College football depth charts usually are filled out with a big chunk of battle-tested juniors and seniors.
But to have 13 freshmen represented? Kansas University just might have to change its nickname to the Baby Jays.
KU coach Mark Mangino confirmed during the Big 12 Conference coaches conference call Monday that about 13 true or red-shirt freshmen were on the team's two-deep. And while KU hasn't released the depth chart publicly, Mangino said four or five could start Saturday against Northwestern State.
"They want to play. Nearly every home I go into on an official visit, the No. 1 thing they will tell me is they want to play early," Mangino said. "Well, here you go. Here's your chance to shine.
"They're really an eager bunch of kids, very enthusiastic. I think it's going to work out."
Mangino didn't mention many names, but did say true freshman safety Olaitan Oguntodu was "ready to play." Red-shirt freshmen already documented as potential starters include quarterback Kerry Meier and linebacker Russell Brorsen. Safety Darrell Stuckey, a red-shirt freshman, was expected to start before an ankle injury sidelined him.
Other freshmen appearing on the post-spring depth chart: offensive tackle Jose Rodriguez and defensive tackle Caleb Blakesley. Due to an injury to red-shirt freshman Angus Quigley, true freshman Jake Sharp is expected to be the No. 2 running back behind Jon Cornish.
It's a sizable bunch of players who haven't played a down of college football. But Mangino confirmed that most - if not all - of the 13 will be ready to play Saturday.
"They're in the two-deep," Mangino said, "if not at the line of scrimmage, definitely on special teams."
¢ Kemp healing: Strong safety Jerome Kemp, who injured his leg during an August practice, is targeting a return for Saturday's season opener.
"I'm not going to discuss the situation, but I think he looks great," Mangino said. "I'll put it to you like that. He looks fine, and I'm not overly concerned about it."
¢ Record set: KU announced on its Web site Monday that 28,100 football season tickets had been sold, an all-time high.
The previous mark was 27,700, set in 1969.
¢ Former Jayhawks cut: Former KU linebacker Nick Reid was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, ending his short stint there.
"I just think he was in the wrong place at the right time," Chiefs coach Herman Edwards told the Associated Press. "We have some pretty good linebackers here."
Reid wasn't alone. Former KU wide receiver Mark Simmons was waived by the San Diego Chargers on Monday, too. That leaves just one player from last year's team - cornerback Charles Gordon - still on an NFL roster.
Also waived Monday was former KU receiver Brandon Rideau by the Cleveland Browns.