Though not KU's starting QB, Miles Kendrick will play 'in every game'
No, Miles Kendrick didn’t win the starting quarterback job for the Kansas football team during preseason camp.
But his head coach foresees the sophomore dual threat QB who joined the program as a transfer in the spring factoring into the Jayhawks’ offensive game plan immediately.
It is clear David Beaty, who a week ago named Peyton Bender KU’s No. 1 QB for the season opener, and offensive coordinator Doug Meacham didn’t think Kendrick possessed the right combination of attributes at this stage of his career to supplant Bender, a senior who started eight games in 2017. That doesn’t mean they have completely discounted Kendrick, either.
While discussing the team’s three quarterbacks Monday night on the first installment of his weekly Hawk Talk radio show, Beaty didn’t only speak highly of Kendrick, listed alongside junior Carter Stanley as a potential No. 2 QB on the team’s first published depth chart. KU’s fourth-year head coach actually went out of his way to tell anyone who was listening that the 5-foot-10, 200-pound QB from College of San Mateo will get on the field this Saturday against Nicholls State (6 p.m., Kansas David Booth Memorial Stadium) and beyond.
“He’s gonna play for us. He’s gonna play for us in that first game. He’s gonna play for us in every game,” Beaty added.
While the coach didn’t get into the specifics of those statements — he should be able to elaborate Tuesday at his weekly press conference — it seems most likely KU will have some packages or plays specifically designed for Kendrick.
This doesn’t mean he and Bender will swap roles every other possession or anything of that nature, the way Beaty did a couple years back with Montell Cozart and Ryan Willis.
There just may be some calls or situations in which the Jayhawks can throw a modified attack at a defense with the mobile Kendrick taking the snaps.
“He’s got some things about him that really bring a new type of, a new twist to our offense,” Beaty said, “which I think is gonna be really good. We really like the kid. One of the hardest workers I’ve ever had.”
KU’s coaches liked Kendrick’s potential enough that they gave him every chance during preseason camp to win the starting job before Bender prevailed.
“He got a bunch of reps for us early on,” Beaty said of the initial August practice plan for Kendrick. “We had to find out. We had to know, right? So he took a lot of reps with the first team early on.”
Apparently Meacham and Beaty saw enough out of Kendrick through those reps to start figuring out ways that he could help the offense every Saturday.
“And what we found out was that we got us a good one there,” Beaty said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Beaty explained the sophomore “needs a little bit more time” to become a complete QB. It just so happens Kendrick will get in-game opportunities as he continues working toward that goal.