David Beaty names Montell Cozart starting quarterback

Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart looks to throw during practice on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015.

Kansas University still has nearly two weeks worth of practices to get through before playing its first football game of the 2015 season, but head coach David Beaty decided to go ahead and name his starting quarterback.

Junior Montell Cozart, who started five games for KU in 2014, and played in seven games as a true freshman (starting three), has done enough in preseason camp to earn the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, Beaty announced Monday afternoon.

“Now all he’s gotta do is go out and produce,” Beaty said.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

David Beaty explains why Montell Cozart will open season as KU's No. 1 QB

First-year Kansas football coach David Beaty officially named junior Montell Cozart the Jayhawks’ No. 1 quarterback on Monday afternoon, 12 ...

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Cozart, who has played in 14 games in his career and thrown for 928 yards, five touchdowns and nine interceptions, beat out junior Deondre Ford for the starting gig. Ford, a transfer from Dodge City Community College, took most of the No. 2 reps at camp this past week.

The Jayhawks open at Memorial Stadium Sept. 5 (11 a.m. kickoff), against South Dakota State.

— Check back in at KUsports.com later for more.

Comments

Chris Bailey

Well unless he has improved significantly from last season we've got a real chance to go 0-12. I don't have much faith in his ability. Time will tell.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Eliott Reeder

Prove him wrong Montell!!!

3 years, 10 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

Accuracy is the key here. I'm afraid only our true freshmen have the true accuracy we need, but being true freshmen it's hard to justify starting them this soon. Also, I think Cozart can offer a lot on his feet. So if he plays smarter football, he can possibly mask his accuracy issues. I'm almost certain we'll see a lot of short passes though. Either way, I'm just ready for the first game. This year may be ugly, but I think we'll see some immediate improvements just by how these guys are coached.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Chris Spangenburg

Well ... I was definitely hoping one of Willis or Stanley would come in and win the starting job. Let's hope a new, simpler scheme will help him manage the game better and move the ball.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Maris

In regards to who was going to be named the starting QB for the upcoming season, I've taken this approach. A couple of years ago, the Trevone Boykin was named the starting QB at TCU. His 1st season (sophomore) at the helm for TCU sure didn't go all that well. So, I'm sure that the Fanbase at TCU was calling for his head (as well). Yet, Boykin made tremendous strides from his Sophomore season to his Junior Season. So yeah, Cozart has not had a good Freshman or Sophomore campaign. But, I really like the direction that Beaty and Company are taking this program. I've personally met Coach Beaty (for a few minutes). And, I've always been a believer his his abilities (every since his 1st tenure under Mangino). So, I'm giving Coach Beaty & Likens the benefit of the doubt that they know what they're doing in the present and what their long term goals are as well.

This season (as we all knew) was going to be tough season (either way). So, I have complete faith in the direction that the current coaching staff is taking this team. Yes, Jayhawk football nation has endured a lot since the 2009 season. But, I truly believe in this staff. I have to say, the T. Gill & C. Weis tenures, I was supportive of their tenures. But, I was also in a ''Let's Hope'' mode as well. I'm not feeling like I'm in a ''Let's Hope'' mode any longer.

Patience my fellow bloggers, Patience.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Chris Bailey

I will be patient and if Cozart is the next Boykin I'd be on his bandwagon tomorow I just really think he will do the same thing he did last season and one of the other QB's will make strides and get their shot at starting. We've not been shown that Cozart can be an effective QB. Sure we saw something in the first quarter of the first game last season but that was a flash in the pan that fizzled quickly. Count me as one who hopes he will make big strides but I'm not holding my breath.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Leiker

Sometimes I start typing things and don't really stop to think about what I'm typing...in that spirit, I thought I'd make you aware that you just compared Montel Cozart to Trevone Boykin...sheesh

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Maris

I'm fully aware of what I previously typed. But, you evidently failed to read my entire thought / opinion, etc. I'm sure that Coach Beaty and Staff are doing their best to position Jayhawks football team to better days into the future. And, if that means red-shirting Ryan Willis and Carter Stanley for the future. Than, that's the route that the staff is going to take. In regards to your statement of about me comparing Cozart to Boykin, I don't believe I compared them. I was simply just saying, perhaps Cozart can be coached (this season) to become a playmaker as Boykin was coached from his Sophomore season to his Junior season.

It seems that there are to many individual people (on this site) that do nothing but try to reply with complete negative comments towards other individual thoughts or opinions on this site. It's no wonder that the program has been in shambles. Look at the amount of continuing Negative Nancy's comments on this site..... sheesh.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Leiker

Starting Cozart as your QB says to your team that you don't have to be a football player to play for KU. You can't win at KU with a soft mentality, it's been tried, endlessly. In the immortal words of Sean Connery, "losers always whine about their best." Trust me I'm the first guy to be gung ho when I see things moving in the right direction, and I'd be willing to bet I've been to more road games for bad KU Football teams than most anybody on this site. Cozart is a proven failure, just a bad decision that sends the wrong message. We get this team is most likely a loser, I think most fans expect them to lose playing tough football without quit and trying to make the most of every opportunity. Cozart has shown he's unwilling to do that.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Maris

''Beaty said the one guy who stood out when it came to accuracy was Ryan Willis.'' Tweet from JayhawkSlant

So, perhaps this will be your answer in the coming weeks (when Cozart fails the way you expect him to do).

I trust the coaches decisions will be made a lot more rapidly with this coaching staff than in previous seasons with Weis at the helm. Heck, I'll even go so far as to say, had T. Gill remained in the fold, I'm sure that Michael Cummings would've been the starting QB down the road (vs. all of those Weis transfers).

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Leiker

I'll tell you what if he runs out of bounds when there's a couple more yards to get, fails to get his shoulders square to the line while running a read option or similar, etc, etc...and one of the coaches isn't over there ripping him a new you know what, I'll go ahead and throw in the towel on this staff early. This kid plays scared as a little girl. Obviously, I'm not there watching all the other guys play every day, but I sure hope there's a big discrepancy between him and the other guys (man, that's scary to imagine) that's prompting this decision because that guy is not a football player. Dang it, my excitement for the season just went bye bye...looks like a typical case of coaches falling in love with a little athleticism over players who can play the game.

Montel, you are dispensable, please act like it.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Doug Cramer

Interesting. I hope he has improved his accuracy, vision down field, and his situational intellect.

I'm a little surprised by this but the articles on KU sports dot com were suggesting that he had the inside track.

Good Luck to Cozart.

Hope he has success.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Thomas Young

I'll trust the coach that has watched all of the QBs everyday in practice over comment experts that would rather complain than just watch and root for the team.

I'm not a Jayhawks fan because they are awesome. It's my school, and now my daughter's school. Rooting and hoping for success from Gill and Weis changes nothing.

No one here is predicting a Heisman. But it is not out of the realm that Cozart was beyond not ready his freshman year, put in a crappy position by a HC that didn't get the college game, but now has some experience and a coach installing a college style offense, so may be better than he has shown. He might also be terrible, but still better than the alternatives, especially if the alternative is playing freshman that are not ready, at the risk of ruining them.

It's about the process. I don't care what Beaty says, I'm interested in what he does. Cozart may be just as bad, but I would expect the coach to talk him up anyway.

I have low expectations, but I'm excited as heck to see how the program develops under Beaty.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Michael Maris

AMEN!!!!!! I concur.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

Why burn a year of eligibility of your future QB on a team that has basically no proven supporting cast? And with Ford appearing to be the back up QB, it appears Beaty is taking the approach that he thinks it's better to suffer through this year while working to build a better supporting cast for whichever of the freshmen wins the job next year.

3 years, 10 months ago

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John Fitzgerald

I think you nailed it Aaron.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Micky Baker

I'm not real keen on this yet but maybe he's showing something that he hasn't before. I believe Willis be the backup and could possibly win the starting job by the end of this season. I think Stanley might be redshirting.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Austin Lopez

Why so much hate on the kid? How can you guys call this guy a failure before the season begans? And you guys call yourself a Jayfreshman. ? Real fans support the individuals on there team no matter what, its called loyalty. You guys are not loyal fans in my eyes, your judging a kid off a couple seasons, without remembering he was thrown in the fire as a freshman. You can't judge his freshman year, PERIOD! Montell went into the seasoning REDSHIRTING! And halfway through the season he was yanked from redshirting to starting! You know how much muturity on and off the field that takes? To be thrown in the starting position, when your mindset is focus on getting better and playing the following season? And you guys judge him. You cant blame Montell fully for his sophomore failure, did he have a 1,000 yard pass catcher that he can have faith in? Yet did he have any WR he can trust? Did any of the recrievers on his sophomore year team even score over 5 receiving TDs the season before? But yet it's Montells fault right? Try stepping on a field as a QB with no reciever to bail you out as a sophomore, this isn't a 5 star QB guys. This is a 2star at best 3 star QB and you guys expect for him to carry the load as a 2 star QB out of high school and as a freshman/Sophomore, yeah go join Alabama's fan base if thats your expectations out of a Kansas quarterback. He needs time to develope, Rome wasn't built in a day. Lol some loyal Jayhawk fans you guys are.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Micky Baker

Because of his past performances and the complete disasters of games that he started last year.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Austin Lopez

Why so much hate on the kid? How can you guys call this guy a failure before the season begans? And you guys call yourself a Jayhawk fans? Real fans support the individuals on there team no matter what, its called loyalty. You guys are not loyal fans in my eyes, your judging a kid off a couple seasons, without remembering he was thrown in the fire as a freshman. You can't judge his freshman year, PERIOD! Montell went into the seasoning REDSHIRTING! And halfway through the season he was yanked from redshirting to starting! You know how much muturity on and off the field that takes? To be thrown in the starting position, when your mindset is focus on getting better and playing the following season? And you guys judge him. You cant blame Montell fully for his sophomore failure, did he have a 1,000 yard pass catcher that he can have faith in? Yet did he have any WR he can trust? Did any of the recrievers on his sophomore year team even score over 5 receiving TDs the season before? But yet it's Montells fault right? Try stepping on a field as a QB with no reciever to bail you out as a sophomore, this isn't a 5 star QB guys. This is a 2star at best 3 star QB and you guys expect for him to carry the load as a 2 star QB out of high school and as a freshman/Sophomore, yeah go join Alabama's fan base if thats your expectations out of a Kansas quarterback. He needs time to develope, Rome wasn't built in a day. Lol some loyal Jayhawk fans you guys are.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Jim Stauffer

The choice of Cozart tells me this staff is making their decisions without input from past performances in a different system. It tells me they think he can play the position better than anyone else they have. According to them he has #earned it.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Aaron Paisley

Or they realize how bad this team will be and would rather not waste a year of eligibility on their future QB's and would rather have that year ofeligibility down the road when there is a better supporting cast.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Greg Ledom

Have seen this response from several on this site, and this jayhawk fan totally disagrees with it. So those who prescribe to this line of thought are suggesting the coaches are putting us in a position to lose rather than win, or to be less successful than more successful. That would go completely against the grain of any coaching staff worth their weight in gold. This staff is putting this team in the best position to win, period. And if that means Montell starts us off, so be it. RCJH!!!

3 years, 10 months ago

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Omari Miller

The pre-season is always exiting because it's about possibility and hope (hope, typically, but maybe not so much on this board). I have to believe the "Cozart is a bum" rants are a result of what we see as reality (in past experience) crashing in on our hope - the fantasy in our minds that a true freshman will be the savior of he program and put in in a place to compete. That's the fantastic possibility.

The more simple, and all things being equal, the more likely possibility is that the choice of Cozart was made by professionals who have been around football their whole lives, coaching a long time, and are now getting paid to run our team... and after watching hundreds of reps, they think Cozart is the guy who should get the start.

Maybe it will be the case that the more simple system allows him to shine. Or maybe he's only marginally better than last season, but at the end of the day, Beaty says he's the guy to go. There's a lot hanging on that decision, so I'm going to trust that it's the best available option.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Omari Miller

*"exciting", not "exiting"

We've had too many coaches exiting due to abysmal performance recently. Hope no cause for exiting soon.

3 years, 10 months ago

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Humpy Helsel

These coaches, like many across America at the college level, are forced to play inexperienced, or poor previous year performance QB's, or QB's with less than desired ability because they are the only option, or alternate QB's because more experienced ones with some success are injured and unable to play. We are some of all of these. So their only option is to go with the player, in this case the QB, who wins out in Spring and preseason competition. If you have listened to these new coaches, which new staffs tend to do, it is the best player in the competition who starts at whatever position, including QB. To do otherwise is telling your team one thing and doing the other. But what did the head coach say? "All he has to do now is go out and produce." What he is saying is if he can't produce, he won't be able to keep the job. Next man up. It is the development of a competitive, fair, healthy team culture which has sorely been missing for awhile. And that is true with every other position on this type of team with limited recent success and a new staff of coaches.

3 years, 10 months ago

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