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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kansas QBs seem unified in mission

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KU QBs discuss competing for playing time

Kansas University quarterbacks Montell Cozart, Michael Cummings and T.J. Millweard share their thoughts on competing with each other for the starting spot.

KU Sports Extra — Season 1, Episode 6

KUsports.com's Tom Keegan and Matt Tait provide this week's good and bad news in the world of Kansas University athletics, and get into the Jayhawks' football matchup with Oklahoma State, while also discussing KU's quarterback situation and offensive issues.

Kansas University again might be searching for the right man to quarterback the Jayhawks, but you’d never know it from talking to the top three contenders for the job.

Sophomore starter Montell Cozart (62-of-125 passing for 693 yards, 5 TDs and 7 interceptions in five games) and back-ups Michael Cummings (9-of-19 for 71 yards) and T.J. Millweard (1-of-1 for 4 yards) spoke with the media before Wednesday’s practice, and instead of sounding like a trio stressed out about the competition, they sounded a lot more like a group of family members trying to fix a problem.

“We’re just trying to go into practice to put our offense in the best position to be successful,” said Cozart, who started the first four games of 2014 but was benched for the second half last week. “(Tuesday) at practice, going in and out, coming off, Mike asked me questions, and when I come out, he gave me advice, and T.J., as well. We’re all kind of counting on one another to build off of and learn.”

This week has been different than recent weeks in that all three guys had a chance to run reps with the first team. On Wednesday, Cummings was the first to trot out with the first-string offense, but all three got their opportunities and each said he enjoyed the chance to compete for the job that, not long ago, looked to be Cozart’s.

“I would like to be able to help this team out any way I can,” said sophomore Millweard. “Whenever the coaches say, ‘Hey, T.J., go do this,’ I say, ‘Yes, sir.’ Whenever I’m given an opportunity, I am pinning the ears back, and I really want to do the best I can. Other than that, there’s a lot of things I can’t control.”

Millweard, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, admits that he does not possess the same athletic abilities as Cozart or Cummings. But not being able to sprint and flash all over the field does not keep him from having confidence in his game.

“I believe in my abilities,” Millweard said. “I’m not gonna break it for 75 yards or anything like that, but I believe I can pick up the first down. If I need to, I can lower the shoulder and get the first down for us. I’m just trying to work on my strengths and help the team out any way I can.”

All three guys spoke similar words, which made it easier to believe their claims that they’re working together — in practice, in meeting rooms and after hours — to try to figure things out. In fact, Cummings said what’s going on with KU’s quarterback position was really no different than what’s happening with most positions on the team.

“People look at it different because there’s only one quarterback out there at a time,” he said. “You can’t play two quarterbacks in the backfield at the same time, which you can do with linebackers, so it makes changes more noticeable.”

Despite not owning prototypical size or picture-perfect skills, the 5-10, 210-pound Cummings believes he can do the job if given the chance.

“I’ve always said that you play quarterback from the neck up,” he said. “You can’t really measure the caliber of a quarterback from height, weight and stuff like that.”

Worrying about production is a different story, and that’s what the KU coaching staff is focusing on the most.

“(It’s) a big week in terms of the plan and implementing it with the QB situation,” interim coach Clint Bowen said. “... Everyone is pulling in the same direction here, to do whatever we can to go out and win football games.”

Seurer returns

The three players competing to be KU’s starter were not the only quarterbacks turning heads at practice this week.

Frank Seurer Jr., who joined the team as a walk-on earlier this year but was absent from the roster when the Jayhawks opened preseason camp, is back in a Jayhawk uniform.

According to a KU spokesperson, Seurer, the 5-11, 188-pound son of former KU quarterback Frank Seurer, who ranks second on KU’s all-time passing list with 6,410 yards, has been reinstated.

He came to KU after one season at Hutchinson Community College.

Comments

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 9 months ago

Cummings time. One of those tough Texas kids.

Bill Kackley 7 years, 9 months ago

Matt, I don't know if you saw it but I left you a trivia question on another blog. Who was the last KU student to start at QB (football), forward (basketball) and pitcher (baseball) in the same school year at KU?

Matt Tait 7 years, 9 months ago

I did see it. Tough, tough question. It's probably more recent than this, but Ray Evans???

Jim Stauffer 7 years, 9 months ago

I will say this about Seurer Jr. He can run this offense. Now is he the man for the job, who knows, but he has the skills to run this offense the way Reagan has it set up.

If Cummings and Milweard have the same success as Cozart, it would not surprise me to see Frankie get some reps.

On thing he has in common with Reesing is he is considered small for the job. Not considered to be a guy with all the "tools" coaches look for. But he knows how to get from point A to point B. It could be interesting to see him give it a try.

Mick Allen 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree Jim. Saw him play for Olathe South against both LHS and Free State.The comparison to Reesing physically is appropriate. I thought his arm to be a little stronger than Todd's and believe he is a little faster. Todd greatest asset which I think you would agree, was his decisiveness, feel for the game and his awareness in the pocket and on the roll out.Certainly not saying he is the next Reesing, but they do seem to share some of the same abilities. I will say he is significantly better than Darling from SME.

Michael Maris 7 years, 9 months ago

If the Offense could be half as good as the defense is, then the defensive numbers would be a lot better than they are.

It's amazing that Weis is / was considered an Offensive Genius. At this point of the Weis era, the offense is the least capable of holding up their end of the bargain (in the 3 phases of the team). Upon his arrival, Weis ran off Jordan Webb and had the saviors known as Crist, Heaps, etc...... transfer in.

I don't blame Harwell, Pierson, King, etc..............

Lack of recruiting quality OL'man in the past and trying to fix the issue by recruiting JuCo Lineman. You recruit JuCo's players to fix a single gap issue. Not the whole OL. In the Weis era, there only appears to be really one quality OL'man that was recruited.

LG - Ngalu Fusimalohi, and he'll be gone after this season is over.

I'm so looking forward to Ron Powlus being let go from this coaching staff. I know that he'll finish out the season at Kansas. But, I have not seen any signs of improvements in any of past or present QB's that have played for Kansas since Powlus has been the QB Coach.

In conclusion, I would even be for Joe Dineen to be given a shot at QB. Since, he played QB in High School.

Chris Spangenburg 7 years, 9 months ago

at this point we need to keep going down the line until we find a gamer ... quit looking at measurables for right now and practice studs. put them in the game and find out who is going to get it done when they get punched in the mouth.

Brandon Mahon 7 years, 9 months ago

Rumor has is Frankie Seurer Jr is back on the team. He was pretty darn good at Hutchinson last year but I have not been able to see any of his highlights or film to see how it actually is. If anyone has a link that would be awesome. If Cozart, Cummings, Millweard, Darling can't do it then it would be really cool to see a walk-on/legacy come in and right the ship. Probably wont happen and he may not get the chance but it would be cool.

Brad Strauss 7 years, 9 months ago

If Frank Seurer is so good, why is he a walk on?

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