The steam whistle has blown. That only means one thing; class has started on The Hill. That leads to another thing; the football season is just around the corner. The Kansas football team has several returning starters, but there’s a lot of fresh faces on the squad.
Let’s start with the freshman class. There are 10 new Jayhawks joining the squad from the Class of 2017.
#2 Montell Cozart, QB. Kansas City, MO.
#13 Ishmael Hyman, WR. Manalapan, N.J.
#16 Jordan Darling, QB, Dallas, TX.
#20 Colin Spencer, HB/Flanker. Dallas, TX.
#46 Kellen Ash, LB. Manchester, MO.
#53 Colton Goeas, LB. Mililani, HI.
#59 Cameron Rosser, LB. Las Vegas, NV.
#67 Joey Bloomfield, OL, Louisville, KY.
#68 John Wirtel, LS, Orland Park, IL.
#69 Peter Gallo, DL, Leawood, KS.
#78 Joe Gibson, OL, Prairie Village, KS.
#84 Ben Johnson, TE, Basehor, KS.
Now for the Class of 2016: the sophomores.
#5 Isaiah Johnson, S, Cary, NC. (Transfer from Iowa Western CC.)
#26 Brandon Hollomon, CB, Philadelphia, PA. (Transfer from Pierce College.)
#37 Beau Bell, LB, Wichita, KS. (Transfer from Hutchinson CC.)
#44 Michael Zunica, LB, Palos Park, IL. (Transfer from Columbia.)
#71 Pearce Slater, OL, Hawthorne, CA. (Transfer from El Camino CC.)
Your Jayhawk Juniors:
#1 Rodriguez Coleman, WR, Cincinnati, OH. (Transfer from Garden City CC.)
#2 Marcus Jenkins-Moore, Buck, Louisville, KY. (Transfer from Pierce College.) *Side note. Jenkins-Moore has one of two pre-season determined redshirts, due to an injury that required surgery.
#7 Kevin Short, CB, Florissant, MO. (Transfer from Fort Scott CC.)
#7 Mark Thomas, WR, Brooklyn, NY. (Transfer from Nassau CC.)
#12 Dexter McDonald, CB, Kansas City, MO. (Transfer from Butler CC.)
#15 Michael Mesh, K, Hutchinson, KS. (Transfer from Hutchinson CC.)
#16 Trevor Pardula, P/K, San Jose, CA. (Transfer from De Anza College.)
#33 Cassius Sendish, Nickel, Waldorf, MD. (Transfer from Arizona Western, previously played at College of the Canyons.)
#51 Samson Faifili, LB, Laie, HI. (Transfer from American River College.)
#63 Ngulu Fusimalohi, OL, Daly City, CA. (Transfer from CC of San Francisco.)
#65 Mike Smithburg, OL, Fairfield, IA. (Transfer from Iowa Western CC.)
#72 Zach Fondal, OL, Houston, TX. (Transfer from Navarro College.)
#92 Marquel Combs, DL, Memphis, TN. (Transfer from Pierce College.)
#95 Andrew Bolton, DL, Bolton, MS. (Transfer from Hinds CC.)
#97 Ty McKinney, DL, Weatherford, TX. (Transfer from Trinity Valley CC.)
#99 Tedarian Johnson, DL, Jackson, MS. (Transfer from Hinds CC.)
#88 Nick Harwell, WR, Missouri City, TX. (Transfer from Miami.) *Side note. Harwell has the other pre-season determined redshirt.
Those who were redshirted last season (Grade in parentheses) :
#9 Jake Heaps (JR), QB, Sammamish, WA. (Transfered from BYU in 2012. He had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules.
#15 Matt Henjes (R-FR), WR, Eureka, MO. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#18 Eric Kahn (R-FR), K, Spring Hill, KS. (Transferred from MidAmerica Nazarene in 2012. He had to sit out last season per NCAA transfer rules.)
#19 Justin McCay (JR), WR, Kansas City, MO. (Transfered from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. He had to sit out last season per NCAA transfer rules.)
#22 Greg Allen (R-FR), CB, Houston, TX. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#28 Matthew Wyman (R-FR), K, Bloomfield Hills, MI. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#30 Tevin Shaw (R-FR), S, Piscataway, NJ. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#39 Austin Barone (R-FR), K, Frontenac, KS. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#40 Preston Randall (R-FR), HB, Lawrence, KS. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#54 Neal Page (R-FR), Buck, Birmingham, MI. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#58 Courtney Arnick (R-FR), Nickel, Dallas, TX. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#62 Zachary Young (SR), LS, Kansas City, KS. (Transfered from Indiana in 2012. He had to sit out last season per NCAA transfer rules.)
#74 Brian Beckmann (R-FR), OL, Overland Park, KS. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#75 Sean Connolly, (R-FR), OL, Kirtland Hills, OH. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#81 Billy Owens, (R-JR), WR, Galveston, TX. (Transfered from the University of Saint Mary. He had to sit out last season per NCAA transfer rules.)
#87 Jordan Shelley-Smith (R-FR), TE, Waco, TX. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
#94 Tyler Holmes (R-FR), DL, Garland, TX. (Redshirted his freshman season at KU.)
Taking a glance at the newcomers and one can easily see that there are a ton of them. It’s almost overwhelming. How do they stack up in comparison to the returners?
On the offensive side of the ball, there are 38 positions on the depth chart (most recently updated August 7th). 16 of those slots are filled by freshmen, transfers, and previously redshirted. Here’s summarizing those players and their respectful positions on the depth chart:
In the X slot for the wide receivers is Justin McCay (listed first), Mark Thomas (listed third), and Ishmael Hyman (listed fourth). For left tackle is Zach Fondal (listed second). Ngalu Fusimalohi (try saying that three times fast) is listed first for the left guards. At center, Joe Gibson is listed third. In the right guard position Mike Smithburg is listed first and Joey Bloomfield is listed third. For right tackle, Pearce Slater is listed second and Brian Beckmann is listed third. For the tight ends, Jordan Shelley-Smith is listed third and Ben Johnson is listed fourth. The quarterback position is mostly dominated by newcomers. Jake Heaps is at the top of the depth chart, Montell Cozart is listed third, and Jordan Darling is listed fourth. At flanker, Colin Spencer is listed third. To round out the offensive positions, in the Z slot for the wide receivers is Rodriguez Coleman (listed third).
On the other side of the ball, there are 33 positions up for grabs. 16 of those slots are taken up by those new to the KU team. Again, here’s summarizing those players and their respectful positions:
In the left corner, Brandon Holloman (second) and Nasir Moore (third) are listed. At the new nickelback position, Cassius Sendish (first) and Courtney Arnick (third) are taking up the challenge. For the left ends/tackles, Marquel Combs is listed first, and Tedarian Johnson is listed third. In the nose tackle position, Ty McKinney is slotted in the third spot in the depth chart. At right end/tackle Andrew Bolton is listed second and Tyler Holmes is listed third. At right corner, Dexter McDonald leads the pack by being listed in the first position, Kevin Short is listed second, and Greg Allen is listed third. The right corner position is the only position on the depth chart that has no returners in the lineup. At strong safety, Isaiah Johnson is taking the cake, and sits atop the chart. In the middle linebacker position, Colton Goeas is slated third. For the weakside linebackers, Samson Faifili is listed second. Rounding out the defensive side of the ball, Tevin Shaw is listed in the second spot for the free safeties.
The specialists are a special bunch to say the least. There are 12 positions slotted for the depth chart. The incomers take 8 of the positions. (Granted one incomer takes three positions.) For the kick off squad, Trevor Pardula is listed first, and Eric Kahn is listed second. At place kicker, Michael Mesh is at the top of the chart, followed by Pardula and Matthew Wyman. For the punters, Pardula takes the top again. To round out the special teams, Zackary Young and John Wirtel are listed second and third respectively for the long snappers.
With all of that taken into account, the 2013 season is going to be a new experience for the Jayhawks. There’s many new players and a different defensive scheme. Also, with the perks of having a new quarterback comes a different offensive feel. Even though the coaching staff is the same as last year, the 2013 team will have a different feel than the team of just a year ago. It’s a new year with many different options, and that is what this Jayhawk team needs: a fresh start.