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Archive for Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ryan Wood’s KU football notebook

March 13, 2008

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KU football starts spring practice

The KU football team started spring practice on Wednesday. Enlarge video

Same ol' Slash

Utility man Kerry Meier will keep a similar role for the time being - backup quarterback and part-time wide receiver on offense.

With Marcus Henry and Derek Fine lost to graduation, Meier's pass-catching could be more needed.

"Somebody's got to pick up that slack offensively," offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said. "We have other receivers, but Kerry's surely a guy that we can probably double his output at receiver."

Meier had 26 catches for 274 yards and two touchdowns in 2007.

In addition, Meier will work as the No. 1 punter in the spring, largely because incoming punter Alonso Rojas won't enroll until the summer.

Tackle battle

With the departure of Anthony Collins and Cesar Rodriguez, an intriguing position battle will emerge at both left tackle and right tackle this spring.

The competition looks to feature four players: senior Matt Darton, junior Nathan D'Cunha, sophomore Ian Wolfe and freshman Jeff Spikes.

KU coach Mark Mangino seemed especially high on Spikes, though it doesn't mean one of the jobs is his.

"He's young," Mangino said, ": but at the end of the day, he'll be one of the most talented offensive linemen we've had here."

All about numbers

The four mid-year scholarship transfers all have been assigned uniforms numbers: D'Cunha will wear 75, receiver Rod Harris will don 85, tight end Nick Plato will sport 82 and quarterback Kale Pick will wear 19.

As for the prestigious No. 3? Nobody has it yet. Cornerback Chris Harris and receiver Dezmon Briscoe both want it, but it probably won't be assigned until this summer.

Previous No. 3 wearers were All-Big 12 corners Charles Gordon and Aqib Talib.

"Aqib wants me to have it," Harris claims. "I'd be grateful to take that number."

Up next

The Jayhawks held their first practice of the spring Wednesday, without pads.

Their next scheduled workout will be Friday, and it's one of two open to the public.

The practice is expected to start around 3:30 p.m. and be conducted on the practice fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark.

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