Friday, April 29, 2011
What to watch for: Sunflower spring games
By ESPN.com staff
By Saturday night, the Big 12's spring will officially be over (look for our spring wraps next week), but here's what to watch for on Saturday when Kansas and Kansas State finish off the Big 12's spring practices with their spring games.
1. Moment of truth for the Brothers Brown. Nobody outside the program has seen them play in quite awhile. That will change on Saturday, when the Big 12's two biggest transfers take the field. Running back Bryce Brown is locked into a battle for the starting running back job, and Arthur Brown sounded like he tore up the scout team last season during his NCAA-mandated year on the sidelines after transferring from Miami. How good can they be? We won't know for sure, but we'll get some idea this weekend.
2. Kansas, you know human cloning is illegal, right? A year ago, Kale Pick was leading the race to start at quarterback. Now, he looks like he'll transition into a solid playmaker for the Jayhawks in the passing game next year -- as a receiver. If that sounds familiar, it should. Kerry Meier was one of the greatest receivers in school history, and he started out as a quarterback, too, before ceding the job to Todd Reesing. Does he have that kind of future ahead of him? Maybe not, but he's shown big-time hands this spring and Kansas is starved for receivers. Plenty of other Jayhawks have built some expectations for themselves this spring like RB Darrian Miller, DL Pat Lewandowski and the team's pair of safeties, Bradley McDougald and Keeston Terry, but Pick emerging as a true target might have the biggest impact of all.
3. How much more speed? It's been an emphasis for the Jayhawks this spring, but Kansas has to get faster on both sides of the ball. After a few months away and with some new talent mixed in, how much faster is Turner Gill's team as a whole? Improving that area will have to come first if Kansas is going to get back to at least being competitive in Big 12 play, something it wasn't in 2010.
4. More quarterback derby at K-State. It's tough to tell much in short spring games, but quarterbacks usually give you a good feel. The pressure (as much pressure as there can be in the spring, anyway) is on, the crowd is there for the first time in some time, and the Wildcats have a big competition. It's obvious he can do a whole lot with his legs, but how much has Collin Klein developed as a passer? Does Justin Tuggle offer anything that Klein can't? And what about Sammuel Lamur? Can he throw a wrench into the discussion? He's already the No. 2 quarterback ahead of Tuggle.