Archive for Thursday, August 20, 1998


August 20, 1998


Kansas University's football team concluded two-a-day practices on Wednesday, and second-year coach Terry Allen was tickled all the Jayhawks were able to walk away under their own power.

``You get to this time, you feel good if you can walk off the field without any injuries,'' Allen said, ``and we did that.''

KU held a scrimmage during the morning session and a light walk-through practice in the afternoon.

Allen had mixed feelings about the scrimmage.

``So-so,'' he said. ``I thought we played better defensively, but offensively we were able to make a couple of big plays, which is critical for us.''

The result of just over a week of twice-daily practices gave Allen a clearer picture of the two-deep depth chart, which he expects to put out today, the first day of school and the first day of one-a-days leading to the Sept. 5 season-opener against Oklahoma State.

After Wednesday's scrimmage, Allen gave a brief state-of-the program address.

  • Quarterback. ``Zac (Wegner) has had a very good preseason, but we still do not have a backup we feel comfortable with if Zac gets hurt,'' Allen said. ``If Zac doesn't get hurt, it's not a problem. If Zac gets hurt, it could be a big problem.''

Sophomore transfer Jay Alexander is Wegner's backup.

``He's about 2 1/2 on a scale of 1-10,'' Allen said. ``He's got great athleticism. The mental part of it is very difficult for him. But we can't hold up installing the offense because of our inexperience at the quarterback position. We do 3,000 formations and reads and shifts, which Zac is very comfortable with, but it just makes those (backup) guys more confused.''

  • Running back: ``We feel pretty good as far as break-away type runners,'' Allen said. ``At fullback, I like the emergence of Moran Norris. And we have people who can help us, like Brian Gray and Henri Childs.''
  • Offensive line: ``They're picking things up better,'' Allen said. ``They're not quite where we want them to be, but they're much better.''
  • Wide receiver: Allen provided a tentative depth chart at the wide receiver positions. It was: Termaine Fulton backed up by freshman Byron Gasaway at flanker; Harrison Hill ahead of Eric Patterson at split end; and Michael Chandler and Tanner Hancock co-No. 1s at A-back. Hancock has been held out of practice with a sprained ankle.

``Algen Williams is the wild-card there, depending on his eligibility,'' Allen said, noting Williams likely won't hear back from the NCAA on his eligibility until next week. ``We're vastly improved.''

  • Defensive line: ``The three starters,'' Allen said, referring to nose tackle John Williams and ends Dion Johnson and Dion Rayford, ``I think those guys can be pretty good. We're still trying to secure some depth.''
  • Linebacker: ``The top group on the field will be more than adequate,'' Allen said. ``But we're worried about depth.''
  • Secondary: ``That's still a question mark,'' Allen said. ``In the scrimmage, we gave up two big plays, a long pass and a big run. They were both the result of a breakdown in the secondary.''
  • Kicker/punter: ``Joe (Garcia) is secure,'' Allen said, ``and the competition at punter will lead to some things.''

Sophomore David Winbush was the offensive star of Wednesday's scrimmage with yet another big run.

``Last year, I come into this trying to show what I can do,'' said Winbush, who is expected to split time at tail back with Mitch Bowles and, to a lesser extent, Julius Bruce. ``This year, some things are expected of me.''

Winbush said a handful of newcomers stood out during two-a-days.

``I was real impressed with Henri Childs and Byron Gasaway,'' Winbush said. ``Henri ... I didn't know much about him coming in here, but he's a nice kid. He has nice hands. And he's going to get bigger. Byron Gasaway's another one. Put a few pounds on him, he's a good go-up-and-get-it athletic receiver.

``And (defensive end) Dion Rayford, I don't know where he came from. I had to block him, and he threw me out of the way.''

Another junior college transfer, end Kareem Carter from Santa Monica (Calif.) College, dressed in full pads for the first time Wednesday.

``He probably won't be ready for the first game, but he could be,'' Allen said. ``Defensive line isn't a position that requires the mental capacity of a rocket scientist. If you can line up and learn your responsibilities, you can play in a 2 1/2-week period. At offensive line or wide receiver, you wouldn't be able to get that done. Kareem is a question mark yet. He got to run around a little bit today.''

The Jayhawks will hold a situational scrimmage starting at 9 a.m. Saturday on the grass practice fields.

-- Andrew Hartsock's phone number is 832-7216. His e-mail address is

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