Positional battles continue nearly everywhere on the field as Kansas University's spring football game approaches, but the Jayhawks’ offensive line, which lost three multi-year starters from last season, is coming together.
“There’s been movement and there will continue to be movement,” KU coach Charlie Weis said of the O-Line. “Going into camp, we know where everyone’s gonna be, position-wise.”
During Tuesday’s final spring session with the media before Saturday's scrimmage, Weis said that junior-college transfer Mike Smithburg had moved to center — his more natural position — and likely would stay there.
Weis said the top options at both guard spots include juco transfer Ngalu Fusimalohi, sophomore Damon Martin and senior Randall Dent. All three have received first-team reps this spring, with Dent the most recent lineman to make the leap.
“We have a chance of throwing a pretty physical offensive line out there,” Weis said.
As for KU’s depth up front, Weis said senior tackle Riley Spencer had worked his way back into contention behind junior Pat Lewandowski at left tackle and that red-shirt freshman Brian Beckmann had looked better than expected behind starting right tackle Aslam Sterling.
Early this spring, Weis said senior Christian Matthews and junior Justin McCay would start at wide receiver if the Jayhawks had to play a game this spring. The same message rang true Tuesday.
“If we had to play today, they would start,” Weis said.
Both began the spring as second-string players before moving to the first unit in the first week of practices. One wideout who took a major step forward during the past week was sophomore Tre’ Parmalee.
“We challenged him,” Weis said. “He’s young, and a lot of times when you’re young, you’re not real physical, but he’s been significantly improved over the last week and change.”