Kansas' practices affected by brisk spring storm
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A blizzard that's supposed to dump up to 8 inches of snow in eastern Kansas hasn't hit -- yet.
But Kansas coach Mark Mangino is taking no chances as he's already canceled the team's scheduled practice for Saturday.
This is the first time that Mangino has ever postponed spring practice because of snow.
"I've moved inside a lot because of cold weather," Mangino said. "But we've been in contact with the Kansas City television stations and the weather service. They've told us this is the real deal."
The snow hasn't started yet, but it did force the Jayhawks inside for a practice that was supposed to be open to the general public. Several reporters did watch the proceedings. Here are some of my observations.
- Mangino has said that he wants to play Kerry Meier full time at wide receiver, but still can't wean him from a few snaps at quarterback at each practice. Meier's move to receiver will depend on the development of redshirt freshman quarterback Kale Pick, who got a few snaps at Friday's practice. Mangino hopes to get Pick more work as the spring progresses.
- The Jayhawks' defense should get a shot of enthusiasm from veteran linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator Bill Miller, who made him presence known during some tackling drills that were a little too sloppy for his tastes.
- One standout in the practice appears to be converted running back Angus Quigley, who showed promise with his raw athleticism.
- Mangino has been intrigued by the quick start of redshirt freshman offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson, who has been inserted at left tackle with Jeremiah Hatch moving to his natural position of center.
- Starting quarterback Todd Reesing and Meier looked like they were in midseason form after connecting on several strikes.
- I officially feel like an old man. Among the players getting work were freshman running back Deshaun Sands. I remember watching his father, Tony Sands, when he was breaking records for the Jayhawks not too many years ago.
- Mangino singled out massive 338-pound freshman offensive lineman John Williams for his strong early play. "He's a powerful guy who is really quick," Mangino said. "He'll be a starter if he keeps up at this pace."
- Roderick Harris Jr., a junior wide receiver, appeared to sprain his left ankle midway through practice. He hobbled to the sidelines and did not return.
- As leading receiver Dezmon Briscoe's suspension continues, Johnathan Wilson had a strong practice. Wilson made several circus catches which prompted the biggest reaction of the day by his teammates.
If the blizzard lets me, I'll be off to Nebraska very early tomorrow morning to catch the Cornhuskers' workout. More reports will be coming then and maybe even my first Runza sandwich of my North Division swing.