Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Carter Stanley always at his best in games, per high school coach

Deondre Ford (15), Ryan Willis (13) and Montell Cozart (2) watch as Carter Stanley throws a pass during the first day of spring practice on Sunday afternoon at the practice fields north of Memorial Stadium.

Deondre Ford (15), Ryan Willis (13) and Montell Cozart (2) watch as Carter Stanley throws a pass during the first day of spring practice on Sunday afternoon at the practice fields north of Memorial Stadium.


Lenny Jankowski, head football coach for Vero Beach (Fla.) High, watched the Kansas-West Virginia football game Saturday night from an establishment in nearby Fort Pierce when his phone caught fire.

His son Ryan, a ninth-grader who has been his dad’s ball boy, “since he came out of mom’s womb,” according to Jankowski, was on the other end, also watching Carter Stanley playing quarterback with great interest.

“Dad,” Ryan Jankowski said to Stanley’s high school coach, “did you see him? He’s ripping it!”

Stanley, a redshirt freshman who two weeks ago climbed from third to second on KU’s quarterback depth chart, was forced into the game in the third quarter of a 48-21 loss to West Virginia when starter Montell Cozart went down with concussion-like symptoms.

In his first extensive game experience, Stanley completed 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He also ran for 34 yards on four carries.

“I’m just his high school coach, and I’m a big Carter fan, but here’s the thing, he doesn’t have this big, crazy arm, but Carter’s best quality, even when he was in high school, was that he was such a gamer,” Jankowski said by phone from Vero Beach. “He wasn’t one of these guys who was going to wow you in seven-on-seven stuff, wasn’t going to throw the ball to the moon and back, but when the lights went on and he’d go out there in a game, that was when he always was at his best, and I mean always.”

That’s why Jankowski wasn’t among those surprised either by Stanley not getting a shot earlier or by him performing so well under pressure.

“Watching him the other night, I thought about that, about how he always showed his best in games,” Jankowski said. “He has that uncanny ability to keep a play alive and get through his progressions.”

Stanley consistently getting through his progressions was one noticeable difference between him and those head coach David Beaty turned to before him for starts, junior Montell Cozart and sophomore Ryan Willis. They both have demonstrated a tendency to get stuck on one receiver.

“Knowing Carter, the best way I can describe him is that kid, he has the ability to put it all together in a game and he maintains his composure,” Jankowski said. “He’s a really great kid and he has that ability to bring positive energy. I’m sure he has to be popular in the locker room. He’s one of those guys that everybody likes and rallies around. He’s hard-working, calm, cool, one of the coolest cats I know.”

Stanley had developed a hitch that KU’s coaches did not see on his high school film, and with good reason. Jankowski said he never saw the hitch until Stanley sent him video from KU.

“He didn’t appear as if he had it the other night,” Jankowski said. “He looked very fluid.”

A redshirt freshman, Stanley has appeared in six games and has completed 22 of 32 passes for 266 yards, most of it late in games. Even when he was third on the depth chart, Jankowski said, he remained upbeat.

“When I have players in college and things aren’t going perfect for them, playing time, the wins haven’t come as fast as maybe you had hoped, the coach in you, the parent in you, you want to be there for them,” Jankowski said. “Carter would always cheer me up when I would talk to him, not the other way around. He always had the best answers. He’d always be positive and say he just needed to keep working hard.”

Beaty has not announced a starting quarterback for Saturday’s 11 a.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium against Iowa State. Readers of voiced their opinions in a poll asking which quarterback they would start. As of Tuesday night, the results: Stanley (86 percent), Willis (12 percent), Cozart (1 percent).


Dale Rogers 5 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely this fan believes Stanley has earned the opportunity to start this game and show what he can do. His performance last week is the best I've seen a KU QB in a very long time. Give the kid a chance. We've won just one game this season. We're not going to be in any playoffs. So what's to lose? We might have a budding star here who just needs the opportunity. Give the kid the vote of confidence and let's see if he can do it or not. We already know our other options aren't working out very well.

Freya Duffy 5 years, 9 months ago

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Ashwin Rao 5 years, 9 months ago

I know that Coaches don't have to follow fan advice, but in this case, I hope he does. As Dale pleads, "So what's to lose?"! Go get them, Stanley! Get us our first conference win in a long time!

David Leathers 5 years, 9 months ago

If Stanley doesn't start this week, not only will I be upset, but can you imagine the message this sends to any potential incoming QB recruit? "Come to Kansas, work hard in practice, be prepared for games, show you can execute in meaningful minutes of a game, and we will still start the lousy upperclassmen who can't get the job done anyway."

Brett McCabe 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm a little torn on this as the week goes on.

On the one hand, if your head coach doesn't know who is best quarterback is after having had all three under his watch for two years, then what does it really matter? We'll find a way to lose the game anyway.

On the other hand, if ISU is our last, best hope for winning this year, it would be wise to play the guy who brought us the closest to a win against an actual football team this year, that would be Willis.

On the third hand, you have only a few games left to get experience, and Stanley showed some pop last week, so why not give him a chance?

Personally, I'd like to see Stanley play against a competitive Big 12 team while the game is still in question, so I say start him.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 9 months ago

Harry Truman once said he wanted to hire a 'one arm' economist because they always said ...on the other hand.

John Fitzgerald 5 years, 9 months ago

I've changed my stance on Beaty lately. Fire him if he doesn't start Stanley. He may suck but he's earned a chance to at least start a game. Bringing out Cozart is giving up and apparently Willis isn't even an option. We simply can't afford anymore stupid decisions or miscues. Buck up or get the hell out.

David Robinett 5 years, 9 months ago

Coach B now needs to get through HIS progressions, to the third quarterback.

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 9 months ago

Stanley Stanley Stanley!!! Why the hell not!?! Count me in.

Patrick Bryant 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow. People need to channel their anger in the correct direction. I think Beatty has done an admirable job considering what he inherited from Gil and Weis. If you have coached on any level you know it is very easy to be in the middle of the season and unsure what direction you need to take with a certain position that isn't producing. Athletes lose their confidence, pose, etc. at the drop of a dime. I do hope he starts Stanley but to throw in the towel on your team like fans are doing now is sad. Please listen to Hawk Talk every week and find a reason not to like and root for this guy. I like what Stanley's HS coach said about being a gamer. Sounds like a guy we all loved from a few years back. Back up from the cliff's edge and breathe.

Michael Maris 5 years, 9 months ago

''Stanley consistently getting through his progressions was one noticeable difference between him and those head coach David Beaty turned to before him for starts, junior Montell Cozart and sophomore Ryan Willis. They both have demonstrated a tendency to get stuck on one receiver.''

And, his ability to escape the pocket and run past the line of scrimmage (as well).

This is the major difference between C. Stanley and Cozart / Willis. He's able to survey the opposing team's defense and seek an open target. And, he seems to have a better feel for the pocket collapsing around him and using his legs to run downfield.

In addition, I think that the TE's should be targeted more. And, C. Stanley may be the QB who can seek the TE's out as a 2nd or 3rd option to move the offense down the field.

Look forward to seeing C. Stanley start this weekend against Iowa State (and beyond).


David Williams 5 years, 9 months ago

+1000 on greater TE involvement...Derek Fine added another dimension to the offense when he was at KU.

Yes start Stanley. If not, then I also have to begin to seriously question Beaty's competence.

Tom Keegan 5 years, 9 months ago

Ben Johnson very talented, driven TE. So far, Beaty hasn't incorporated TE much in his offense. Stanley probably doesn't have quite as strong an arm as Cozart and Willis so maybe fewer of the "field throws," from hasmark on one side to numbers on the other and more shots over the middle. And more running plays. Stanley's more of a threat as a runner than Cozart or Wilis, which means the defense has to account more for him, which in theory at least should open up more for the running backs. Kinner's good, Martin's improving and Herbert, once he gets healthy is good. Are the blocks there? Might as well find out.

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