Monday, August 20, 2012
Fresh faces: Kansas Jayhawks
By David Ubben
Today we continue our look across the league at few players from each team who had low profiles last year, but you'd better get to know before 2012. They just might be household names by season's end.
More fresh faces:
Next up: Kansas.
Josh Williams, DE: Williams transferred to Kansas from Nebraska this spring and is already making a big impact on the defensive line, where the Jayhawks badly need reinforcements. He started two games for the Huskers last season and made 15 tackles, as well as blocking a kick. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder has coach Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Dave Campo raving, and Williams has already earned a starting spot entering the season. He's a fifth-year senior who just may find his way into the NFL with a big year in 2012 after starting over in Lawrence.
Kale Pick, WR: Quarterback Dayne Crist needs weapons in the passing game, and Pick's proving to be one of the best. Coaches pegged Pick as the player who's been most impressive during fall camp, and he could be a big beneficiary of some much more solid play at quarterback with Crist in town. Pick is an instinctive former quarterback who knows both ends of the passing game, and came on strong late last season. He caught six balls against Kansas State, and 15 of his 34 catches came in the final four games. The 6-1, 205-pound senior could make good on much of his promise this fall.
Mike Ragone, TE: Ragone's another player who could be a big beneficiary in the Notre Dame exodus. Weis and Crist got all the headlines this offseason, but Ragone made his way to Lawrence, too, along with Anthony McDonald, who will likely start at middle linebacker. Knee injuries limited Ragone's production in South Bend, but if he can stay healthy this year, there's plenty of room for him to haul in passes in KU's offense. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, and chose to transfer to Kansas. Look for the 6-4, 255-pounder to make it count. He's plenty confident, but he says he's grown and learned from having to deal with the knee trouble. He's also got the added advantage of knowing Weis' offense, as Crist does, and knowing what to expect once the season begins.