Big 12: Will Jefferson

Recruiting needs: Big 12 North

January, 26, 2011
Signing day is exactly a week from today, and it's time to take a look at who needs what in its 2011 class.

Some schools have addressed these with their current class. Some haven't. Others are still trying.

We'll kick things off with the artists formerly known as the Big 12 North and examine the South later today.


Cornerback: Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith were pretty reliable for the Buffaloes, but both are headed to the NFL, and the Buffaloes could definitely use some depth behind their first-year starters. It's not quite as pressing of an issue considering their move to the less pass-happy Pac-12, but they still like to sling it out west.

Receiver: Colorado isn't exactly starving anywhere on offense, but receiver sticks out a bit. Toney Clemons was good, but maybe not quite what the Buffaloes hoped he'd be in 2010, but they caught a break in getting Paul Richardson back after a great freshman season. The Buffaloes need some complementary pieces around Clemons and Richardson to replace departed pass-catchers Scotty McKnight and Travon Patterson. Next year, that should be tight end Ryan Deehan and receiver Will Jefferson.


Receiver: It's been a struggle for Iowa State in recent years, but they have to get better outside to help out their quarterback. Sedrick Johnson's transfer only worsens the Cyclones depth at the position, but Jake Williams and tight end Collin Franklin, the team's leading receiver, are gone. Shontrelle Johnson looks ready to become a big factor in the offense, but the Cyclones filling the space at receiver will make it easier for Johnson to replace running back Alexander Robinson.

Safety: Both starters, David Sims and Zac Sandvig, are gone. So is the Cyclones top reserve at the position, Michael O'Connell. Sims was a top-notch talent that will be tough to replace, but Iowa State needs more depth here. They should be solid at corner with Leonard Johnson, Ter'ran Benton, Jeremy Reeves and Anthony Young, which could make the new safeties' jobs easier.


Defensive line: KU is losing three of four starters on the line, including the team's only All-Big 12 talent, defensive end Jake Laptad. Turner Gill wants more speed, and this is a place to install it. Tackles that tip the scales at 320 pounds aren't too necessary in this league, but speed on the edge can go a long way in stopping the pass.

Quarterback: Neither Jordan Webb or Quinn Mecham look like long-term answers at quarterback for the Jayhawks. Mecham will be a senior, and Webb might develop into a better player as a sophomore next year, but Kansas needs other options. The Jayhawks hope Brock Berglund, the top-rated recruit in Colorado, is the solution to the problem.


Running back: I hear your cries for Bryce Brown, Wildcats fans, but K-State can't expect to hitch their wagon to the former blue-chip recruit turned Tennessee transfer in the same way it did for Daniel Thomas. Thomas and his backup, William Powell, are gone, and the Wildcats need some depth at running back to show up.

Interior offensive linemen: K-State loses both guards and its center from an offense that produced the Big 12's leading rusher in 2010. Don't expect them to do it again in 2011 without Wade Weibert, Kenneth Mayfield and Zach Kendall, as well as Thomas and Powell, but finding some new talent behind them will help them come close.

Cornerback: David Garrett emerged as a budding star in 2010 ready for a breakout senior year in 2011, but the Wildcats lose Terrance Sweeney and Stephen Harrison, as well as safety Troy Butler. Like we've mentioned earlier, good secondaries are a must for success in the Big 12, and K-State had one of the league's worst in 2010.


Receiver: Missouri has some good ones ready to suit up in 2011, namely Wes Kemp, Jerrell Jackson and T.J. Moe, but the Tigers don't have a true gamebreaker. They have some younger players in Marcus Lucas and Jimmie Hunt who they hope will develop into big-time, All-American caliber receivers, a la Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander. In Missouri's system, though, adding a few receivers is always a good idea. They certainly don't need any more running backs.

Defensive backs: Mizzou doesn't have any huge holes that need to be filled with recruiting, but the Tigers lose both corners, Carl Gettis and Kevin Rutland from their 2010 team. Kip Edwards and E.J. Gaines look likely to fill those roles, but the Tigers could use some depth and keep recruiting in the secondary to help add some talent around Tavon Bolden and Matt White, safeties who will replace departed Jarrell Harrison, who actually had to play some linebacker in 2010 because of injuries.


Every kind of kicker: Alex Henery, the team's punter and kicker is gone. So is kickoff specialist and lover/producer of touchbacks, Adi Kunalic. Fan favorite Henery was hardly underappreciated by the Nebraska faithful, but they'll miss him even more if the Huskers can't find a suitable placekicker and punter. Bo Pelini was reportedly after Wake Forest commit Mauro Bondi this week.

Receiver: Niles Paul and Mike McNeill are gone. The Huskers need Brandon Kinnie to come through with another good year and it'd be nice if Quincy Enunwa broke through in 2011, but Taylor Martinez needs some more help at wide out, and a couple new recruits could provide it as Martinez's passing prowess matures.

Lunch links: Leach talks OSU-Tech

October, 15, 2010
Don't hide your thighs. Notarize.

Buffs suffer a pair of big blows

October, 12, 2010
Colorado has lost a pair of major contributors for the season.

Safety Anthony Perkins, who leads the team with 32 tackles, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL in the 26-0 loss to Missouri. Perkins suffered the injury in the first half, but finished the game.

"He's a warrior," coach Dan Hawkins told the Boulder Daily Camera. "We'll miss him physically and emotionally."

The Buffaloes will also be without running back Brian Lockridge, who will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. Lockridge served as the backup to Rodney Stewart, and had 35 carries for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Hawkins said he plans to move sophomore wide receiver Will Jefferson to running back to help replace Lockridge.

Weekend scrimmage roundup: Part 1

April, 5, 2010

Colorado's offense struggled in its Friday scrimmage, but Michigan transfer Toney Clemons caught six passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns, both from goal-line situations. Receivers Scotty McKnight, Markques Simas and Will Jefferson did not play.

The 106-play scrimmage featured seven scores, but all came in that goal-line package late in practice. Tyler Hansen hit Clemons for both touchdowns and completed 12 of 22 passes for 102 yards. He also threw an interception. Cody Hawkins completed 10 of 22 passes for 111 yards.

Running backs Rodney Stewart and Brian Lockridge were held out of the scrimmage and the running game struggled, gaining just 61 yards on 22 carries.

But Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins said the lack of personnel wasn't to blame for the offensive struggles, instead pointing to the scrimmage's situational and segmented focus.

Texas Tech

The big news, of course, was the absence of Taylor Potts (laceration on hand) and Steven Sheffield (surgery to repair broken foot), who both are expected to miss the spring.

Sophomore Seth Doege and redshirt freshman Jacob Karam stepped in and impressed new coach Tommy Tuberville.

"I'm really proud of the young quarterbacks," Tuberville said after Friday's closed scrimmage. "They came out and threw the ball well, threw some touchdown passes. We were able to get them some work that otherwise they may not have seen. They split the reps evenly, with Doege running with the ones and Karam with the twos. We'll switch them up for Monday's practice."