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Spring Practice Primer: Kansas

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Kansas.


Spring Practice Begins: Tuesday, March 27

Spring Game: Saturday, April 28

Returning Starters: Seven on offense, six on defense, both specialists

Three Things To Watch For:

1. A whole new look on the sideline. It's hard to find only three things to look for this spring with Kansas because so much is changing. The biggest change, though, would be Charlie Weis taking over for Turner Gill. Weis has a lot of work to do if he's going to return Kansas football to the kind of success it was seeing under Mark Mangino, and that work begins this week. He's brought in "his guys" with coaches like Dave Campo to run the defense, and of course there's that quarterback he brought with him from South Bend.

2. Dayne Crist under center. Crist was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country when Weis brought him to Notre Dame, but things just didn't work out for him once Weis was fired and Brian Kelly replaced him. Now Crist gets a fresh start in Lawrence, and his performance will have a big say in what Kansas can do in 2012. He already knows Weis' offense, so that won't be a problem this spring. Instead what will be interesting to watch with Crist is seeing how comfortable he can get with his new teammates. Especially with wide receiver Justin McCray, a fellow former blue-chip recruit who transfers to Kansas from Oklahoma.

3. Starting over on defense . Dave Campo does not have an easy task in front of him. The Kansas defense will need a complete overhaul this spring, as it comes off one of the worst defensive seasons in college football history. If it was a major defensive statistic, odds are Kansas finished dead last in the FBS in 2011, including allowing an FBS-worst 43.8 points per game. It's doubtful that the Jayhawks can make a huge turnaround in 2012 on the defensive side of the ball, but improvement is an absolute necessity. The good news is it's hard to get much worse.

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