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Matt Tait

KUsports.com editor

Photo of Matt Tait

The year was 1978 and on a warm day in late June, I entered the world at the base of the Flatirons in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.

Because I am a native of Colorado (yes, I used to have the sticker on my car) I instantly was granted membership into the fandom of any and all Colorado sports teams. Throughout the years, I've even been known to embellish the circumstances surrounding my birth to tell the tale that the first thing I remember seeing was glorious Folsom Field, home of the Colorado Buffaloes. Not true. Sue me.

My parents are both natives of Kansas, my mom attended Lawrence High and my dad is a Shawnee Mission South graduate. Because of that, and their love for Kansas University, I moved to Lawrence when I was 10, a few months after Danny and the Miracles made their run to the title (sweet timing, right) and have been here ever since.

I continue to call Colorado home and made many attempts at returning there after moving to Lawrence. I intended to return for high school.... didn't happen. I was certain that I would attend Colorado State University for college.... that didn't happen either, mostly because of the reputation of KU's Journalism School and my in-state status. After that, though, I was sure I would move back to Colorado for my first job. As you surely know by now, that didn't happen either. I used to wonder why I never made it back there, but then it hit me: Lawrence must be a pretty great place and I must like it here. Both are true.

During my time in Lawrence, I attended Pinckney Elementary School for two years, West Junior High for three and graduated from Lawrence High in 1996. After that I attended Kansas University and graduated in 2000 with a degree in Journalism.

During my college days, I covered the KU baseball and basketball teams for the University Daily Kansan. While I enjoyed covering baseball and learned a lot while doing it, basketball was the beat everybody wanted and I still remember my first hoops story for the UDK: Michael Jordan retires. There was something pretty cool about seeing my byline next to a mug shot of Jordan. Other highlights from my time at the UDK included my work following the death of Wilt Chamberlain and a great series that my roommate (Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star) and I did on the top 10 KU athletes of the century around the Y2K craze. The KU athletic department voted on the top 10 and Sam and I split up the names to do stories on five each. Mine: Wilt, Ray Evans, Al Oerter, Jim Ryun and Ralph Miller. What a great time.

In addition to working for the UDK, I was the publisher of a KU sports web site run by Rivals.com — JayhawkTalk.com — which I continued to operate for a little more than a year after graduation.

I joined the World Company in June of 2001, when I was hired to become the sports editor of the Bonner Springs Chieftain and Basehor Sentinel weekly newspapers. In 2004, my position grew to include becoming the sports editor of the Shawnee Dispatch, another weekly, which I helped start from the ground up. In July of 2007 I got the call to the big leagues when I was named High School Sports Editor at the Journal-World.

It was an awesome feeling covering high school sports in the town I grew up in. Many of the coaches who were around when I was at LHS still are there today and it has been an absolute blast reconnecting with them.

In February of 2010, my job title changed again when I was promoted into the role of KU football beat writer. After helping out with our football coverage during Mark Mangino's final couple of seasons, I covered the entire Turner Gill era and lived to tell about it. I never played football — unless you count games in the snow or flag football with friends — but have made it my daily goal to dig as deep as I can into the KU program to help explain how and why things happen while also analyzing the players, coaches and trends surrounding the Kansas football team in a basketball-crazed town.

In May of 2007, my wife, Starr, and I were married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we were anointed by the natives as "Jamericans."

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, basketball, golf, tennis, yard games, playing guitar, fantasy sports and cheering for any and all Colorado teams.

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Offensive line taking shape

From the time he arrived in Lawrence through the start of preseason camp, first-year Kansas University offensive line coach Zach Yenser made clear the details of his search for the five linemen who would work hard, play smart and not be afraid to battle their butts off.

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Beaty begins building plan at Kansas

The college head coaching careers of West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen and first-year Kansas University football coach David Beaty have more than a few similarities.

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Kansas defense works on run-pass balance

The extent of the information we’ve learned about Kansas University defensive end Damani Mosby — from the day he arrived on campus, and even a little before that — has started and ended with his ability as a pass-rusher. But as it turns out, Mosby has focused on much more than sacking the quarterback. By Matt Tait

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Jayhawks make-believe it’s football game week

The opening game of the Kansas University football season is just nine days away. But you’d never know it from watching the Jayhawks work this week at practice. By Matt Tait

Speed gives Cozart another dimension

It sounds as if one of the biggest factors in the decision to name Montell Cozart Kansas University’s starting quarterback for the 2015 season may have been his feet.

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KU freshmen could make quick contributions

Last week, first-year Kansas University football coach David Beaty made no secret about the fact that he plans to play several of his youngest players during the 2015 season.

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Starting quarterback Montell Cozart credits brother for improvement

Up a few pounds and 2 percent body fat from the end of the 2014 season, Kansas University junior Montell Cozart on Monday was named the Jayhawks’ starting quarterback for 2015 by first-year coach David Beaty. By Matt Tait

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KU football on weight-watcher plan

There are more than a dozen items on the to-do list of first-year Kansas University football coach David Beaty. But no matter how busy the day or how daunting the tasks, Beaty and his assistant coaches always make time for one simple yet important part of player safety. “We weigh ’em every day,” Beaty said. By Matt Tait

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KU football notes: Loneker turning heads at camp

He can’t officially play for the Kansas University football team for another year, but one newcomer added to the team this summer already has impressed head coach David Beaty enough to earn some praise near the end of preseason camp. By Matt Tait

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End game: Three vow to challenge sack record

Fifteen. On the surface, it’s just a number. One more than the point total of two touchdowns, a date on a calendar, an age, a jersey number.But for a trio of defensive ends on the Kansas University football roster, the number carries with it great meaning. It’s the number of sacks it will take during the 2015 season to move past Ron Warner into first place on KU’s single-season sacks list. By Matt Tait

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