I am not a pessimistic person; I just like being prepared.
KU should be prepared, too, because as I've discussed before, Dezmon Briscoe has every reason to make his exit after this season along with Kerry Meier. That means planning to fill two big holes at wide receiver this summer instead of just one.
So who will fill those holes?
Bradley McDougald is the obvious shoo-in for the No. 2 slot, and KU technically only starts three receivers. I think we can all agree, though, that a fourth wideout is an invaluable piece of our offense.
Tertavian Ingram may see his fair share of time early on. The 6' 1", 200 pound, 4.4 sprinting, former three-star prospect's career at KU hasn't exactly panned out as he had planned. However, he has experience, was a contributor earlier this season, and will probably have the early blessing for the third spot on the charts.
By midseason, though, Erick McGriff should have the No. 3 spot under wraps like a Christmas present.
If this red-shirt freshman is half as good as advertised, then we're looking at as close to a Briscoe-clone as is available. In fact, McGriff is faster (already running a sub-4.6), bigger (6' 4", 190), even more athletic, and has enjoyed a seemingly quality red-shirt season so far. If nothing else, the talent is definitely there.
McGriff's teammate Chris Omigie could stake his claim to a sizable role as well. At 6' 5" and 180 pounds, he hasn't quite filled out his frame yet, but reportedly has a great catch radius and a very high receiver I.Q. By season's end, he could push poor Ingram even farther down the charts.
One final guy you should look out for is quarterback Christian Matthews. This is just a shot in the dark, but I think Jordan Webb will be the guy right behind Kale Pick next season. However, I don't expect Matthews' endless abilities to go to waste.
Matthews and Meier have several things in common, having a gimmick receiver never hurts, and Matthews would have the benefit of a red-shirt season to get a head start.
Maybe he's already gotten a chance. Then again, maybe he's transitioning as we speak. We won't know for sure until next fall, but I think it would be a shame to not at least consider the possibility.
A Final Note
Many people have inquired as to the futures of D.J. Beshears and Bradley McDougald on offense, and unfortunately I don't have answers. I do, naturally, have an opinion.
I don't think that Mark Mangino can risk keeping McDougald solely on defense. If he didn't want to play defense at Ohio State, I'm almost certain that he won't want to spend his entire career at KU doing so. He may get reps at safety this season, but rest assured, he is still a receiver first.
D.J. Beshears appears to be headed in the opposite direction.
Yes, he committed penalties similar to those that placed Anthony Davis in the doghouse. Unlike Davis, though, Beshears is a true freshman, first-time defensive back facing Big 12 competition, not a red-shirt sophomore, career cornerback struggling against Northern Colorado.
Next year, JuCo star Dave Clark will get thrown in the mix, but we all know how well JuCo guys fare in Kansas. Even if Dave Clark turns out great, Mangino's ever-present talent at wide receiver should allow Beshears to continue his little secondary adventure in hopes of continuing to improve and bolstering next season's depth chart.