2012 Kansas Football Season Preview: Wide Receivers
The Kansas Jayhawks were given a makeover during the 2011 offseason at the quarterback position, welcoming three new quarterback transfers, including the likely starting quarterback, Dayne Crist.
Now, a quarterback is nothing without two very important things, the first being the behemoths on the offensive line protecting him from the behemoths on the defensive side.
The second thing: the people who the quarterback throws the ball to. As part of the ongoing preview of the Jayhawks' 2012 football season, we take a look at the wide receivers.
The wide receivers are a bunch of established guys who have a lot of experience playing for Kansas, but will have to adjust to a new style of offense that new head coach Charlie Weis brings to the table.
On Wednesday, August 1, Charlie Weis released the early season depth chart. Here is a look at the depth chart at the wide receiver position.
1. Kale Pick (Sr.)
2. Chris Omigie (Jr.) OR Josh Ford (Jr.)
1. Daymond Patterson (Sr.)
2. Christian Matthews (Jr.) OR JaCorey Shepherd (So.)
1. D.J. Beshears (Sr.)
2. Andrew Turzilli (So.)
Connor Embree (So.)
Ricki Herod (So.)
Justin McCay (So.)
Tre' Parmalee (Fr.)
Hoping to become the next Kerry Meier, Kale Pick will once again play wide receiver in 2012 after switching from the quarterback position in 2011.
In 2011, he had an average year for a wide receiver. He averaged 2.8 catches per game and 28 yards per game. He only scored two touchdowns the entire year, however.
In 2012, he should have a more-than-capable quarterback at the helm in Dayne Crist and a notoriously sharp offensive mind in head coach/offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Look for his production to be up from last year, as the offense as a whole should be better.
Prediction: 450 receiving yards, 45 catches, five touchdowns
83| Chris Omige
One of the two men who will be battling it out to back up Kale Pick at the X-Receiver position will be junior Chris Omige.
After redshirting his freshman season in 2009, Omige did decently as a backup in 2010, picking up seven receptions for 73 yards.
In his 2011 campaign, however, he did not impress. He only had one reception for six yards against Northern Illinois. He only played in three games last season, against Kansas State and Texas A&M.
Omige has shown he has the potential to be a very capable backup, but I believe he will lose this competition with Josh Ford. Expect him to be the third-string X-Receiver and to see very limited playing time, assuming everyone stays healthy.
Prediction: 45 receiving yards, five catches, zero touchdowns
8| Josh Ford
The other man battling for the second-string position at X-Receiver is junior college transfer Josh Ford.
Ford transferred during the 2011 offseason from Arizona Western Community College, where he played his freshman and sophomore seasons. Last season, he recorded 58 receptions for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In his career there he had a total of 78 receptions, 1097 yards and 11 touchdowns.
His impressive experience at AWCC should give him the edge over Omige for the second-string X-Receiver spot and the first-string spot next season. If Pick were to go down with an injury this year, Jayhawk fans would be able to rest easy with such a capable backup.
Prediction: 125 receiving yards, 10 catches, zero touchdowns
15| Daymond Patterson
Moving on to the S-Receiver position, we see a familiar name atop the depth chart in senior Daymond Patterson.
Patterson played his freshman year in 2008, but then redshirted the 2009 season. His big breakout season was in 2010, when he had 60 receptions for 487 yards and two touchdowns. He was poised for another big season in 2011, but was injured in the season opener against McNeese State.
Coming back from a season-ending injury won't be easy for Patterson, but I expect him to regain his 2010 form and have a career year in his senior season.
Prediction: 575 receiving yards, 70 receptions, four touchdowns
12| Christian Matthews
Like the X-Receiver position, the backup position for the S-Receivers will come down to a preseason battle between two players. The older player is junior Christian Matthews.
Matthews redshirted his freshman year in 2009 and then played as a backup in 2010, picking up one reception for 41 yards. In 2011, he had a slightly better campaign, again as a backup. He had 11 receptions for 100 yards, but no touchdowns.
With the way JaCorey Shepherd played last season, I expect Matthews to end up as the third-string S-Receiver. Shepherd produced more than Matthews did last season, which should give Shepherd the second-string nod.
Prediction: 100 receiving yards, 10 receptions, zero touchdowns
89| JaCorey Shepherd
JaCorey Shepherd is a sophomore receiver coming off a stellar freshman season as a backup, and he may be poised for an even better sophomore season.
Shepherd redshirted his freshman season in 2010, and then came in guns blazing, racking up 107 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut against McNeese State. He finished his freshman year with 252 yards on 15 receptions and three touchdowns.
Not bad for a backup.
Based on how he played last year, expect him to get the second-string position under Patterson and take over the starting role in 2013.
Prediction: 300 receiving yards, 20 receptions, five touchdowns
20| D.J. Beshears
Moving on over to the Z-Receiver position, we take a look at another starter with senior leadership in D.J. Beshears.
Beshears had the best year out of all the Kansas receivers last year, finishing with 40 receptions for 437 yards and three touchdowns. His sophomore year, he had 10 receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. He only played on special teams during his freshman year in 2009.
Outside of Daymond Patterson, Beshears should be the most productive wide receiver for Kansas. Expect him to have a career year with the revamped quarterback position and better offense.
Prediction: 535 receiving yards, 48 receptions, five touchdowns
82| Andrew Turzilli
The only receiver not going into a battle for the second-string position is sophomore Andrew Turzilli.
After redshirting in 2010, Turzilli saw some limited action in three games last season. He finished with three receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown. He achieved all of those stats against Georgia Tech.
Turzilli is another capable backup who will see some limited playing time in his sophomore year before taking over the starting role for his junior and senior seasons in 2013 and 2014.
Prediction: five receptions, 50 receiving yards, one touchdown
That wraps it up for the wide receiver preview portion of the 2012 season preview. I didn't preview the four players not listed on the depth chart because I don't expect them to get any playing time in 2012.
The wide receivers have the potential to be very special this year with a revamped offense at the quarterback and head coach positions. Couple that with all three starters having senior leadership experience, and this presents a recipe for success for the Kansas wide receivers.
Next up: August 7: Offensive Line
In case you missed it...
Part 1: Coaching Staff: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1271320-2012-kansas-football-season-preview-coaching-staff