Coach Jerry Brawner enters his third season at the helm of the Kansas Jayhawks, hoping to continue the level of success that the Jayhawks hadn't seen since their surprise Orange Bowl in 2007. The Jayhawks finished 2014 ranked #6 in the country, and come off a win in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. But with many starters graduating, will the Jayhawks have to rebuild?

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rating Comp Att Yards TD INT Comp
Sacks Sack Rate
Montell Cozart QB Grad 176 227 1702 16 11 77.5% 7.5 5 2.2%
Ryan Willis QB 6-4, 197 So 83 307 387 3191 27 13 79.3% 8.2 11 2.8%
Carter Stanley QB 6'2, 194 So 78
Ryan Willis never expected to see the field last season, or, if he did, most likely in mop up duty in a blowout. Instead, Willis was thrust into the starting role after Montell Cozart went down with an injury in Week 6. Willis led the Jayhawks to a win over Arkansas despite throwing 3 INTs, not the best of starts. But Willis would improve throughout the year, ending up with the 10th most passing yards in the country despite no meaningful playing time until Week 6. He enters this season with the 4th most passing yards among returning players. His 27:13 TD-to-INT ratio needs to be improved, but otherwise Jayhawks fans just hope he can continue how he played last season. Willis ended the season with a record setting performance in the Capital One Bowl, eclipsing the school records for passing yards and touchdowns in a single game.

With the graduation of Montell Cozart, Carter Stanley, like Willis only a sophomore, will serve as the backup this season. Freshman Matt Barrow will redshirt this year barring injury.

Offensive Skill Players
Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rating Touches Rushing
TD Yards/
% of Team
% of Team
Laquvionte Gonzalez WR Grad 158 1485 130 16 9.4 24.0% 27.3%
Keaun Kinner HB Grad 65 253 26 2 4.1 8.7 9.9% 5.1%
TJ Milleward FB Grad 2 1 7 1.0 7.0 0.3% 0.1%
Greg Allen CB Grad 268
Kent Taylor TE Grad 30 282 4 9.4 4.6% 5.2%
Corey Avery WR 5-10, 182 Sr 82 104 128 902 10 4.9 11.6 15.8% 18.9%
Tyler Patrick WR 6-0, 178 Jr 78 75 579 4 7.7 11.4% 10.6%
Derrick Neal WR 5-10, 173 Jr 83 69 746 2 10.8 10.5% 13.7%
Bobby Hartzog Jr WR 5-11, 188 Jr 80 58 779 4 13.4 8.8% 14.3%
Darious Crawley WR 5-11, 190 Jr 79 Redshirt
Emmanuel Moore WR 6-0, 188 So 76 11 87 3 7.9 1.7% 1.6%
Taylor Martin HB 5-9, 192 So 78 7 14 2.0 1.1% 0.3%
Ben Johnson TE 6-5, 236 Sr 80 1 8 8.0 0.2% 0.1%
Bryan Webb WR 6-5, 218 Fr 73 Redshirt
Jason Taylor HB 5-11, 179 Fr 75 Redshirt
Jordan Darling TE 6-4, 240 Jr 79 Redshirt
Quarterbacks QB
79 145 6 1.8 12.0% 2.7%
Departed senior Laquvionte Gonzalez was the best receiver last season, which may be an understatement considering he may be the best Jayhawk receiver of all-time, if not one of the best receivers in college football history. Gonzalez broke the NCAA record for receptions in a season, and tied or broke the school records for receiving touchdowns in a single game, receptions in a single game, receiving touchdowns in a single season and receiving yards in a single season. But now Gonzalez is working on an undrafted free agent contract in the NFL.

Corey Avery, a converted halfback, is now the best receiver on the team. He will be expected to replace the production that Gonzalez brought to the team last season. Avery had the second most touches on the team last season, so maintaining that level of production would be a huge contribution to the team. Derrick Neal was the other primary outside receiver last season, a role he will stay in this season. Tyler Patrick and Bobby Hartzog Jr, both 50+ reception slot receivers this season, will return to the slots this season.

Kent Taylor, last year's starting tight end, has also moved on to the next level, and will need to be replaced by senior Ben Johnson, who only caught one pass last season.

Preseason All-SEC: Corey Avery (2nd team)

Player Pos. Ht, Wt Year Rating Car. Starts Car. P'cakes Car. Sacks
Jordan Shelley-Smith LT Grad 26 6 4
Joe Gibson C Grad 26 11 4
Larry Mazyck RT Grad 26 2 8
Dan West LT 6-7, 291 Jr 79

Will Smith LG 6-4, 329 Sr 77
Jacob Bragg C 6-3, 318 Sr 82
Aaron Garza RG 6-3, 323 So 78 13 1 4
Jayson Rhodes RT 6-4, 293 Sr 78

Kevin Jones RT 6-3, 292 Fr 74
Joey Bloomfield LT 6-6, 298 Sr 75
D'Andre Banks RG 6-3, 326 Sr 81 2
Gabe Gibson LG 6-4, 289 Fr 70

Joe Hill C 6-4, 315 Fr 76

Kansas's offensive line will lose 104 career starts this season, thanks to 3 two-year starters graduating, and a fourth starter (Apa Visinia) suffering a season ending knee injury during the Jayhawk spring game. Visinia will be forced to sit out the season with a medical redshirt.

In all, only 13 career starts will take the field for the Jayhawk offensive line in Week 2; all 13 the experience of sophomore Aaron Garza. Three seniors, and one junior, will be taking the field in Week 2, though none of the four have starting experience.

Depth for the slobs will be provided by three freshmen and two seniors, including senior guard D'Andre Banks, who is one of the more capable run blockers on the team.

Defensive Line
Player Pos Ht, Wt Year Rating Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Damani Mosby DE Grad 20 3.8% 8 2.5 2
Tyler Holmes DT 26 4.9% 10 5 2
Loren Massey DE 6-0, 239 Sr 78 27 5.1% 11 5 1
DJ Williams DT 6-4, 285 Jr 78 7 1.3% 2 2
Mike Caldwell DE 6-5, 255 Fr 74 Redshirt
Josh Ehambe DE 6-2, 232 Jr 73 2 0.4%
Jace Sternberger DE 6-4, 225 So 73 2 0.4%
Jacky Dezir DT 6-2, 299 Sr 75 2 0.4% 1 1
Steve Atkinson DE 6-5, 239 Fr 72
Lay Trion Jones DT 6-3, 291 Jr 72
Two thirds of the starting defensive line walked at last spring's graduation ceremonies, leaving an often-used backup and a redshirt freshman to take their place. Converted JUCO linebacker Loren Massey is the lone returning starter. Massey has demonstrated a good pursuit of the ball carrier, though he can sometimes seem lost on the field. DJ Williams, who played the 3-technique in sets with four down-linemen last season, will man the nose tackle position. Mike Caldwell, an impressive freshman who sat out last season, will try to become a four-year starter opposite Massey. Massey's cousin, Michael, was a coveted recruit who will bide his time and redshirt this season.

Depth at the defensive line is a mix of young and old, with one member of each class being part of the rotation. The 2nd string defensive line, Josh Ehambe, Jace Sternberger and Jacky Dezir, each notched two tackles last season, with Dezir adding a sack in the Capital One Bowl.

Player Pos Ht, Wt Year Rating Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Courtney Arnick OLB Grad 40 7.6% 9 2 1 1 1
Kyron Watson MLB 6-1, 230 Sr 83 56 10.6% 10 2 2 2 1 1
Travis Bridges MLB 6-2, 232 So 82 31 5.9% 6 1 1 1
Marcquis Roberts OLB 6-1, 221 Jr 82 15 2.8% 1
Joe Dineen OLB 6-2, 215 Sr 84 6 1.1%
Colton Goeas OLB 6-2, 249 Sr 76 10 1.9% 3 1.5 2
Daniel Wise LEO 6-2, 235 Jr 73 10 1.9% 4
Dorance Armstrong LEO 6-4, 218 So 72
Andrew Wiggins MLB 6-0, 233 Fr 72 Redshirt
With only one starter lost to graduation, the four linebackers in the Jayhawks' 3-4 defense will be the strongest unit this season. MLB Kyron Watson is the top returning tackler to the team, and Travis Bridges was extremely impressive in his freshman season. OLB Marquis Roberts finally earns a full-time starting job after two seasons of playing understudy to Courtney Arnick, and Joe Dineen will get his chance in his senior year. Dineen is one of the five fastest players on the Kansas team, so fans and coaches alike hope to see him flying from sideline to sideline in pursuit of the ball carrier. Both Dineen and Bridges were top performers last season on the kickoff coverage unit as well.

LEO Daniel Wise is a DE/OLB tweener that will come in to replace one of the OLBs in certain packages, and notched 10 tackles last year in that role.

Preseason All-American: Kyron Watson (1st team)

Player Pos Ht, Wt Year Rating Tackles % of Team TFL Sacks Int PBU FF FR
Tevin Shaw SS
69 13.1% 9 4 10
Fish Smithson FS Grad 64 12.1% 5 1 1 10 1
Brandon Stewart CB
36 6.8% 4 2 1 1
Greg Allen CB Grad 31 5.9% 2 2 7 1
Matthew Boateng CB 5-11, 177 Jr 85 25 4.7% 3 1 3 7
Pat Chambers CB 6-3, 180 Jr 82 Redshirt
Tyrone Miller FS 6-0, 182 So 81 8 1.5% 1 3
Bazie Bates SS 6-0, 181 Sr 78 Redshirt
Colin Spencer CB 5-10, 187 Sr 82 22 4.2% 3 1
Shaquille Richmond CB 5-11, 183 So 74 18 3.4%


Lee Davis CB 6-2, 197 Fr 73 Redshirt
Robbie Wilson FS 6-2, 209 Fr 70 Redshirt

Jonathan Green SS 6-4, 217 Fr 75 Redshirt

While the loss of an NCAA record setter is a blow to the wide receivers room, the defensive secondary has been depleted by graduation after losing three starters plus a nickelback. Cornerback Matthew Boateng is still around, still the closest thing to a ball-hawk in the secondary, but new pieces will surround him.

Pat Chambers, a JUCO transfer last season, sat out the year needing to learn the Kansas defensive scheme. Jayhawk coaches hope that his redshirt year will prove beneficial, as Chambers is expected to immediately start in Week 2, taking over the #2 cornerback spot. Colin Spencer, the dime corner last season, will take over the nickelback role and be the first off the bench in passing situations.

Tyrone Miller played well in a backup free safety role last year, and the sophomore will be called upon to be the starter this year. He only had eight tackles in limited playing time, but did register an interception. Bazie Bates will return to the field as a senior starter at SS, after being held out last year due to academic concerns. Miller and Bates will both be backed up by redshirt freshmen, leaving the margin for error very thin.

Preseason All-SEC: Matthew Boateng (1st team)

Player Pos Ht, Wt Year Rating PAT FG FG Pct Punts Net Avg TB P I20
Matthew Wyman K Grad 53 16 89% 31 K/O
Ethan Greene K 6-0, 173 Fr 84 Redshirt
JD Frederick P 6-3, 191 So 88
18 43.4 2 P 10
Freshman punter JD Frederick was inexplicably overlooked by the awards last season. He was recognized by the SEC writers, but received no national recognition, not even a semi-finalist mention for the Ray Guy Award, despite leading the country in net punting average. While Kansas coaches would prefer Frederick never take the field, both fans and coaches alike want to see the young sophomore get his due, at least at some point.

Redshirt freshman Ethan Greene will step into the starting placekicker role this season after sitting out last year. Greene has a very strong leg and will look to at least match the 90% performance from Matthew Wyman last season.

All of the kicks fielded last season were by players who have graduated and left Lawrence. Kansas coaches will try various pieces this season until they find the right players to fill that role.

Preseason All-SEC: J.D. Frederick (2nd team)