Depth Chart Overview

Head Coach Charlie Weis released his final depth chart of the pre-season Tuesday - or the first of the 2012 season, depending on how one views it - and while much of it lines up as expected there were a few surprises. Phog.net takes a deeper look and provides a few notes.

* For reference, the official depth chart can be found here.

* The first thing that jumps out immediately is how much improved the depth is at defensive tackle when compared with each of the past two seasons. The defensive trenches were a glaring weakness for the Kansas defense - which is saying something - and it didn't help they were riddled with injuries as well. Now, at tackle alone the Jayhawks have five capable rotational players in Jordan Tavai, John Williams, Kevin Young, Keba Agostinho and Keon Stowers. And the prospects for a pass rush have been much-improved as well thanks to the addition of fifth-year transfer Josh Williams to the athletic Toben Opurum at defensive end.

* Speaking of Tavai, that he claimed the starting nose guard position despite being on campus for just a handful of weeks is an excellent sign. John Williams and Kevin Young are capable players, and if he was able to prove his worth to the staff - getting into game shape along the way - in that slim window, it bodes well for his abilities.

* There's a great deal of speed in the linebacking corps, but not a ton of experience. Tunde Bakare at SAM, played last season as a junior but was limited due to injury. Sophomore Ben Heeney is a first-year starter at MIKE, and junior Huldon Tharp - the most experienced of the bunch - played in a backup role last season. However, even the backups, such as Schyler Miles, Jake Love and Prinz Kande, are all excellent athletes. So if they're going to make mistakes, at least they'll make them at top speed.

* As expected, the top six wide receivers are Kale Pick, Daymond Patterson, D.J. Beshears, Chris Omigie, Andrew Turzilli and Tre Parmalee. It has yet to be seen whether or not a true playmaker will emerge from this group, but there's no shortage of candidates. Patterson has shown the ability as has Beshears, and Turzilli is intriguing with his combination of size and speed. Keep an eye on freshman Tre Parmalee, whom Weis intended to redshirt but made that impossible with his play during the fall.

* The offensive line goes an athletic 300-plus across the board. From left to right, Tanner Hawkinson (300), Duane Zlatnik (306), Trevor Marrongelli (303), Aslam Sterling (340) and Gavin Howard (300) give Kansas some serious beef up front. It's not just sheer size, either. It's athleticism as well. Even the mountainous Sterling, a JUCO transfer, has shown quick feet during drill work. With the stable of running backs at the Jayhawks' disposal, there exists some serious road-grading potential within the hogs up front.

* Redshirt freshman Michael Cummings won the backup job outright in competition with junior college transfer Turner Baty. While this may have seemed improbable before the season began - as Baty is the more polished product - Cummings' physical skills (namely his absurd arm strength) and the speed with which he soaked up coaching from Powlus and Weis helped him jump out to a lead. It didn't hurt that he had an entire spring with the staff as well.

* The secondary has a strong front line but very, very little in the way of experience behind them. There's talent, yes, but some of these guys are going to have to learn on the fly. Greg Brown, Tyler Patmon, Lubbock Smith and Bradley McDougald form an experienced, athletic first unit. The two incoming freshman corners - Greg Allen and Tyree Williams - earned the backup spots, while Ray Mitchell and freshman Tevin Shaw are both expected to see time as Smith's backup. Dexter Linton, a veteran of the program but not the field, backs up McDougald.


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