I posted these over on the Ning site yesterday, but for those not on board there, I thought I better re-post here on the main site:
Well, it was an awesome day for a spring game and the crowd was probably around 10,000. A slightly new wrinkle is that the spring game is starting to turn into a little more of a tailgating event. I saw a lot of early arrivals.
To the game:
--The player that jumped out was of course Rell Lewis (14 rushes, 64 yards and 3 catches for 55 yards). We saw some his skill in practice last August, but with the sudden shortage of running backs, he got a lot of action. Slightly thicker than Jake Sharp, but about the same height.
--Deshaun Sands showed that he can play as well while toughing it out for the white team (8 carries, 28 yards). Of course, Jake Sharp looked like the solid veteran that he is, going for 63 yards on 7 carries and adding 3 receptions for 34 yards.
--The concern at running back is that with the Jocques Crawford situation "all" of our backs are on the small side (Sharp, 5-10/195; Lewis, 5-10/201; Sands, 5-9/182). That probably means Toben Opurum is already moving way up the depth chart and fall practice is actually going to be more intriguing than usual. And I believe, Bradley McDougald is a possibility in the backfield as well.
--I don't think anyone was surprised to see that Johnathan Wilson stepped up and filled the void that Dezmon Briscoe left open. That's the thing about a great quarterback. If you can catch and get any separation at all, he'll make you famous. The Breeze is going to want to sort this out quickly.
--Former walk-on WR Willie O'Quinn is everybody's favorite to root for right now (3 catches, 12 yards).
--My favorite project -- Maxwell Onyegbule changed from #47 to #90, which was kind of disappointing. I love out of position numbers. Anyway, Max physically looks impressive, but I really didn't watch the line battle close enough to see how he was doing, because ...
--I was consumed with the new Angus Quigley linebacker project. To me, he didn't look too bad out there and rushing off the edge, he came with all kinds of speed. Of course, Kale Pick slipped underneath him on one of those and went for a long gainer, but on another play he would buried Pick if it was a live game. Literally. It's scary to think of what can happen if Angus catches a QB from the blind side.
--In coverage, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on LB zone pass coverage, but in the short coverage Angus allowed some underneath openings. However, it didn't seem to be any worse than previous LB play at KU. Plus, he seemed to be in perfect position to light up the receiver. He ran down some ball carriers on long gainers which shows the proper never give up attitude.
--I did see Clint Bowen pull Angus out and rail on him for quite some time about consecutive mistakes made. Still, to me, I think I've seen enough to say that this project is going to come together at some point.
--Noted that Patrick Dorsey was playing with the blue team while Darrius Parrish was playing with the white. Seriously, if Dorsey is in the mix, I feel like we have five guys that could start at DT (Caleb Blakesley, Richard Johnson, Jr., Parrish, Dorsey and Jamal Greene).
--I also thought the white defensive line improved throughout the game. Of course, they didn't have to play the second half against Todd Reesing.
--I thought Chris Harris looked pretty comfortable at nickelback. Darrell Stuckey is Darrell Stuckey. I thought Lubbock Smith played pretty well at safety for the white team. Noted that Justin Thornton gave up the inside slant on fourth down. He seemed to transition well to corner, but the inside slant still looks like a weakness.
--That was Todd Reesing's final spring game. Watching him and Kerry Meier, I feel like we've taken great QB play for granted. How quickly we forget the time between Bill Whittemore and Reesing. Anyway, both of those guys are top-level college quarterbacks and they showed it to me yesterday, but for now ...
--It's hard not to get sucked into the future battle for the starting quarterback. Kale Pick seems to be progressing and I thought looked pretty promising. His running game is going to take some pressure off. Jordan Webb showed that he has a gun and a lot of competitive spirit slugging it out with the white team. The Webb vs Pick battle could shape up to be a lot like the Reesing vs Meier competition. Of course, Christian Matthews will be in the mix as well along with probably at least one member of the 2010 class.
photo credit: annependleton.com
The ORB site has potentially horrible news on an incident rumored to involve KU football players:
The Lawrence Journal-World had this story which does not indicate names:
Not this one of course, but you know ... generally speaking. I can't tell you the last time I actually visited RCT, Oread or The Shiver. Most everything I read on the internet is through a reader and that pretty much explains one of the big drivers behind the current "publishing apocalypse." Newspapers and magazines always thought they could transition to the web and capture all kinds of online ad revenue and save money by shutting down print.* Of course, after a decade long run-up, online advertising is still just a fraction of the overall revenue for publishers. Free content turned out to be a bad idea for publishing and at this point there is no turning back. I should know -- I have a front row seat right in the middle of the tornado. The carnage is pretty insane and it's changing people's lives. Still, sometimes I can sit back and look at the landscape and it's just fascinating as hell to watch it all burn down. I get a little bit more perspective because running a blog as hobby, puts me on the other side. That would be the free content, re-publisher/columnist side that is killing publishing.
Anyway, so the website is dead. Let's get into that. Without putting a lot of thought into it, how about we categorize internet users into three categories:
Grandma and the EMFS crew still might be visiting websites, so you can say website ads are still getting impressions.** Still, we all know that we've gotten accustomed to reading right around ads on the web. Anything that isn't black text on white "ain't getting looked at."
Here's the thing though, eventually Grandma and the EMFS are going to start moving toward feeds. Facebook, Microsoft/Yahoo or Google is going to get them at some point. Facebook is so close to nailing this bad boy down, but they bumble around so much it's more like watching The Office than say watching There Will Be Blood. Or maybe the better comparision would be like watching toddlers work together to build a block castle.
Anyway, it'll get figured out and online ad revenue may not ever be solved and kind of that fear that large businesses have had all along that maybe they were wasting millions on website development for something that is really just a fancy brochure and/or shopping cart is starting to feel a little more like a plausible reality.
At this point, you are saying to yourself -- you haven't put up a real post on football in a month and this is what I get? Calm down -- this is just a long-winded introduction to the Hawk Digest Ning social site. Boo -- social -- Boo! Yeah, I know. We all hate Facebook. But here is the reality. Squarespace is an awesome host and if you are a small business and you want to dominate search, you should give me a call. However, they've neglected their forum module. A fan site like this needs a good forum and the best thing for posting photos, video, chat and discussion is Ning (though also flawed). So, I've taken down the HD Squarespace forum and Ning is now going to serve as the forum.
The other factor is that due to the destruction inside of the publishing business, it's going to take a superhero-type effort to get my real company turned in the right direction. So instead of spending weekends typing out football posts, I may be going the extra mile for the man. Hawk Digest will always go on as a fansite for KU football, but I want to hear more from the readers/users, so the Ning site will open that up. The fact is nothing can keep up with current events more that a group of users, so there really is no reason for me to dominate the conversation.
Conclusion: Check out the Hawk Digest Ning site -- get signed up and start using that forum. I would love to see photos and video added as well. In fact, my big summer project is to start scanning ticket stubs and other memorabilia. Hopefully, this whole initiative can help fulfill the mission of HD -- be the ultimate resource for KU football fans.
*The great big lie is that print is expensive. Publishing companies have a hard time truly costing their digital efforts and went on a massive salary spending spree for new media types this decade. That over-valuation is costing them big time. As a side note, if you ever catch me at the bar, ask me why I believe the NY Times is not on the ropes and is actually more powerful than it has ever been
**Don't talk to me about ads in the RSS feed. That is the fastest way to get your feed dropped and they are so easy to ignore anyway.
Not a lot of time to update today, but if you haven't stumbled on this one yet, check out the Official KU Football Spring Football Website.
Feel free to post before and after today's practice. Click comments to post.