David Beaty on KU's talent level from his first year to third year: 'Night and Day'
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 Rivals.com, 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.”