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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Jayhawks set at QB for future

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Save yourself the trouble of tossing over your shoulder haystack after haystack of negativity surrounding the Kansas University football program in search of that elusive needle pointing upward. You won’t find it on the rest of the schedule, but it will start to show its head during spring football.

Here it is: Kansas has nothing going on the quarterback recruiting front. That’s good news? Yes. The Jayhawks don’t need to find another man under center because next year’s team will have a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior quarterback and the quality is such that reigning first-string QB Jake Heaps could be anywhere from first to third string.

That doesn’t help KU’s chances of snapping a Big 12 losing streak that stands at 22 games, but it at least means there is one competition to which we can all look forward.

KU football coach Charlie Weis has shown he’s not unwilling to make changes in both personnel and game plans. Weis appears to be inching toward what most college coaches believe, which is that having a quarterback who isn’t quick enough to execute designed running plays puts an offensive coordinator at a decided schematic disadvantage.

“We tried to get Michael (Cummings) more involved last week because when the quarterback is a run threat, it forces the defense to do things differently than when the quarterback isn’t a run threat, a la Jake,” Weis said Tuesday. “The problem with that is you also become one-dimensional.”

By that he meant when Heaps is in the game, the defense knows he won’t tuck it and run. And when Cummings (47-percent completion rate, 5.1 yards per attempt) is in the game the issue flips.

“They just load everybody up front and say, ‘Look it, they’re not going to throw it.’ That’s the bind you get in,” Weis said.

It’s the bind Kansas State was in when alternating passer Jake Waters and runner Daniel Sams the first few games of this season. The best solution, of course, is to have someone like the Wildcats’ former Heisman Trophy candidate Collin Klein, a threat to do both.

Enter Montell Cozart and T.J. Millweard. Cozart, a 2013 graduate of Bishop Miege, is red-shirting, at least so far. Millweard must red-shirt because of transfer rules. He will have three years of eligibility remaining, Cozart four.

Teammates will always praise each other, so it pays to place more importance on how they say things than what words they use. During training camp, when players were asked about what Cozart brings, their eyes lit up, and that was when they talked about his throwing ability. He also runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, extremely fast for a QB.

“With the speed you can bring a different tempo to the game and put the defense in a bind,” Cozart said during training camp. “They’re going to be worrying about your feet, and when they do that, you’ve got someone wide open down the field. It’s just a great threat to have against a defense.”

Playing for then Miege head coach and current KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, Cozart threw 31 touchdown passes his junior year. He threw 25 TD passes and led Miege to the 5A state title game as a senior. He also stood out on the basketball court.

“I’m still pass-first, but I feel like if I need to I can count on my feet to be able to move me around and still make a throw on the run or run and get out of bounds,” Cozart said.

T.J. Millweard, like Cozart rated as a three-star high school quarterback by Rivals, was labeled a pro-style quarterback. But a look at Millweard’s high school highlight film shows him using pretty good speed to make long runs. Those who watch KU practices have been impressed with his mobility.

Millweard, who signed with UCLA out of Colleyville, Texas, originally committed to Virginia Tech and then Arizona State, before following the assistant coach who recruited him to ASU to Westwood. Beaten out by talented Brett Hundley, Millweard transferred to Kansas in August.

Better play from the offensive line and wide receivers, in that order, could give Heaps a chance to make a significant improvement. If that doesn’t happen, the quarterback competition could be a tight three-way horse race, with Cozart meriting a very long look.

Comments

stanleys 6 months, 1 week ago

Man o man when are people gonna realize and face the facts that WEIS DIDNOT MAKE HIS OWN NAME IN THE PROS!!!!!! A QB BY THE NAME OF TOM BRADY (AMONG OTHERS) NEED ALL THE CREDIT. Weis was just in the right place. Hell he was involved with Pats when they were Badass and Florida Gators too. Look back at his stint at Notre Dame, He had a top 10 recruiting class and didn't even make a bowl that year. The POS can't coach on his own and we/re stuck with him!!!!! DISGRACEFUL. He sucks.

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Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 1 week ago

Here's my 'impatient fan' comment: Jake Heaps put up some numbers like 118 TDs to 20 INTs in highschool, got ranked a 5star #1 overall QB...then goes to the Div.1 college-level, and proceeds to break several BYU frosh QB records...As a frosh. (Until the offense changed and he rode pine his 2nd year, hence the transfer). Heaps isnt broke, but my god, there isnt much assembled around him, is there? Sims is there, but cant help due to poor blocking in front of him. Even screen passes getting blown up. Word is out that we like to pass to Pierson, Sims, and that we cannot run the ball with any consistency.

This season is a beautiful illustration of the always-true football law: NO offense if you got NO o-line. The guys last year at least could run block, and they pass blocked better (than this year). Hurry up and wait some more, I guess...

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Ralster Jayhawk 6 months, 1 week ago

I think the major issue so far has been the Oline. The WR drops have lessened, although some WRs are still invisible. But the O-line problems are killing our drives and absolutely killing James Sims, which is a travesty!

What's that saying in football: 'if the o-line gives a huge amount of time, any ole QB will look great'...and the reverse is this: 'put a 5star QB (Jake) behind a piss-poor O-line, and he wont look much better than vinegar...' Same goes for your A-rated RB (Sims).

I feel worst for Sims, as this is it for him. Heaps gets another year with Harwell added and a gotta-be-better O-line, and Taylor Cox off redshirt...Im not too worried about Heaps, other than him getting hurt due to poor protection.

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jayhawkintx1973 6 months, 1 week ago

Those of you who are talking about a new head coach, unless you have the cash to buy off Weis, it isn't happening. The big donors aren't going to do it again. Weis just has to come back down to earth and hire an OC and let that OC install a system that works at this level. Weis can do the same thing if he keeps trying to be both Head Coach and OC, but something's gotta give or this isn't going to work.

Weis knows what he has. I don't know if he has the ability to accept some humility and admit that most of these problems is that his offensive system isn't working. If he does that and fixes it, then they can get this ship turned around. Until then, we're in trouble.

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Joan Kalivoda 6 months, 1 week ago

How is KU doing now without Mark Mangino, not worth a damn.

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Brandon Mahon 6 months, 1 week ago

Dave Doeren was the coach, but he is currently the headcoach at NC State. He was one of the coaches along with the Ex Southern Miss coach. Both were considered TG hiring and during the Charlie Weis hiring. The current head NIU coach is Rod Carey. Doeren is from Shawnee Mission, and was on the KU staff from 02-05 then Wisconsin then head coach at NIU for two year now at NC State. In his head coaching career is 28-6 record. He is a Kansas boy and has been on the staff and so far is proven at a medium competition level (MAC). I think he is the kind of coach that KU should go after.

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Brandon Mahon 6 months, 1 week ago

I am not in for firing Weis just yet, but read and article on rock chalk talk and I would really like to see the head coach of Northern Illinois come here as an OC for a year or be in the next coach in line. Look at what he has done with NUI. BCS game last year and started to another 5-0 start.

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Charles Logan 6 months, 1 week ago

Charlie Weis has totally pissed me off. I went to the game on Saturday, and Cummings was set up to fail. Texas Tech fans sitting around me were calling out what KU was going to do by looking at who was at QB. Everyone in the stadium knew what was going to happen ON EVERY PLAY!!!! I have been saying since Game #1 Put Darrian Miller, James Sims Tony Pierson, and MONTELL COZART!!!!!!!! On the field at the same time! Let them gel as a unit, and KU is 4-0 right now and ranked #20 instead of Tech. You can't teach speed! Cozart to Pierson on an option.......... That is a big weapon! Double reverse- Cozart hands off to Miller, who hands off to pierson....... see ya! Cozart in the shotgun looking to pass, but the o line isn't holding up....... Cozart uses his feet to escape! NebraskanJayhawk8 says Cozart needs to be Holsoppled, but I don't think so. He has enough God given ability to contribute to this team. People Keep saying KU doesn't have the talent. I'm saying Weis isn't using the talent.

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HighQ 6 months, 1 week ago

James Sims was a stud.

Not now? O Line's the key for

RB and QB.

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kujhawkfan 6 months, 1 week ago

Free Telly now!! We have 8 games left this season and there is no reason to keep the dual threat off the field. We need all the help we can get on offense. Whether it's 5 plays a game or he wins the full time job. Give the kid a chance now...

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Lance Cheney 6 months, 1 week ago

Cozart runs a 4.5 40??? I didn't know this! Why aren't we getting him in the game now to get some experience for next year? It would also keep the defenses honest, if he really can throw as well as they say. Jake Heaps is a great pocket-passer, but when you don't have a pocket from whence to pass, well...

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Lucas Town 6 months, 1 week ago

We are set at quarterback, so the article says, and we have a stable running backs. The only two positions we seem to have any depth. I would argue with anyone that we have not had good quarterback play since Reesing's junior year. I would not read into this article until a quarterback can prove something on the field on gameday, not the practice field. We need a much better defense. If we can slow teams to 20-30 points instead of 50+ points in conference play we would be in a much better spot. But the offense needs to execute much better. Schedule breakdown: TCU has played LSU and OU, so since this one is on the road this one will be tough. Then OU and Baylor come to town, those games will be tough. Next we go to Texas and Oklahoma State, another set of road games, this will be very tough. Best shot for our next win will be when we host West Virginia on November 16th. They don't seem to play well on the road, but it will be November and with a record of 2-7 and the basketball team will be 2-0 football will be an after thought. Final record 2-10 because who are we going to beat? Sorry to be a Debbie downer, this is just how I see it. I will still watch the games and will be elated with another win. RCJH!

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AzHawk97 6 months, 1 week ago

At this point I have no confidence that Weis can bring in any quarterback and be successful with his offense. I would even go as far to say that you could bring in Johnny F'n Football and he would be handcuffed by Weis' offensive schemes and philosophy.

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Robert Brock 6 months, 1 week ago

We don't need the QB to be a runner; we need the OL to provide the QB some time to throw the ball. Heaps is good when you give him a chance to find a receiver (then it is up to the receiver to actually catch the dang thang).

4

Brandon Mahon 6 months, 1 week ago

We have three quarterbacks red-shirting right now, Cozart, Darling, and Millweard. Then of course we have Dineen coming in. We have guys waiting and progressing right now. I was high on heaps like everyone was, but you can use him in that pistol set with Sims/Miller/bourban/pierson behind and next to him. Just because you are in that pistol set does not mean he has to run. Look at Alabama they run a pistol now and then and McCarron is not a Qb that will take off and run. We have depth and unless a 5 star stud dual threat quarterback is interested in KU we will not be recruiting one for a year at least maybe two. I have watched highlights and I think Millweard has a small upperhand because he is in his second year of college, but I do not know what is going to happen next year. Heaps has a cannon and his accuracy is not terrible, 3 interceptions have been tipped balls. Spread them out and run some option read/passes and draws we need to get our workhorses involved.

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Titus Canby 6 months, 1 week ago

What about Jordan Darling, the freshman QB from SM East?

1

Jason Keller 6 months, 1 week ago

p>kusports.com already hyping 2014... that's when you know it's gotten bad. I'll skip the majority of these articles until I see the product on the field for myself.

I'll admit I was drinking the kool-aid all summer.. what a reality check, more like a kick in the stomach. Last year's team, with Jake Heaps, would beat this year's team by 21 points.

Hurts to even think this but it might be time for the KU administration to get together and see what is best for the university moving forward. This football team is a toxic asset to the university at this time. We either need to go all in right now on the stadium and apply the type of pressure to coach Weis that is applied to every other football coach in a power conference or we need to think about letting football go.

Sean Zenger needs to tell Charlie Weis right now that unless he wins 2 conference games, he's fired. Point blank. End of story. What's that going to do? Well, that pressure is going to trickle down to the assistant coaches and to the players. We've been way too easy on our last couple football coaches. Gill should have had people all over him 4 games into his tenure. But no, we still had basketball so we didn't really care. If you want to get serious, get serious. That is all.

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Mike Barnhart 6 months, 1 week ago

One thing we do know, Heaps is no runner! In fact, it seems Heaps first priority is to avoid contact at all cost. I've never seen a QB more anxious to get rid of the ball REGARDLESS of the result.

It's not that he's slow footed (he is), it's his lack of poise that determines his failure. I think the guy is probably fine in practice but when the bullets are flying it's panic time which explains why Charlie tried full contact practices during the bye week!

I'll go on record right now, this IS Heaps last season atop the KU depth chart.

0

Joe Ross 6 months, 1 week ago

No offense to Tom Keegan or Matt Tait, because they have to write articles about SOMETHING (which is hard to do given the condition of Kansas football). But for my part, I no longer put any faith in articles which speak of players' abilities. Too often I have been set up to hope only to see that hope disappointed. From now on I await evidence on the field. I love my Hawks and support them, but there is nothing wrong with avoiding false hope either.

10

Randy Glenn 6 months, 1 week ago

I also think an offensive coordinator is a MUST!!!! Just be the HC Charlie!!!!!!!

4

Jim Stauffer 6 months, 1 week ago

Now all Weis needs to acknowledge is we need an OC separate from the HC.

5

Robert Brown 6 months, 1 week ago

At least Weis has finally recognized that a team like KU needs a dual threat quarterback. It took sometime to come to that conclusion even though anyone who follows college football should have figured this out.

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Janet Scott 6 months, 1 week ago

Musical chairs without the music. This has about as much promise as me finding a palm tree growing at the South Pole.

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BringBackMark 6 months, 1 week ago

Who knows what Cummings really looks like? He got one snap in the first 3 games and then was launched into a situation where he didn't know from down to down if he was going to be in the game. The only reason he played at all was because of pressure on Weis so he put him in almost impossible situations.

.........."Millweard, who signed with UCLA out of Coffeyville, Texas, originally committed to Virginia Tech and then Arizona State, before following the assistant coach who recruited him to ASU to Westwood. Beaten out by talented Brett Hundley, Millweard transferred to Kansas in August."...........

Sorry but this doesn't look any more promising than Crist, et al. Maybe Brett Hundley doesn't know that our coach has 4 Super Bowl rings. That surely would've gotten him to transfer too.

Got a little hope that Cozart could pan out. Actually, Joe Dineen from FSHS looks better at the position than anyone we've got suited up right now. I understand he's not even being considered for the QB spot.

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JayHawkFanToo 6 months, 1 week ago

At the open scrimmage, Cozart looked a lot better than Cummings. I would have liked to see him play instead of Cummings, but apparently they are saving him for a likely red shirt.

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