LAWRENCE — KU coach Charlie Weis unveiled an updated depth chart on Tuesday afternoon, providing a glimpse at who will be starting when the Jayhawks take the field on Saturday evening in their opener against South Dakota State.
By RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
For comparison, here is the depth chart from the beginning of fall camp.
There were few major surprises, but here are a few things that stuck out:
-- Weis did confirm that juco transfer Jordan Tavai has won a job on the defensive line, despite arriving in the middle of fall camp. Tavai will start at the inside nose position against South Dakota State.
“He’s been one of our best guys in his brief time here,” Weis said.
-- Sophomore linebacker Ben Heeney will start at middle linebacker; Weis said senior transfer Anthony McDonald is not 100 percent healthy, and Heeney and freshman Schyler Miles will handle the position against South Dakota State. McDonald, who suffered two knee injuries and a torn pectoral muscle during his career at Notre Dame, could play this week if it was the last game of the season, Weis said, but the staff wants to make sure he stays healthy over the long haul.
“Anthony could play,” Weis said. “But right now, Anthony, I don’t believe could turn it loose. When he can turn it loose, the depth chart will change.”
-- The starting offensive line is settled, with juco transfer Aslam Sterling (right guard) and junior Gavin Howard (right tackle) joining left tackle Tanner Hawkinson, left guard Duane Zlatnik and center Trevor Marrongelli. Juniors Randall Dent (right guard) and Riley Spencer (right tackle) could also see snaps on Saturday. Sterling, listed at 6 feet 5 and 360 pounds, initially came into camp as an offensive tackle and with some conditioning questions. But Weis said Sterling had lost close to 20 pounds during fall camp.
- Freshman Reilly Jeffers and senior Trevor Marrongelli will fill in for longsnapper Justin Carnes, who was suspended three games for a violation of team rules. Marrongelli will handle snaps on field goals and extra points, while Jeffers will snap on punts.
- True freshman receiver Tre’ Parmalee, a Bishop Miege graduate, moved up the depth chart to second-team at the slot position. Weis, who called Parmalee one of the month’s most pleasant surprises, said he would likely see snaps on Saturday.
- As expected, juco transfer Taylor Cox won the battle for second-team running back, while redshirt freshman Michael Cummings is the backup quarterback.
- South Dakota State quarterback Austin Sumner on Tuesday was described as ‘doubtful’ to play against KU, according to Jackrabbits coach John Stiegelmeier. Sumner, the reigning Missouri Valley freshman of the year, threw for more than 300 yards five times last season. Redshirt freshman Eric Kline would start if Sumner can’t play.
***Here’s the full depth chart:
LT: 1. Tanner Hawkinson, Sr.; 2. Pat Lewandowski, So.
LG: 1. Duane Zlatnik, Sr.; 2. Damon Martin, Fr.
C: 1. Trevor Marrongelli, Sr.; 2. Dylan Admire, Fr.
RG: 1. Aslam Sterling, Jr.; 2. Randall Dent, Jr.
RT: 1. Gavin Howard, Jr.; Riley Spencer, Jr.
TE: 1. Mike Ragone, Sr.; 2. Jimmay Mundine, So.,
FB: 1. Trent Smiley, So. ; 2. Brandon Bourbon, So.,
HB: 1. Tony Pierson, So.; 2. Taylor Cox, Jr.
QB: 1. Dayne Crist, Sr.; 2. Michael Cummings, Fr.,
WR (X): 1. Kale Pick, Sr.; 2. Chris Omigie, Jr.
WR (Slot): 1. Daym. Patterson, Sr.; 2. Tre’ Parmalee
WR (Z): 1. D.J. Beshears, Sr.; 2. Andrew Turzilli, So.
End: 1. Josh Williams, Sr.; 2. Ben Goodman, Fr.,
N: 1. Jordan Tavai, Jr.; 2. John Williams, Jr., OR Kevin Young, Jr.,
T: 1. Keba Agostinho, Jr.; 2. Keon Stowers, So.
RE/SLB: 1. Toben Opurum, Sr.; 2. Michael Reynolds, So.
SLB: 1. Tunde Bakare, Sr.; 2. Corrigan Powell, Sr.
MLB: 1. Ben Heeney, So.; 2. Schyler Miles, Fr., OR Jake Love, Fr.
WLB: 1. Huldon Tharp, Jr.; 2. Prinz Kande, Jr.
FC: 1. Greg Brown, Sr.; 2. Tyree Williams, Fr.
BC: 1. Tyler Patmon, Jr; 2. Greg Allen, Fr.
SS: 1. Lubbock Smith, Sr.; 2. Ray Mitchell, So. OR Tevin Shaw, Fr.
FS: 1. Bradley McDougald, Sr., 2. Dexter Linton, Jr.
K: 1. Ron Doherty, Jr.; 2. Austin Barone, Fr.
P: 1. Ron Doherty, Jr.; 2. Sean Huddleston, So.
LSN: 1. Reilly Jeffers, Fr.; 2. Trevor Marrongelli, Sr.
SSN: 1. Trevor Marrongelli, Sr.; 2. Reilly Jeffers, Fr.
HOLD: 1. Blake Jablonski, So.; 2. Tre Parmalee, Fr.
KR: 1. D.J. Beshears, Sr.; 2. Taylor Cox, Jr.
PR: 1. Daymond Patterson, Sr.; 2. Bradley McDougald, Sr.; 3. Tre’ Parmalee