Kansas Preview 2006 - Offense
Kansas Jayhawks
Posted Jul 31, 2006

Kansas Jayhawks Preview 2006 - Kansas Jaykawk Offense

What you need to know ... This won't be an offense built for shootouts, but there's enough talent to hope for decent production against average defenses and enough upside to provide plenty of hope for the future. The strength is on the line with the deepest and most talented group the program has had in years. The receiving corps is shaky losing top two targets Mark Simmons and Charles Gordon, while the quarterback situation is even more unstable with redshirt freshman Kerry Meier the most viable option. The ground game will be the focus on with Jon Cornish and a slew of fast, young backups carrying the attack.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Adam Barmann
16-30, 118 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Jon Cornish
134 carries, 780 yds, 9 TD
Receiving: Brian Murph
33 catches, 368 yds, 2 TD

Star of the offense: Senior RB Jon Cornish
Player that has to step up and become a star: Redshirt freshman QB Kerry Meier
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Marcus Herford
Best pro prospect: Whitaker
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Cornish, 2) C David Ochoa, 3) WR Marcus Herford
Strength of the offense: Offensive line
Weakness of the offense:
Wide receiver, quarterback experience other than Adam Barmann

There's more talent under center than KU has had under Mark Mangino, but it needs time to develop. If Adam Barmann isn't even being seriously considered for time, then it appears to be sink-or-swim time with Kerry Meier. He has everything the KU offense could want except experience. If he struggles at all, it'll be tempting to go with true freshman Todd Reesing and his combination of all-around skills.   
The key to the unit: Someone has to be steady. KU can't afford a musical quarterback situation like last year.
Quarterback Rating: 6

Projected Starter
- Kerry Meier, RFr.
The star scout teamer of last year has an inside line on the starting job and needs to play like a steady starter. He's 6-3 and 210 pounds with good running ability and a live enough arm to keep the passing game going. It's all about how patient the coaching staff wants to be with him. He'll make more than his share of mistakes, but there could be a big payoff down the line once he gets a little bit of experience.

Top Backups
- Adam Barmann, Sr. - 16-30, 118 yds, 55 %, 1 INT, 12 carries, -2 yds, 1 TD
Barmann went from being the starter to being listed behind the towel boy on the depth chart. He has the size, experience and smarts to step in and be competent, but he doesn't have the running skills the coaching staff wants for its offense and he's anything but consistent.

- Todd Reesing, Fr.
The year's key recruit graduated early and got to campus in time for spring ball. He's not huge at 5-11 and 190 pounds, but he can bomb away throwing for 3,340 yards and 41 touchdowns last year for Lake Travis High in Texas. What makes him even more attractive is his rushing ability tearing off 750 yards and eight scores last year.

Running Backs
Can the young stars shine? Jon Cornish is a good enough back to revolve the running game around, but there could be more pop. That's where Angus Quigley and Gary Green come in. They're not going to run over anyone, but they have the wheels to bring more flash to the mix. Brandon McAnderson is an excellent blocking fullback who'll see more work.
The key to the unit: Jon Cornish has to be a steady number one runner while all the backups form a good enough committee to keep everyone fresh.
Running Back Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- Jon Cornish, Sr. - 134 carries, 780 yds, 5.8 ypc, 9 TD, 15 catches, 138 yds, 9.2 ypc, 2 TD
The 205-pound Cornish has seen time at linebacker and been a star on special teams, and last year he carries the ground game at times with four 100-yard days. He has enough flash to tear off big runs like a 72-yard scoring dash in the win over Nebraska and the power to move between-the-tackles. He has the hands to be used more as a receiver.

- Fullback Brandon McAnderson, Jr. - 22 carries, 102 yds, 4.6 ypc, 1 TD, 3 catches, 40 yds, 13.3 ypc
A top special teamer and a nice all-around option when the offense uses a fullback, he was the team's second leading rusher getting more and more work over the second half of the year. At 235 pounds, he's the biggest blocking option for the ground game.

Top Backups
- Angus Quigley, RFr.
A fantastic combination of power and speed, the 6-2, 210-pound Quigley is fast enough to be used as a kickoff returner and should be a nice complement to Jon Cornish. Expect him to be a home run hitter when he gets in the open.
- Gary Green, Soph. - 1 carry, 1 yard
Mostly a special teamer so far, Green will combine with Angus Quigley and Tang Bacheyie to back up Jon Cornish. He's a small scat back who should rip off yards in chinks when he gets a little room to move.
- Fullback Nick Kurtenbach, Jr.
It'll be a shock if he sees any appreciable time anywhere but on special teams. At 5-10 and 200 pounds, he's not going to be a physical blocker like starter Brandon McAnderson, but he could see a couple of carries.

Some players need to step up in a big way of this will be the team's weakness. Former quarterback Marcus Herford has to be every bit the dynamic home-run hitter he's expected to be, while veteran Brian Murph has to be a good enough number one target to take the heat off of everyone else. There's some decent size to work with and the tight end situation will turn out fine in time, but this group needs work.
The key to the unit: There need to be a few surprises come fall to push Murph and Herford for catches.
Receiver Rating: 6

Projected Starters
- Dominic Roux, Sr. - 6 catches, 63 yds, 10.5 ypc
A spot starter last season, Roux made a bit of an impact over the second half of the year. Now the speedy senior has to grown into a dangerous and steady deep threat. He has the wheels to be dangerous once he gets the ball in his hands.

- Brian Murph, Sr. - 33 catches, 368 yds, 11.2 ypc, 2 TD
The team's leading returning receiver, Murph finished third on the team in receptions after coming over from the JUCO ranks. He's a quick target who has the talent to hit the home run on a consistent basis and the experience to grow into the role of the number one receiver. While he isn't the team's most talented pass catcher, he'll be counted on early on until everyone else can develop. He can also be used as a punt returner.

Marcus Herford, Soph. - 7 catches, 64 yds, 9.1 ypc
Expected to be the team's best receiver, the former quarterback has the best combination of speed, size and athleticism in the receiving corps. At 6-3 and 210 pounds, he's big enough to outmuscle most defensive backs, and fast enough to outrun the mediocre ones.

- Tight end Derek Fine, Jr. - 22 catches, 244 yds, 11.1 ypc, 1 TD
One of the best blocking options among the tight ends, he also finished fourth on the team in receiving last season turning into one of the team's most consistent safety valves. He'll have to keep working to be a more dangerous, but he's too experienced not to see more work

Top Backups
- Dextron Fields, Soph. - 1 catch, 15 yds, 1 TD
Fields came through with a clutch touchdown catch against Iowa State, but he spent most of his time on special teams. He'll have to battle with rising star Marcus Herford for a starting job, but at the very least he'll be a key reserve.
- Marcus Henry, Jr. - 17 catches, 183 yds, 10.8 ypc
Henry was a key target early in the year and late finishing with six starts, but he was lost in the shuffle in the middle of the season with only two catches in a six game span. At 6-4 and 200 pounds, he's bigger than Dominic Roux, but he's not as fast.
- Tight end
Marc Dierking, Jr.
Purely a receiver at 6-2 and 205 pounds, Dierking will see time in two tight end sets. He's the team's most athletic tight end with excellent upside. He's physical for his size.

Offensive Linemen
This is the best line in the five years in the Mark Mangino era. It's good in pass protection, but it'll be fantastic as a run blocking unit. It's deep, experienced, and full of solid veterans and some with all-star potential like guard Bob Whitaker and center David Ochoa. Sophomores Anthony Collins and Ryan Cantrell should be rocks on the right side for the next three years.

The key to the unit: Keep improving. It was a much-better group last year than in 2004 when it did nothing for the ground game, and now there are too many veterans not to grow into one of the best in the Big 12.
Offensive Line Rating: 8

Projected Starters
- OT Cesar Rodriguez, Jr.
Rodriguez made the successful transition from the right side to the left where he started 11 times at tackle. He bulked up to 286 pounds filling out his 6-7 frame a little bit better, but he appears to still be a good enough athlete to be a steady pass protector.
- OG Bob Whitaker, Sr.
The 317-pound senior is the team's biggest offensive lineman and had a strong season earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. While he's not the fastest lineman around, he's a strong run blocker with 36 games of starting experience. Even with all his talent, he's going to have to hold off Jake Cook for a job.
- C David Ochoa, Sr.
One of the team's leaders, Ochoa was a veteran guard before moving to center last year where he was an honorable mention All-Big 12 performer. He's smart, strong, and should be in for even more post-season honors this year now that he has a year of experience in the middle.
- OG Ryan Cantrell, Soph.
After seeing a little bit of time as a reserve and getting a start against Missouri, the 6-3, 285-pound Cantrell appears to be a lock for for the starting job on the right side after a strong spring.
- OT Anthony Collins, Soph.
Considered one of the team's rising stars on the line, the 6-6, 285-pound sophomore spent last year learning the ins and outs of the offensive side after starting his career on defense. He saw a little reserve time and even got a start, and now he'll grow into the role on the right side.

Top Backups
- OG Jake Cox, Sr.
The former JUCO All-American started in the first game of the year and saw spot duty throughout the season. He's good enough to get every shot at a starting job at either of the starting spots, but he'll likely start out behind Bob Whitaker on the left side. He can move to tackle if needed.
OT Travis Dambach, Sr.
A great reserve over the last few seasons and good enough to see a little bit of starting time, the 6-4, 295-pound senior will see time in the tackle rotation starting out behind Cesar Rodriquez on the left side. He's a physical run blocker who isn't horrible in pass protection.
- OT/OG Ramses Arceo, Jr.
The 6-4, 295-pound JUCO transfer came to school early and took over a backup job. He's athletic enough to play tackle, which he did at Cerritos College in California, but he's better suited for guard.

Related Stories
Kansas Preview 2006 - Further Analysis
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 31, 2006
Kansas Preview 2006 - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 31, 2006
Kansas Preview 2006 - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 31, 2006

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