On offense, Jason Swanson worked mostly with the first team at quarterback, where he received his snaps from converted defensive lineman Todd Haselhorst and had a former quarterback frontrunner to throw to at wide receiver in Marcus Herford.
“We have talked all along with Marcus,” Mark Mangino said. “We said ‘Marcus, we are going to work you at quarterback, we are going to bring you along there.’ Our wide receiver position definitely needs some help and he may play there part time, but exclusively, I don’t know.”
Mangino did say that Herford was most comfortable right now at wide receiver and that he wasn’t quite ready to assume the starting quarterback spot just yet. He certainly looked comfortable, showing explosive speed and acceleration while catching everything near him. He took a wide receiver screen for more than a 20-yard gain, while hauling in another pass of more than 40 yards. He could easily scratch the starting lineup if he continues to play that way.
At quarterback, Mangino said there was no front runner, but that incumbent Adam Barmann had made gains since last year and that Swanson had made leaps. He did say that Swanson and Barmann were ahead of Luke at this point. Most of Swanson’s gains have come from greater knowledge of the offense and of opposing defenses, he said.
Also working out with the first team was Dexton Fields who made quick cuts in and out of his breaks and made a couple of nice catches, including a diving grab over the middle.
Haselhorst was one of the most impressive linemen in practice, showing the quickness off the snap that made him an effective defensive tackle and the strength to hold up against the bull rush. He’ll battle with redshirt freshman Ryan Cantrell for a starting spot at center. Either way, the Jayhawks should be fine as Cantrell has shown great athleticism and
On defense, James McClinton slid into Haselhorst’s former number one defensive tackle spot and looked like dynamite. McClinton has lost about 15 pounds from last season, putting him down at about 280, and he is lightning quick off the ball and tough to block. He caused all sorts of problems in the backfield.
The only other major change on defense was the free safety battle between Aqib Talib and Rodney Harris. Talib got most of the first team reps, and Mangino said his quickness and ability to stuff the run made him a great option that was tough to keep off the field. Rodney Fowler was working with the strong safeties. Add Talib to the other defensive backs, and Mangino said this year’s defensive backfield was running as well as any since he’s been at Kansas.
Here’s the updated depth chart of players and which teams they’ve been working most with. Remember, these are subject to change from practice to practice:
FL: Dexton Fields, Jonathan Lamb
SE: Mark Simmons, Marcus Herford
SL: Dominic Roux, Marcus Henry
TE: Derek Fine, Jim Reuber
LT: Cesar Rodriguez, Scott Haverkamp
LG: Bob Whitaker, Jake Cox
C: Todd Haselhorst, Ryan Cantrell
RG: David Ochoa, Marcus Anderson
RT: Matt Thompson, Anthony Collins
QB: Jason Swanson, Adam Barmann
RB: Clark Green, Gary Green
FB: Brandon McAnderson
DE: Jermial Ashley, Paul Como
DT: Tim Allen, Wayne Wilder
DT: James McClinton, Chris Brandt
DE: Charlton Keith
OLB: Banks Floodman, Eric Washington (Brandon Perkins in certain situations with both)
MLB: Kevin Kane, Mike Rivera
OLB: Nick Reid, Joe Mortensen (Darren Rus in certain situations with both)
CB: Charles Gordon, Ronnie Amadi
FS: Aqib Talib, Rodney Harris
SS: Rodney Fowler, Jerome Kemp
CB: Theo Baines, Kenneth Thompson
K: Scott Webb
P: Kyle Tucker