2012 Program Preview - Kansas

Big Jay is looking into your soul. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Weis? Cmon...

Five years ago, Kansas won the Orange Bowl. They've since fired the head coach at that time and his replacement, who led the Jayhawks to a 2-10 record last year.

Can Charlie Weis turn this program around? I guess. It's going to take a while. Hey, always helps to have a great basketball team if your football team isn't that good.

After the jump, the prospects worth noting as well as some games and matchups to pencil into your calendar.

References

Rock Chalk Talk (SB Nation Kansas community), SB Nation team page, official team site, Bill Connelly's preview for SBN, CBS Sports preview

Notable offensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Duane Zlatnik
G RS Sr. 7
Tanner Hawkinson
OT RS Sr. 7
Dayne Crist
QB RS Sr. UD
Daymond Patterson
WR RS Sr. UD (potential riser; groin injury)
D.J. Beshears
WR Sr. UD
Jake Heaps
QB Jr. 5 (ineligible 2012 after transferring from BYU)
James Sims RB Jr. UD
JaCorey Sheperd WR Soph. N/A


Notable defensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Bradley McDougald
S Sr. 7
Toben Opurum
DE/3-4 OLB
Sr. 7
Tunde Bakare
LB Sr. UD
Greg Brown
CB RS Sr. UD
Tyler Patmon
CB RS Jr. 6
Darius Willis
MLB RS Jr. 6


Summary

I have no idea how I had this many fringe guys on a team that was so bad last year. It is what it is.

Key games

Northern Illinois (away) - Week 4 (Sat., Sep. 22 - TBD)

Following this game, the Jayhawks play four teams ranked in the top 25. They need a win in this out of conference game.

Iowa State (home) - Week 12 (Sat., Nov. 17 - TBD)

The only home game of the last four games of Kansas' 2012 schedule, this is a winnable game that would help Weis improve on their 2011 record. Anything to break up a 10-game losing streak would do Kansas a world of good.

Key matchups

WR Daymond Patterson v. Kansas St. CB Nigel Malone, Week 6 - Sat., Oct.6

Should be a fair matchup between these two. Patterson suffered a groin injury in last year's season opener, and sat the rest of the year out. In 2010, he led the team in receptions and yards.

DE Toben Opurum v. Texas Tech OT LaAdrian Waddle, Week 11 - Sat., Nov. 10

Opurum flashed solid pass-rush skills at times last year. I singled him out against Texas as being one of the better players on the field last year; he'll need to be more consistent. The next game against Iowa State, he struggled to make a consistent impact in the backfield. Waddle should be an interesting matchup who can overpower Opurum, but is noticeably slower off the snap.

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