Spring Football Breakdown: Kansas Jayhawks

Weston Wilson continues to break down the Big 12 teams with the spring coming to a close, and now he shifts his attention to the Kansas Jayhawks.

Former head coach Turner Gill's tenure at Kansas lasted only two years after going a combined 5-19 in 2010 and 2011. 

The Jayhawks hired former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis on December 8, 2012 and Kansas fans hope to see an improvement on offense and defense to get back to being competitive in the Big 12.

Along with Weis comes three highly touted but unproven transfers from powerhouse schools.

Former Notre Dame quarterback and five star high school recruit Dayne Crist and former Brigham Young five star quarterback Jake Heaps will battle for the starting quarterback position for the Jayhawks in 2012.  Former Oklahoma five star wide receiver Justin McKay will provide a talented target for both quarterback in the 2012 season. 

Last year's starting quarterback Jordan Webb left the program after Weis brought in Crist and Heaps.  Webb passed for 1,884 yards on 281 attempts with 13 touchdowns, but also threw 12 interceptions and was sacked an incredible 31 times.

Other notable departures include senior outside linebacker Steven Johnson who led the Big 12 with 124 tackles last year.  The Jayhawks also lose a productive tight end in Tim Biere who had 322 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 2011. 

Sophomore running back and team leader in rushing yards last year James Sims will be suspended for three games next year for violating team rules.

Kansas will be a young team next year with many playmakers returning from a team that went 2-10 last season but it seems they can only improve with more experience and talent at the quarterback position.

Freshman running back Darrian Miller will carry the load while James Sims serves his suspension in 2012.  Miller rushed for 559 yards on 136 carries and scored four touchdowns in 2011.

Junior wide receiver D.J. Beshears led the team in receiving last year with 437 yards and three touchdowns.  Beshears will be a viable target for whoever lands the starting quarterback role in 2012.

The Jayhawks 2012 recruiting class was less than impressive in terms of recruiting rankings, but still has some talented players including three star DT Jordan Tavai (Torrance, CA), three star MLB Schyler Miles (Tampa, FL) and three star DT Tyler Holmes (Sachse, TX).

When you hit rock bottom like Kansas did last year, there seems to be nowhere to go but up.  With a new head coach, new quarterbacks and a young team, there are a lot of questions going into the 2012 season but it seems hard to believe the Jayhawks would do much worse than their 2011 campaign.

2012 season record predictions:

Given wins: South Dakota State, Rice, Northern Illinois

Tossups: Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State

Probable losses: Texas Christian, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, West Virginia

Best-case scenario: 7-5

Worst-case scenario: 3-9

My prediction: 5-7






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