Kansas head coach Charlie Weis shook a few things up on the depth chart in advance of Saturday’s matchup with Louisiana Tech at Memorial Stadium. The idea is to send a message, but even more so, it’s to give the team the best chance to win in their coach’s eye after the Jayhawks fell to 1-1 in last week’s 23-14 loss to Rice.
The wide receivers will look different, Saturday, as newcomer Rodriguez Coleman and sophomore Tre Parmalee replace Justin McCay and Josh Ford respectively. Both McCay and Ford have struggled to get going and Weis believes this could jump start them, as they will still see playing time against the Bulldogs.
On the flip side, Weis has said for a couple of weeks that Coleman was on the rise, as the junior college transfer has shown great strides acclimating himself to the team. Parmalee has worked hard since the first day he arrived at Kansas and his promotion only furthers that belief. He can run routes and get open and that’s just what KU needs right now. He can play and will be fun to watch.
In addition to the shakeup at receiver, changes were made at tight end, as Trent Smiley moves up to replace Jimmay Mundine after Mundine struggled in all facets against the Owls. Smiley provides a more physical presence at the position, as oppose to Mundine, who is the better pass catcher.
On the offensive line Riley Spencer replaces Zach Fondal at right tackle, while Pat Lewandowski and Dylan Admire are listed as “OR” at center.
On defense, JUCO transfer Marquel Combs is no longer listed in the two deep. Weis said redshirting him is a likely scenario. Combs would still have two years of eligibility.
"We don't do these things without involving the player," Weis said at his weekly press conference, Tuesday. "When you come in no matter how good, what you are rated or what the hype is, on the offensive or defensive lines the guys that are here a semester earlier helps.
The latter refers to the fact that players already in the system have a leg up over those who’ve just arrived. I addition, Weis said that when you bring in a class of junior college transfers, you look redshirt 1/3 of them to prevent losing them all at once. Having Combs together with Marcus Jenkins-Moore, who will miss the 2013 season because of injury will make next year’s team that much better, especially with a year in the program to help them grow.
Regardless, the changes are viewed as a move to make the team more physical, while increasing competition which will both benefit the team, as they go for their second win of the season, Saturday morning.