Kansas Football: Jake Laptad Is The No. 1 Jayhawk To Watch Against So. Miss

JDAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2010

First of all, if you like quality, concise web journalism at all, you'll read Tom Keegan's "Five KU players to watch" article.

A good and simple yet interesting and meaningful article are one of the simple pleasures I get from sports journalism.

Secondly, I'm not usually a negative Nellie, but I'd like to post a counter-article to Keegan's five players on the rise.

Here are a few guys whose names we've heard little of this season, why, and how that can change in week three (if it needs to at all).


Honorable Mentions

Toben Opurum, Brad Thorson, and Deshaun Sands were slowed by injuries in Week 2.  I'd like to see Riley Spencer or Gavin Howard get to spend some time at the right tackle slot against Southern Miss.


No. 5: Chris Omigie and Christian Matthews (WR's)

Omigie is every bit of 6'4" and has great downfield speed for a guy his size.  Matthews is simply a great all-around athlete who could also be a factor as a gadget receiver if need-be. 

Erick McGriff could fall in this category as well, although Omigie and Matthews seem to offer more to KU in the immediate future.

The wide receiver position is thick with talent, but if Chuck Long and Jordan Webb continue to be more successful in hurry-up mode, Omigie and Matthews could see their numbers called this Friday.


No. 4: Tanner Hawkinson (LT), Trevor Marrongelli (RG)

Not many people want to hear these guys' names.  When it comes to offensive linemen, silence generally infers a certain amount of success.

The offensive line was poor in Game 1 but showed obvious developments in Game 2.  Marrongelli and Hawkinson's names never really popped up, so I think they've earned some praise.

I'd like to see fewer sacks, naturally, but that falls partially on both Webb and his receivers as well.


No. 3: Angus Quigley (RB)

Eight carries for 46 yards isn't terrible considering the changes made to the pace and style of the offense and the excitement of James Sims' success.

Due to Sims' success and Sands' return, unfortunately, the frequency with which we hear Quigley's name may remain similar to game two.

Even if overshadowed, there's no shame in what Quigley has done.  He's the type of player who will keep practicing and playing hard, and he'll probably be rewarded with starter's minutes.


No. 2: Drew Dudley (LB), Chris Harris (CB)

Last year's tackling stalwarts to no more than statistically-diminutive defenders in 2010?  Not exactly.

Every time I zoned in on Harris and Dudley in Game 2, they were doing a decent job of stretching out the rushing attack. 

Dudley isn't quite as fast as Justin Springer or Steve Johnson, so defending an option attack won't do his stat sheet any favors.

As far as Harris is concerned, I'm always pretty pleased when I don't hear cornerbacks' names too often.  Even in Georgia Tech's case, that tends to mean that Harris's receiver coverage is more than adept, a quality that should prove very useful against the Southern Miss spread. 


No. 1: Jake Laptad (DE)

Laptad was a guy I predicted to have a monster season defensively, and yet he's posted only two total tackles and two quarterback hurries on the season.

I'll give him and all the other defensive linemen a pass for Game 2, because I sincerely enjoyed seeing Carl Torbush's 3-3-5 with two safeties patrolling around the box.  Props for using the talent you have, Torbush.

The defensive three-front looked pretty weak against Georgia Tech's offensive line, but in the end fans should know that apparently that three-front (usually consisting of Patrick Dorsey in the middle and Richard Johnson and Laptad on either end) did its job.

If those three linemen aren't occupying at least a few gaps like a good three-front should, there's no way linebackers Springer and Johnson unleash on the Yellow Jackets in such dominant fashion.

In the upcoming contest with Southern Miss, look for Laptad to get a few more four-man pass rush opportunities.


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