Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2007

Changes apparent at fan appreciation day

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing autographs the jersey of 9-year-old Drew Lawrence, Overland Park, during fan appreciation day Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing autographs the jersey of 9-year-old Drew Lawrence, Overland Park, during fan appreciation day Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

August 23, 2007

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There wasn't much to take away from the 30 minutes of Kansas University football practice open to the public Wednesday, as part of fan appreciation day at Memorial Stadium.

Except that there's still a lot of changing going on behind the scenes.

So much, in fact, that a first and second team on both sides were hard to figure out at the onset. Kansas still has more than a week before the Sept. 1 season opener against Central Michigan, and the depth chart could be tweaked a couple of times until then.

Consider the changes noticed Wednesday:

¢ The first-team offensive line looked strikingly different. Anthony Collins (left tackle) and Ryan Cantrell (center) were there as expected, but the rest of the line consisted of junior Rameses Arceo (left guard), junior Chet Hartley (right guard) and freshman Ian Wolfe (right tackle). Longtime starter Cesar Rodriguez appeared to be working with the second team.

¢ Senior Marcus Anderson, just moved to defense in the last week or two, was working first-team defensive tackle alongside James McClinton. It might be temporary, though: Projected starter Todd Haselhorst, a junior out for most of camp because of an undisclosed injury, was in uniform and at practice Wednesday. He appeared to be healthy, but did not take part in any 11-on-11 drills while the public was watching.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing autographs the jersey of 9-year-old Drew Lawrence, Overland Park, during fan appreciation day Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing autographs the jersey of 9-year-old Drew Lawrence, Overland Park, during fan appreciation day Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

¢ Cornerback Aqib Talib spent much of the workout on offense as a wide receiver. Don't expect him to shift his focus from defense to offense, but seeing him catching passes may be a hint that the KU coaches still are considering making Talib a two-way player to some degree.

¢ Kansas may be settled in at linebacker, where Joe Mortensen manned the middle and Mike Rivera and James Holt worked first-team on the outside.

Coaches and players did not talk to the media Wednesday, but after the practice coach Mark Mangino spoke briefly before passing the microphone to KU's four team captains - Talib, McClinton, tight end Derek Fine and fullback Brandon McAnderson.

Mangino then thanked the fans for their support, saying he was told that 38,000 season tickets have been sold. Officials say the number actually is a little more than 30,000, but could be close to 32,000 by next week's opener. The previous record was 29,300, set last season.

Wednesday marked the last practice open to the public this fall. Kansas will have about eight more workouts before the opener against CMU at Memorial Stadium. The Chippewas won the Mid-America Conference title a year ago.

"We've got 10 more days to get ready for Central Michigan," Mangino told the crowd, "and we'll be ready."

KU Football Fan Appreciation Day

In nine days, the Kansas Football team will take Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium for the 2007 season opener. Tonight though, that field belonged to the fans. Enlarge video

New offense to debut in opener

Mark Mangino's offense will look much different in 2007. Enlarge video

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