Weather Forecast Moves Kansas Football Practice To Sunday

March 26, 2010

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football will hit the practice field for the first time under new head coach Turner Gill on Sunday afternoon. The team was going to open practice on Saturday, but moved the workout to Sunday due to rain in the weather forecast. Gill is expected to welcome 91 players to the first of 15 spring practices.

The Jayhawks return 39 letterwinners from a year ago, including 17 starters. Among the returnees are all five of 2009’s starting offensive linemen, tight end Tim Biere and wide receivers Bradley McDougald and Johnathan Wilson on offense.

Defensive starters returning include linemen John Williams and Jake Laptad, linebackers Huldon Tharp and Drew Dudley and defensive backs Chris Harris, Lubbock Smith and Anthony Davis.

Jacob Branstetter returns to handle the place kicking chores, while punter Alonso Rojas is back as well.

Questions heading into spring practice include a battle for the starting quarterback position. Graduated Todd Reesing started 38 consecutive games at that position from 2007-09. Only one quarterback on the roster has seen action at the Football Bowl Series level in Kale Pick.

Pick, a sophomore-to-be, appeared in seven games last year and completed four of five passes for 22 yards, while rushing 14 times for 167 yards. Quinn Mecham is a transfer from Snow Junior College, where he completed 202 of 323 passes for 3,091 yards and 40 touchdowns last season.

Quarterbacks Christian Matthews, Jacob Morse and Jordan Webb all redshirted as freshmen in 2009 and could be in the mix this spring and fall.

Position changes have occurred as the team heads into the workouts. Among the eight changes are D.J Beshears and Daymond Patterson both moving from cornerback to wide receiver. Beshears started three games at cornerback as a freshman in 2009, while Patterson started six games at cornerback last year.

Patterson started his Kansas career at wide receiver as a freshman in 2008. Midway through the season he moved to cornerback where he spent the past year and one half.

Patterson caught 14 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns halfway through his freshman year before being moved to defense. He added 21 tackles in the second half of 2008 and registered 31 stops last season as a sophomore.

Other changes include Isiah Barfield from wide receiver to cornerback, Steven Foster from linebacker to fullback, Chase Knighton from quarterback to wide receiver, Angus Quigley from linebacker to running back, Ian Wolfe from offensive line to tight end and Duane Zlatnik from defensive line to offensive line.

The Jayhawks will conclude spring practice with the annual Spring Game, which will take place on April 24 at 1 p.m. The game is free to the public.

Kansas football fans can follow the Jayhawks on the internet through KU’s official website, as well as get behind the scenes looks through the official Kansas football blog.