Kansas Football has had little to cheer about the past few seasons or really any season really since the Orange Bowl win in 2008. On the bright side, the spring time seems to be a time of hope and optimism for teams whose woes have dragged on for such an extended period of time (almost a decade in the case of Kansas).
Nevertheless, the Spring “game,” if you want to call it a game, was simply a practice and short live scrimmage for Kansas. The Jayhawks at the present time simply lack the depth on their roster to actually have what other programs would consider a conventional spring game. Since the practice only lasted about an hour and a half or so, it was difficult to pick out standout players as the coaches were constantly changing out personnel. This most likely was due to the lack of depth facing the Jayhawks’ team at the present time.
Looking forward to the upcoming season, the Jayhawks do have some things to look forward to. Some of these include their sheer amount of experienced returning players. One noteworthy returning player for the Hawks is leading receiver Steven Sims who hauled in 59 catches for 839 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2017. Sims was a bright spot during the teams struggles last season where they managed one win.
The team is also returning a large number of defensive veterans such as Lawrence’s own Joe Dineen JR. who lead the Big 12 in tackles (137), tackles for loss (25), and run stuffs (34) last season. Dineen, along with Sims, was one of only a handful of noteworthy Jayhawk players during the 2017 season.
Some other noteworthy returners for the Hawks are All-Big 12 D-lineman Daniel Wise who lead the team with 7 sacks, defensive backs Mike Lee and Hasan Defense who lead the Hawks with 2 interceptions a piece last season, as well QB’s Peyton Bender and Carter Stanley who at this time are still battling for the starting job.
Some things to look for next season include the QB battle between Peyton Bender and Carter Stanley, as well as the addition of sophomore junior college transfer Miles Kendrick.
The starting QB has been a question for this team for the past few seasons and it is still unknown who it will under center to begin the 2018 season.
Kansas is also depending on contributions from the incoming freshmen class. At one point in the most recent recruiting season, Kansas had a top 25 recruiting class, but as the recruiting process continued, several recruits chose to attend other universities. S
ome freshmen to look out for include four-star recruits RB Anthony Williams and CB Corione Harris. Both of these players could come in and challenge for immediate playing time. Williams is a play-making running back who could also make an impact in the return game. Harris is a corner who is said to have tremendous coverage skills and very nice speed.
Both players were also highly coveted prospects and considered top-300 recruits in the 2017 class. Another thing to look out for is the impact of the large number of JUCO transfers coming to Lawrence next season. All of this as well as the continued development of this young Kansas team are all things to look forward to next season.