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LJWorld.com weblogs Tale of the Tait

What's cooking with KU's cornerbacks?

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With this week's news that former Kansas University cornerback Tyler Patmon is heading to Oklahoma State reminding everyone that this year's Jayhawks are largely unproven at Patmon's old position, it seemed this might be a good time to jog your memory about the guys KU coach Charlie Weis is counting on to replace Patmon as well as the departed Greg Brown.

The list is long and features a fair amount of flexibility, but it lacks experience at the Div. I level, which, even in spite of how rough of a season Patmon had in 2012, might make some wonder if letting the senior starter go was the best idea.

Only time can answer that question. The guess here is that the move will work out well for both Patmon and the Jayhawks. Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for all parties involved.

Anyway, here's a quick look at the candidates to fill KU's cornerback spots this fall.

• JaCorey Shepherd •
Bio: 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior who moved over from WR last season
Experience: Played in 8 games and made 3 starts in 2012; finished with 15 tackles, 3 pass break-ups and 3 passes defended.
Depth chart: Listed as a second-string CB on the pre-spring version
Skinny: I'm in the camp that believes Shepherd (picture above) can become a stud at his new position. But don't take my word for it; take defensive coordinator Dave Campo's. Campo has raved about Shepherd since the day he began coaching at KU, and until Shepherd proves he can't play the position, I'm going to lean on Campo's expertise and assume he can.

• Cassius Sendish •
Bio: 6-foot, 187-pound junior known for physical play
Experience: Only juco experience
Depth chart: Listed as a first-string CB on the pre-spring version
Skinny: Making it to campus in time for spring ball did wonders for Sendish's adjustment to the Division I level. He was one of the better corners throughout the spring and uses his physicality as a weapon when covering opposing wideouts. The guy is focused, all business and supremely talented. I think he'll quickly become a fan favorite.

• Dexter McDonald •
Bio: 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior beginning his second stint at KU
Experience: Played in 7 games during 2011 season before leaving the program and playing at Butler County Community College before returning. Finished 2011 season with 17 tackles and no other stats
Depth chart: Listed as a first-string CB on the pre-spring version
Skinny: I've heard on more than one occasion that McDonald can cover anybody. If that's true, he should have a leg up in the battle to start opposite Sendish this fall. We know he's fast and athletic from what he showed the first time he was at KU. If he really did sharpen his coverage skills and dive into the mental side of the position as he says, he could be in for a terrific return season.

• Tyree Williams •
Bio: 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore with good athleticism and great motor
Experience: Played in 7 games in 2012 but only logged limited snaps at corner. Finished with two tackles and one fumble recovery
Depth chart: Listed as a second-string CB on the pre-spring version
Skinny: Williams made enough of an impression as a true freshman to be thrown onto the field right away. It turned out he wasn't quite ready for this level. But after a full year in the program and more time to prepare his body, I wouldn't count him out by any means. The coaching staff obviously saw something they liked.

• Nas Moore •
Bio: 6-foot-1, 176-pound junior who is still pretty new to the position
Experience: Red-shirted in 2012 and, therefore, only has juco game experience
Depth chart: Listed as a second-string CB on the pre-spring version
Skinny: Like Shepherd, Moore's another former wide receiver who made the switch to defense and looked like a natural late during his junior-college days. For the most part, he got by on pure athleticism and raw talent. That won't be enough in the Big 12, but he's got good size and is a good enough athlete to contribute if he can grasp all that comes with playing the position.

• Kevin Short •
Bio: 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior college All-American from Fort Scott C.C.
Experience: Only juco experience
Depth chart: Not listed on pre-spring version; expected to arrive in July
Skinny: Despite his name, Short has the best size of the bunch and the talent to go with it. He would've been in better position to play right away if he had been able to make it to town in time for spring ball, but many believe that Short might be one of the best pick-ups in KU's recent recruiting class and it seems like a safe bet that he'll be given every chance to prove that. One thing to watch is whether he stays at corner or is shifted to safety.

• Brandon Hollomon •
Bio: 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior college transfer who comes to KU after just one season at Pierce Community College in California
Experience: Only juco experience
Depth chart: Not listed on pre-spring version; expected to arrive in early June
Skinny: Juco teammate of fellow Jayhawks Marquel Combs and Marcus Jenkins-Moore might be the wildcard in this bunch. I've heard he can flat-out play and Combs has called him a steal. Again, though, with just his junior-college film to go on, Hollomon is going to have to prove he can hold up against Big 12 offenses before he can be counted on.

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