The Jayhawks return a strong nucleus of players on both sides of the ball as 50 letterwinners are back, including 23 on offense, 25 on defense and a pair specialists. In addition, the Jayhawks return eight starters on offense, eight on defense and specialists PK Johnny Beck, K Jerod Brooks, KR Greg Heaggans and PR Charles Gordon.
Offensively, the Jayhawks have a chance to be as strong as last year's record-setting team which collected 12 school records including most points (384), most first downs (286), most touchdown passes (25) and most yards gained (5,479). Six of the top seven rushing leaders from a year ago return including two-year starter Clark Green who led the team with 968 yards in 2003.
The Jayhawks also return one of the top collections of receivers in the Big 12 -- a group which includes the team's top six pass-catchers from last year. Leading the way is senior Brandon Rideau and sophomore Charles Gordon who hauled in 51 and 57 passes, respectively in 2003 -- both all-time KU records for their individual classes. Junior Mark Simmons averaged a team-best 19.2 yards per reception in 2003 -- one of the best averages in the Big 12.
On the defensive side of the football, the Jayhawks welcome back the top five tacklers from the 2003 team including linebacker Nick Reid who collected 133 stops last year -- the eighth-best single-season total in KU history.