Kansas football position units: No. 2, outside receivers

Team Jayhawk wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) gets a shove from Team Jayhawk wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Sims' touchdown during the second quarter of the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium.

Team Jayhawk wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. (11) gets a shove from Team Jayhawk wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez (1) after Sims' touchdown during the second quarter of the 2017 Spring Game on Saturday, April 15 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Not all that long ago, in 2012 to be precise, back when Kansas ran a pre-historic offense under Charlie Weis, the Jayhawks went the entire season without a single touchdown catch from a wide receiver.

In Weis’ second year on the job, no wide receiver caught more than one TD pass and just three caught one.

So in two seasons, the Jayhawks totaled three touchdowns from wide receivers, one apiece from Rodriguez Coleman, Andrew Turzilli and Justin McCay.

Three years after that forgettable stretch, Steven Sims had seven of the team’s 16 touchdown receptions, 13 by receivers.

Sims, a 5-foot-10, 176-pound receiver who has become faster since coming to Kansas, caught 72 passes for 859 years last season. That put him fifth all-time in single-season catches and ninth in single-season yardage.

He drew a good deal of the defense’s attention, but it will be a little more difficult for opponents to do that this year, thanks to the addition of Alabama transfer Daylon Charlot and emerging third-year sophomore Chase Harrell, both of whom hauled in difficult catches during the spring game.

Charlot, a 6-foot, 195-pound sophomore from Patterson, La., disappointed Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban when he didn’t wait his turn at Alabama. Liking his potential as a receiver and punt returner, Saban tried to convince Charlot to stay.

KU coaches were impressed with his work ethic during his redshirt season and during spring football. His performance in the spring was inconsistent, but he had a big spring game, showed the ability to get open, to attack the football in traffic, and on one catch also did a terrific job of keeping a foot inbounds. He’s a big-time talent.

Harrell brings something to the outside receiver position that neither Sims nor Charlot does: size. At 6-4, 215, he’s a big target. And he’s a fast one. He had only five receptions last season, but two were for touchdowns. Look for him to be on the field a great deal more this season. Incoming freshman Travis Jordan, the first recruit from Louisiana landed by assistant coach Tony Hull, also will compete for time on the field, as will junior Jeremiah Booker.

Comments

Brett McCabe

Harrell surpasses Charlot. QB's throw to targets they trust, and a weak spring doesn't bode well for Charlot.

With Schadler, Harrell and Sims, we've got two guys who can take it the distance and one guy who can catch it on red-zone toss-ups. That's enough to compete.

7 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

Harrell has the size that can't be taught, but Charlot has that elite talent that brings in balls that shouldn't be caught or stays in bounds when he should be out. Fortunately, it's a team event and not a race. As the opening discusses, each will perform better as the others excel. Let's hope they all get at least 72 & 859.

7 months, 1 week ago

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Dirk Medema

Quiv isn't even mentioned?

Wow, just a year ago he was going to elevate the position all by himself. He was #2 last year no?

7 months, 1 week ago

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Jim Stauffer

If Brett still believes Charlot cannot catch tough balls in the Red Zone he must have missed the Spring Game.
This kid just needs reps. He has everything you want in a receiver. Hands are great and physical skills in general are top of the line.
If this kid fails it will be his attitude or the coach's inability to teach.

7 months, 1 week ago

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