Sunday, May 4, 2014


Column: Kansas quarterback six-pack hurts stability

Kansas University will start its sixth different quarterback in six seasons this fall when Montell Cozart steps under center.

Kansas University will start its sixth different quarterback in six seasons this fall when Montell Cozart steps under center.



J-W File Photos

Kansas University will start its sixth different quarterback in six seasons this fall when Montell Cozart steps under center.

Overmatched in the trenches. High coaching turnover. Inadequate recruiting. Shallow talent at wide receiver.

All those factors have played a part in the Kansas University football program getting trapped in the Big 12 cellar for five seasons running. Worse, KU has lost 40 of its last 42 Big 12 games.

No factor has played a bigger role in the cellar-dwelling than a failure to recruit the right quarterback, develop him the right way and put him in the right offense.

No other Big 12 program has come close to showing as much instability at the quarterback position as Kansas.

Montell Cozart, who beat out Jake Heaps for the starting job during spring football, has a chance to change that. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining. If he produces, he could stop the revolving door from spinning. If he does not, the search continues.

KU coach Charlie Weis announced a few days after the spring football game that Cozart will get the start, a nice confidence jolt for him. Cozart is set to become the sixth Week One starter in six seasons, following Todd Reesing, Kale Pick, Jordan Webb, Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps.

During that stretch, no other school can claim more than four Week One starters, provided nothing changes in terms of the 2014 projected starters.

Cozart is by far the least-experienced passer among the 10 projected Big 12 starters. He attempted 63 passes during his true freshman season.

Trevor Knight, who as a red-shirt freshman threw four touchdown passes to lead Oklahoma to an upset victory against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in January, is the least experienced outside of Cozart. Knight attempted 134 passes.

Half of the projected starting quarterbacks in the Big 12 also started the season-opener a year ago. Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Kansas State’s Jake Waters, Oklahoma State’s J.W. Walsh and David Ash of Texas join Knight in that regard.

Petty, Waters and Knight shape up as the leading contenders for all-conference honors at quarterback. First-time, Big 12 season-opening starters joining Cozart are Iowa State’s Grant Rohach, TCU’s experienced Trevone Boykin, Texas Tech’s Davis Webb and West Virginia’s Clint Trickett.

Cozart’s mobility makes a better fit for playing behind an inexperienced offensive line and for running a spread offense that gives a speedy QB like Cozart room to make things happen on scripted runs and scrambles.

Big 12 Starting QBs

Montell Cozart is set to become Kansas University’s sixth Week 1 starting quarterback in six seasons. A look at Big 12, season-opening starters the past six seasons, with number of different starters in parentheses:

Baylor (3)

2014: Bryce Petty

2013: Bryce Petty

2012: Nick Florence

2011: Robert Griffin III

2010: Robert Griffin III

2009: Robert Griffin III

Iowa State (4)

2014: Grant Rohach

2013: Sam Richardson

2012: Steele Jantz

2011: Steele Jantz

2010: Austen Arnaud

2009: Austen Arnaud

Kansas (6)

2014: Montell Cozart

2013: Jake Heaps

2012: Dayne Crist

2011: Jordan Webb

2010: Kale Pick

2009: Todd Reesing

Kansas State (3)

2014: Jake Waters

2013: Jake Waters

2012: Collin Klein

2011: Collin Klein

2010: Carson Coffman

2009: Carson Coffman

Oklahoma (3)

2014: Trevor Knight

2013: Trevor Knight

2012: Landry Jones

2011: Landry Jones

2010: Landry Jones

2009: Sam Bradford

Oklahoma State (4)

2014: J.W. Walsh

2013: J.W. Walsh

2012: Wes Lunt

2011: Brandon Weeden

2010: Brandon Weeden

2009: Zac Robinson

Texas (3)

2014: David Ash

2013: David Ash

2012: David Ash

2011: Garrett Gilbert

2010: Garrett Gilbert

2009: Colt McCoy

TCU (3)

2014: Trevone Boykin

2013: Casey Pachall

2012: Casey Pachall

2011: Casey Pachall

2010: Andy Dalton

2009: Andy Dalton

Texas Tech (4)

2014: Davis Webb

2013: Baker Mayfield

2012: Seth Doege

2011: Taylor Potts

2010: Taylor Potts

2009: Taylor Potts

West Virginia (4)

2014: Clint Trickett

2013: Paul Millard

2012: Geno Smith

2011: Geno Smith

2010: Geno Smith

2009: Jarrett Brown


Jeffrey Nelson 6 years ago

Keegan this comment is just to remind you that your editorial on Naadir Tharpe was stupid.

Andrew McGlone 6 years ago

Why are we afraid to refer to Keegan's article as racist? "Stupid" is a euphemism compared to the bigoted crap that comes Keegan. I'm not getting over racist idiots until they cease to exist and Keegan apologists that insist on posting on this board are just ask guilty as Keegan by standing by and doing nothing.

Micky Baker 6 years ago

Stop the stupid race baiting crap. If that's all you have, you have no room calling anyone else a bigot.

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

Maybe you should mention that, after Reesing, the next four QBs were not very good, period.

An exceptional QB can take an inferior team and, at least, make them somewhat competitive. Our guys, and trust me I know they all tried their best, just were not good enough and we stayed pretty much where we the basement.

WOW..I knew we weren't very good but a Big 12 record of 2-40??!!!!'d think you would win more games just by sheer accident or odds.

Maybe we are looking at this alignment thing all wrong!!! Who wouldn't want a school that was a virtual guaranteed victory every year on your schedule!! KU could be the Chicago Circle of Division 1 football!!!

PS What Jeffrey said goes for me too.

Bryce Landon 6 years ago

3-40 if you count KU's win over Iowa State in 2009 - the last victory of that season for Kansas, Reesing, and Mangino.

Todd Simpson 6 years ago

so are the rumors regarding Heaps Transfer accurate?

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years ago

This year will be the year for a bowl game. 6-6 or 7-5 year

Kevin Studer 6 years ago If you see racism here, it is because you want to.

Vernon Riggs 6 years ago

I think Keegan's point is that Kansas would be better off if we had less talent at the QB position. I think that position runs counterintuitive to HCCW and most intelligent and progressive football minds. But to be totally fair, I have never heard Keegan described as intelligent or progressive.

Micky Baker 6 years ago

It is beyond me how anyone can see racism in this article. Try sticking with education folks, not race baiting 101. Race baiting 101 is racist all by itself. Look in the mirror next time.

Terry N Tom Denner 6 years ago

Lets not forget why KU ended up where they are. Perkins and Turner Gile ruined the KU football program period. Turner was a very good coach in the small divisions ll Buffalo but not in the division 1 Big 12 football. He had no clue how to control his players on or off the field. Look how long it took KST to get into the win column !! MR Bill S did not just show up and the wins & bowl games came a calling either. Be a great fan and show up and stay the whole game. That in its self would make the team feel good win or lose.

Lucas Town 6 years ago

Perkins cost us dearly. Had it not been for him, just think of where we could be today. I am not sold on Weis, it seems like he has shuffled the deck every year when something hasn't worked immediately. Weis would have to win 10 games this season to match what Snyder did at K-State in his first 3 years. Which program was in a worse situation? K-State in 1989 or KU in 2011? Obviously K-State in '89. C'mon Weis show us something this year!

Tony Bandle 6 years ago

It almost looks like the picture above shows 6 different QBs with 6 different helmets??!!!

I think that's the secret...find one uniform, stick with it and we will return to football glory.

How many uniform changes has Alabama had in the last 40 - 50 years....NONE, that's how many!!!!

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