Gone from last years football squad are some of the top play-makers on the offensive side of the ball. When the season ended Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe took their 186 catches with them. That's not an easy thing to replace.
That doesn't mean there isn't talent. Jonathan Wilson is a starter that caught close to 40 passes. Bradley McDougald showed his talent as a true freshman and there are other skilled receivers from the 2009 recruiting class.
One of the things lacking going into the spring was a speed threat at receiver. Most of the players returning have good size and decent speed but no real blazers. That all changed when Daymond Patterson and D.J. Beshears moved from defense to offense.
"They bring some diversity to our group," said Darrell Wyatt, the Jayhawks wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator. "We have a number of tall guys that are athletic, but those two guys give us a nice change and the defense will have to account for those guys. They are both two of the faster guys on our football team."
Last season both started at different times at cornerback. Patterson arrived at Kansas as a wide receiver before making the change to defense. In high school Beshears caught 88 passes as a senior, but signed with the idea he would play defense.
"I'm back on the offensive side trying to work my way back into the line-up," Beshears said. "Coming from corner I have to work my way to get into one of the starting spots. Throughout the spring I'm just going to work hard. My speed really will help. I'm not being cocky but I think my athleticism can also help."
Patterson said the previous staff had moved him back to offense following the 2009 season. He is glad it stayed that way and he has a chance to be on the field at a place he could have a quick impact.
"Using my speed is my game," Patterson said. "I tell people all the time I can run straight down the field and go deep. But I would rather catch a pass behind the line and take it to the house. That's the kind of receiver I am, I like to make something out of nothing. I'm in the slot so I don't to run just deep routes. I like to catch the bubbles, slants, and out routes and do something with it. Just get me a simple pass and let me do something with it after the catch."
The Jayhawks have yet to do official testing this season, but the smack talk is in full swing when it comes to who is faster. Patterson and Beshears are believed to be near the top of the charts when they line up to run their 40 times.
"I think I'd get him," Beshears said.
Patterson didn't buy into Beshears prediction and said until he's beaten he is the faster of the two.
"I think I could take him," Patterson said with a smile. "Until he beats me I'm going with myself, that's just the type of guy I am. I think we're both really fast."
The argument will be settled soon when the two Texas natives line up with the stop watches. Either way they both will bring a new element to the offense and nobody is happier about having them than their position coach.
"They can make a big difference for us," Wyatt said. "We're glad to have them on offense."
Jayhawk Slant will give full coverage of spring practice videos, audio, articles, and photos.
On the basketball front Bill Self is still waiting on word from recruits and we have the latest update on Josh Selby from McDonald's All-American game here