David Beaty on KU's talent level from his first year to third year: 'Night and Day'


The Jayhawks signal a touchdown by Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks signal a touchdown by Kansas running back Khalil Herbert (10) during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

It was no secret when David Beaty was named head football coach at Kansas that he was going to have a massive rebuilding process in front of him.

After a winless first season, the Jayhawks took some steps forward with a 2-10 record, including a home win over Texas.

With plenty of optimism heading into the summer, following spring practices, the Jayhawks are beginning to show their depth and progress at each position.

How would it compare when Beaty first took over the program?

“I would easily define that as night and day,” Beaty said in the Big 12’s spring football teleconference. “Night and day. A lot of that has to do with some of the guys that we’ve added to the roster. But also a lot of it has to do with those guys that we’ve added that we’ve been able to develop. Guys like Dorance Armstrong that came in at 212 pounds that sits at 253 pounds today.”

After playing the last two seasons with young and undersized linemen, Beaty is confident the Jayhawks will be better suited to compete with teams at the line of scrimmage.

Armstrong was chosen by the league’s coaches as a unanimous first-team all-Big 12 selection last year, and he has support on the defensive line from defensive tackle Daniel Wise, defensive end Isaiah Bean and several others.

On the offensive line, the Jayhawks return nearly their entire unit from last season and are adding some depth with newcomers.

Of course, another reason for all of the excitement surrounding the program is the success on the recruiting trail. According to, KU ranks 15th in the country with its 13 verbal commits in the Class of 2018.

“We tell our guys all the time,” Beaty said, “we’re about to go out on the road recruiting, and we tell them first, ‘We love you.’ Second, ‘We’re trying to replace you, so understand that. We’re going on the road to try to find someone better. Let that be your guide when it comes to how hard you’re working and preparing for this next season. If you’ll continue to do that and you’re any kind of competitor at all, it’s going to make us better as a team.’”

The Jayhawks certainly picked up momentum at the end of last season with their 24-21 victory in overtime against Texas. It was Beaty’s first Big 12 win and it gave the Jayhawks something to show for their hard work throughout the season.

Beaty said the goal is to turn that win into much more than one game.

“We’re hoping it will be one of those cornerstones in our program as we move forward, but only time will tell that,” Beaty said of the Texas win. “Our hope is that it doesn’t just kind of blow away in the wind as one of those games that just kind of came up and the stars aligned. We need it to be a program changer for us and we really believe it will be.”


Greg Ledom 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm telling you people, Beaty could be the best 'who is he' hire since old Roy. I haven't agreed with everything he's done, but as a first time head coach, he's learning too and damn if he doesn't correct his mistakes. Love this guy! Love the message to existing players. Love what this man is trying to get done. Rock Chalk Coach!

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 5 months ago

These football articles get me so gitty! And it's only the end of June so we have a long way to go. But man I'm definitely impressed with Beaty. When he was hired I was hoping we could be at this point by year 3 but I wasn't optimistic. This program has been beaten, gutted, and out right embarrassed. It's time for them to step out of that shadow and rise back into the ranks. I think this year could be a big step in that direction. Great job so far Beaty and whatever happens this year I'll be at every home game supporting our Hawks!

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 5 months ago

Ha... yea I obviously don't use that word often. And my auto correct failed me.

Bryce Landon 1 year, 5 months ago

Great, you have more talent. Now go do something with it, like, win at least four games, or win more than one Big 12 game, or win at least once on the road. Stop telling me things are getting better and prove it on the field.

Mark Bowers 1 year, 5 months ago

Great teams take years to build, trust the process!

Greg Ledom 1 year, 5 months ago

Your comments are in direct conflict with each other Bryce. You can't put more Ws up on weekends without MAKING IT BETTER FIRST. Sorry, felt compelled to cap that and thus I did. If you can't separate that, then you'll continue to struggle. I have seen it get better for going on three years now, and no doubt, getting more Ws is front and center. I also suggest 4 wins would substantiate the "better" thoughts being presented. On occasion Bryce, go glass half full. It's more fun. Rock Chalk!

Dirk Medema 1 year, 5 months ago

Anyone that hasn't seen it getting better on the field over the last 2 seasons hasn't been paying attention. 2 > 0.

Anyone that knows anything about collegiate football also knows it takes a full roster and developed players to be competitive. Thats what's all the off-season off the field articles are about. Getting better so you can prove it when it matters.

We're fortunate to have a program that has been proving it for the last 2+ years and a newspaper staff that writes about all the developments on and off the field. To expect less than continued improvement when that is the existing pattern is to be predisposed to cynicism instead of thoughtful comments.

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