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Archive for Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook

April 7, 2007

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As it turns out, shuffling the offensive line is something Kansas University's football coaches wanted to do long ago.

It's finally done this spring. Big and strong junior Anthony Collins is swapping places with senior Cesar Rodriguez. Collins is now left tackle, Rodriguez is right tackle.

"It's something that we wanted to do last year after about the fifth or sixth game, but we thought it would be a disservice to both kids because of the footwork and stance and those things," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "A.C. is more natural as a left tackle, and Cesar is more comfortable on the right side."

Collins, at 6-foot-6, 315 pounds, has the highest ceiling among KU's offensive lineman and could be an All-Big 12 tackle in 2007. One thing's for certain: Those with the ball like to find Collins and follow his lead.

"It's a fun deal," running back Jake Sharp said. "He's definitely a big guy. I can get lost in there behind him sometimes."

Most improved

Always willing to share an opinion, Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib was asked this week who he thought was the most improved player on defense.

"I think Arist Wright is," Talib said of KU's projected starter at outside linebacker. "Last year, he was really just running around, didn't know what to do. Now he knows his plays, so now he can use his talent. He can show you what he can do now."

Wright and James Holt are working first team at outside linebacker, with Mike Rivera stationed in the middle as expected. Joe Mortensen, who started all 12 games at outside linebacker a year ago, is now working on the second team as a middle linebacker.

Wrapping up

Kansas has just eight days left in the spring season, but it promises to be a busy period.

The Jayhawks have six practices scheduled in that stretch, including the spring game April 15 at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff for the intrasquad scrimmage is set for 3:30 p.m.

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