Thursday, October 24, 2013


Opinion: Cozart has QB skills, swagger


True freshman quarterback Montell Cozart has not been made available for interviews since his name first appeared on the Kansas University football depth chart nine days ago.

He did make an appearance at an Aug. 21 interview session, where he revealed himself to be smart, confident and blessed with youthful innocence, so excited to be part of a college football program close to home.

Not surprisingly, Cozart looked jittery in his debut in the second quarter of Saturday’s 34-19 loss to Oklahoma, made a few wrong reads running the option, and never did get to throw the ball. He also looked blurry fast, a nice quality for a college quarterback.

KU head coach Charlie Weis said Cozart needs to be ready for the entire game plan this week against Baylor, although Jake Heaps remains the starter.

I asked Cozart if he considers himself a better passer or runner.

“I’m equal,” he said. “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 be able to make a throw, or if I need to, I can run and maybe get out of bounds.”

He said he has been clocked in the 40 at 4.5 “multiple times” and once ran “4.49” at a scouting combine. He said strength and conditioning coach Scott Holsopple calls him, “Rollout Guy.”

“I love making throws on the run,” Cozart said. “That puts the defense in a bind. Are they going to come up and stop you? You have to make the defense make the decision. Speed brings a different tempo to the game.”

Cozart identified Tom Brady as his favorite pro-style QB and Cam Newton as his favorite dual-threat leader of an offense.

“Tom Brady because he’s Tommy Brady,” Cozart said. “He’s legit. And then Cam Newton, I’ve been watching him since he was at Florida (as Tim Tebow’s backup) and then when he got to Auburn he did some great things. I feel like we’re very similar. He’s definitely a pass-first type, too. And then if he has to move, he moves. He’s way bigger than I am. He’s huge, but he can definitely still run if he has to.”

A 6-foot-2, 189-pound graduate of Bishop Miege, Cozart said he would like to weigh “215, 220” by the time he’s a senior.

Cozart made it sound as if few things in football match the thrill of completing a deep pass.

“You definitely have a feeling, once you let it go you know it’s going to be a completion,” he said. “I guess it’s just a quarterback thing, I don’t know. You just have that type of swagger and confidence about yourself. You just see the receiver running right under it, you’re like, ‘Oh, this is going to be a good play right here.’ It’s definitely a good feeling.”

So is watching one, from what I can remember.


Doug Cramer 7 years, 12 months ago

K.U. Sports dot com KOOL-AID at its best !!!

Was it Jordan Webb or Dayne Crist...that compared themselves to Peyton Manning, Micheal Vick, and Drew Brees...all in one player ?

Ashwin Rao 7 years, 12 months ago

Hey, come on! He is a kid! If you don't aim high, you will never maximize your potential.

I do agree that such things are not reportable material. I guess we are running out of positive things to say for the football team?

Andy Tweedy 7 years, 12 months ago

It was that kid from Colorado that never played here..can't get the name to come to me.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 12 months ago

Would rather have a QB that doesn't have any self confidence in his own ablilities?

Marc Frey 7 years, 12 months ago

Until we can block pass rushers, our QBs will be in trouble. Look at what a walk-on frosh for T. Tech did to us?

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 12 months ago

I believe that the T-Tech QB had some D1 offers.

Olli Rama 7 years, 12 months ago

That’s what the mobility is for. How many times have you seen a mobile quarterback make a play after the pocket breaks down? It’s demoralizing to a defense to get enough pressure for a sack, only to watch the qb run by you for a 1st down. It’s like a 10-20 yard swing in field position and another set of downs.

A mobile qb is the kind of player who can change the whole mood of the game for a struggling offense.

Steve Corder 7 years, 12 months ago

Remember the hype about a Salina, Kansas, prep basketball player named Nino Samuel? Just another example, and then there was the real deal: John Riggins.

Joe Ross 7 years, 12 months ago

Robert...Im definitely down on overhype. Im a believer in waiting and seeing now.

Kyle Coffey 7 years, 12 months ago

I really hope the best for Cozart, but in the 5A State Championship last year against Bishop Carroll in which they lost 60-21 Cozart had 67 rushing yards, completed 13 passes for 186 and threw 2 INT's. 50 of those 186 yards were in the 4th quarter of a 60-14 game at that time. This kid is probably the best blend of size and speed at the QB KU has had here in a long time but if he couldn't perform better against a 5A high school team, how do you expect him to jump in his freshman year of college against Big 12 competition without any games out of conference to help prepare him? Let me see him throw first before I make any further opinions on what his future could be.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 12 months ago

Cozart was recruited by some big schools that like Athletic QBs.... Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, K-State, Illinois, Indiana, WV, Northern Illinois, and Misery. There must be a reason he was recruited by all these schools. He has 4.5 speed but have a decent arm. He won first all state honors. He is a solid player, you can't judge him on won game, yes it was the State Title, and that's a big game, but look at all the other stats and info. I think he has a chance to be a spark, he just has to make good decisions, don't force things and let the game come to him.

I like what I saw of him in the Spring game... This could cause Heaps to work harder and player harder, but Cozart's speed and athleticism could mean great things but he has to complete a couple passes to make his speed effective, it could open up some big things for Sims, Miller, Pierson. Pistol formation and shotgun reads could be big with quick routes to get him in rhythm.

kellerman411 7 years, 12 months ago

"you can't judge him on won game".... The only time we get to see the word "won" in a KU football article is when someone makes a grammatical error. Haha just messing with you.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 12 months ago

I am not even upset about that, it was a good catch thanks!!!! My uncle lives in the KC, KS area and said when he watch Cozart at Miege he was an absolute stud, same thing with Darling... So maybe there will be some real competition but if Cozart can complete a pass his 4.5 speed looks so much better

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