week One will be released Tuesday, but based on recent comments from Weis the most likely candidates for significant playing time outside of the three seniors appear to be Chris Omigie, Tre Parmalee and Andrew Turzilli.

Omigie is less of a surprise than Parmalee and Turzilli. A big target, he was fairly highly-recruited out of high school and fans have been waiting for him to make an impact for years. Now, the junior has followed up a strong spring with an equally strong fall camp, and looks to be in good shape.

Turzilli, a redshirt sophomore, was an unknown to most fans when he was signed late during the recruiting process for the Class of 2010. After redshirting his first season and playing in three games last year, a summer with Scott Holsopple has added significant bulk (he's up to 193 pounds) to his wiry 6-foot-3.5 frame. Additionally, rumor has it he's the fastest wideout on the team, which would make him a seriously dangerous weapon if he can add consistency to his repertoire.

Parmalee is the most surprising of all. A diminutive freshman out of Roeland Park (KS) Bishop Miege, he was one of the first talents recruited by Weis after he was hired just prior to the first of the year.

When Weis first saw him, he thought he had a redshirt candidate on his hands. But then he saw the 2011 Otis Taylor Award winner suit up, and it has become almost impossible to keep him off the field. At 5-foot-10 and 168 pounds, Weis noted that he has simply made too many plays during training camp to be ignored.

Others will assuredly see time - JUCO transfer Josh Ford, sophomore JaCorey Shepherd, Christian Matthews, etc. - but for now, it looks as if the front line will have Kansas in a better place than the position has seen in two years.

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