The other day, UTEP receiver Jeff Moturi called up a member of the Kansas University coaching staff to talk trash.
It’s cool, though. They know each other. Moturi, a senior receiver for the Miners, was a standout at MacArthur (Texas) High when David Beaty, the Jayhawks’ second-year receivers coach, was the head coach.
“I told him, ‘Don’t come down here thinking we’re a layover or something,’” joked Moturi, whose UTEP team will host No. 24 Kansas at 6:30 p.m. today. “I know we ain’t the Big 12 or nothing, but don’t come over and take us as a joke.’”
It’s decent advice, especially considering Beaty has seen firsthand the things Moturi can do on a football field.
Beaty is the guy, after all, who moved the player to receiver from defense as a prep, the one who taught him how to play the position and the one who eventually built him into an all-state performer by his senior season.
“He pretty much taught me everything that I know, man,” said Moturi, who caught 51 passes for 655 yards and nine touchdowns in 2008. “From sticking in my routes and pumping my arms, all that came from him. And I’m grateful for that — I don’t know what I would have done without him.”
In fact, if it weren’t for Beaty, there’s a chance Moturi might not be playing Div. I football today.
Originally committed to the University of Houston, Moturi was informed he would have to sit out a season due to academic issues. Not willing to wait a year — and knowing that his test scores were good enough to go elsewhere — he talked to Beaty, who immediately got on the phone and began calling his connections in the coaching world, looking for a bite.
He got one in UTEP, which welcomed Moturi with open arms and helped pave the way for what has developed into a standout career.
“(He) is a solid, dependable guy,” Kansas coach Mark Mangino said of Moturi. “He reminds you a little of our Tertavian Ingram.”
Moturi, currently third on UTEP’s career touchdown list, and fellow receiver Kris Adams enter today’s game as the nation’s leading duo in touchdown receptions, having hauled in 36 combined scores in their careers. And with a veteran quarterback firing them passes — junior Trevor Vittatoe threw for 3,274 yards and 33 touchdowns last season — tonight’s matchup should be provide a significant test for the Kansas secondary.