When Kansas Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis met with the media Wednesday, it was clear the page has turned and everyone has a chip on their shoulder, as they begin their 2013 campaign with supreme optimism and an intent to compete and most importantly, win.
The depth chart, as fall camp open Thursday offers some surprises and some expected moves, but Weis made it clear that it's just a start and everyone will have a chance to state their case for their position.
First and foremost, Weis cleared up all speculation on transfers Marcus Jenkins-Moore and Nick Harwell. Both will redshirt, Harwell because of complications with his transfer from Miami (OH), while Jenkins-Moore suffered an injury that is healing well.
Offensively, to no surprise, Heaps and James Sims were listed as first string quarterback and running back, respectively. Michael Cummings will back up Heaps, while either Taylor Cox or Darrian Miller, who returns to the program after a year away, backs up Sims.
The new "F" position (think, receiver, running back hybrid) will be manned by Tony Pierson. Brandon Bourbon and true freshman Colin Spencer. Weis did indicate that when Bourbon subs in, they'll use him a little bit differently, while Pierson will be used very much like West Virginia used Tavon Austin.
Some of the biggest competition will come at the receiver spots. Christian Matthews and McCay make up the first string Z and X positions, respectively.
In the case of Matthews, Weis indicated he is far ahead of the other receivers after having a terrific spring and summer. That's a huge testament to the work he's put in after coming to Kansas as a quarterback.
Jimmay Mundine is firmly entrenched at the tight end position and Weis credited him for doing all the work off the field and working to get stronger and better at his position. He doesn't foresee anyone unseating him.
On the offensive line, one thing is certain, the Jayhawks are big, something Weis wants in his line, going forward. Weight wise, the first string O-Line goes 315, 310, 295, 300, 305.
Aslam Sterling mans the left tackle position, backed up by JUCO transfer Zach Fondal and Gavin Howard.
At left guard, Ngalu Fusimalohi will get to showcase the nastiness Weis has highlighted in the past. Randall Dent and Bryan Peters will serve as his backups.
Junior Pat Lewandowski opens at center, with Dylan Admire and Joe Gibson behind him.
On defense, Weis pointed out that the base defense this year will be a nickel, as a reaction to the high-powered, high-paced offenses of the Big 12.
"Defense in the league has changed, the league has evolved," Weis said.
Essentially, the idea is no-huddle defense to combat no-huddle offenses.
The BUCK position was the most anticipated position during the spring with the arrival of JUCO transfer Chris Martin. But, with his release from the program following an off-season arrest, the position will be manned by sophomore Ben Goodman, who dropped 20 pounds to get to 240. Darius Willis and Michael Reynolds are listed behind them.
The defensive line will have size on it with Marquel Combs and Keba Agostinho at the tackle positions, left to right, at 290 and 277 pounds respectively. Heralded JUCO transfer Andrew Bolton will back up Agostinho.
Keon Stowers is listed at nose guard, backed up by Kevin Young and Ty McKinney.
The two backers are Ben Heeney and Jake Love. Both had solid 2012 campaigns. Sophomore Schyler Miles and true freshman Colton Goeas are the backups to Heeney, while newcomer Samson Faifilli and Prinz Kande start camp behind Love.
In the secondary, Cassius Sendish is listed as the nickelback. Sendish will thrive in the role because of his abilities at both cornerback and safety.
The two safeties are Isaiah Johnson and Dexter Linton, while JaCorey Shepherd, who has put in a considerable amount of work over summers, mans the left corner position.
After a much maligned kicking game in 2012, Weis looks to have fixed it, as promised as soon as last season ended.
To start camp, newcomers Trevor Pardula and Eric Kahn will handle kickoffs, while fellow newcomer Michael Mesh will handle place kicking. Pardula will also open at punter.
As Weis stated, all players will have until August 17th to stake their claim. After that, things will shape up, as the season approaches.