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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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
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.