McCarthy: It’s a new season and new Kansas football team

There are a lot of changes surrounding the Kansas football team. New coaching staff. New approach in practice. New commercials on television motivating people to show up at Memorial Stadium on Saturdays.

It’s a fresh start for the Jayhawks. But even with all the changes, there’s also veteran players who will lead the team, especially in the large group of wide receivers.

Kansas is relying on three senior wide receivers to lead the way – all with different skill sets.

Daymond Patterson desperately wants to make the most out of his senior season after a groin injury sidelined him last fall.

Patterson made all kinds of changes in his time in Lawrence. He’s switched from cornerback to receiver, had three different coaches and now he is in his peak physical condition to make an impact.

Then there’s Kale Pick, a player who came to Kansas hoping to compete for quarterback position. He’s had some injuries, but now he is a senior and one of the more consistent workers at practice.

During training camp, coach Charlie Weis said Pick has had the best camp of all the players.

Pick is never going to wow you, but he’s sure handed and reliable, something that is always needed at the receiver position.

The third senior is D.J. Beshears, the man whose speed separates himself from the rest of the talented group.

He’s mainly known for leading the Big 12 with 1,014 kick return yards, but he’s also always a threat to break a play open on the offensive side.

Junior Christian Matthews has shown spurts of good play during spring games, but never put together a complete season.

Kansas also has sophomore Andrew Turzilli and junior Chris Omigie, who are both tall players that will contend for playing time.

These are a handful of the returning players that have an opportunity to make an impact, but there are new faces moving up the ranks as well.

Junior Josh Ford, a transfer from Arizona Western Community College, looks to be a down field threat for the Jayhawks. He has speed to stretch the field, but must fine-tune the basic skills in order to fight for playing time.

Finally there’s freshman Tre’ Parmalee, who’s had an impressive spring and now might be vying for snaps on the field.

The roster has 13 wide receivers listed on it, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess at who will receive the majority of the touches.

This could be a problem, but it could also make difference when opponents have to prepare for Kansas.
There are so many options that it will be hard for anyone to keep track this year.

With the receivers, it’s a lot like the rest of the Kansas squad – a lot of old and a lot of new, but in the end results are what people will be happy with.

—  Edited by Lauren Shelley, originally published Tuesday, August 21, in the University Daily Kansan

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