The 2015 outlook for Kansas football is bleak, but you wouldn’t know that listening to new head coach David Beaty at Big 12 Media Days. It was clear right from the jump, that Beaty is a very charismatic guy, and he has big plans for the Jayhawks.
“How exciting it is for me to be right back here in my hometown of Dallas, Texas, representing the University of Kansas. It’s an exciting time to be here at Big 12 Media Days with you.
“One of the big things for me is we are located right now in one of the finest, most fertile grounds for high school athletes in the country, and those athletes are coached by some of the finest high school coaches in the country.
“I’m an old Texas high school football coach, and I consider those guys to be my brothers. So it’s a good deal for me to be back here today around those guys.
“I’m also honored to be the new head coach at the University of Kansas, where we have arguably one of the finest fan bases in the country. Boy, they love Jayhawk football, and we look forward to bringing them something that they can be proud of. We also know that that’s a process and not an event, and we’re looking forward to getting wrapped up in that process.”
“The first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to work hard. And the second thing we’re going to do is we’re going to earn everything we get.”
Getting Help From First Year Players
It’s no secret the Jayhawks have a depth problem. They’re going to have to rely on some first year players in and areas, and Beaty talked about those concerns.
“Well, from our standpoint, here’s the thing about college football nowadays, and it’s my opinion, that it’s hard to tell a freshman that he’s for sure going to redshirt. It’s difficult because 85 scholarships is very difficult to get it done with because of the type of athlete that’s you’re playing against. Those bodies are running at each other at high speeds. Injury is a part of game. And because of that, depth usually becomes a factor.
“The thing about that is we have to try to get those young guys ready as fast as we can. And the thing that I would take my hat off to is the high school coaches across the country because those kids are coming in more and more prepared every year, which is allowing us to get them on the field faster.”
The Message, ‘Earn It’
It’s going to be a tough road, but you have to love the way Beaty is going about it.
“That’s absolutely the message. The message goes in line with what makes us different? Well, the difference for us, in my mind, is we don’t control what makes us different. We only control what we make different. The way that we approach it is everything.”
On Michael Montell’s Recovery
It’s been a brutal offseason for the Jayhawks. As if things weren’t bad enough, frontrunner for the starting QB Role, Michael Montell, when down with a significant knee injury during the spring game.
“First of all, Michael Cummings, man, what a great kid. He is only a better kid than he is a player. I don’t know how I can give a kid higher praise than that. He’s right out of Killeen, Texas, here in central Texas. I know his coach. Man, what a great kid. When that happened to him in the spring, man, it broke my heart.
“I will say this. The kid had surgery in the middle of June, and I looked out my window the other day and seen him out my window throwing the ball already. He is a unique guy. So if anybody can make it back this year, it would be
him. We’re obviously trying to see if we can maybe get another year for him. That would be great.”
Clint Bowen Stayed On As Defensive Coordinator
After just a handful of weeks into the season the Jayhawks gave Charlie Weis the boot, and promoted defensive Coordinator Clint Bowen to interim head coach. It wasn’t a magical turnaround in the standings, but the Jayhawks appeared to be a different team under Bowen. A better, more competitive team. The Jayhawks passed over Bowen for the permanent job though, and Beaty spoke a little about Bowen resuming his defensive role.
“Clint is a terrific football coach, and he is going to be a phenomenal head coach when that time comes for him. Right now, he is a phenomenal defensive coordinator. He’s making the finest paycheck he’s made in his career, and he’s earned that and he deserves that.”
On The Limit Of Contact Days
As the other coaches have said, the Big 12’s new limit of two contact days a week just isn’t a big deal
“It’s not going to change our approach just a whole lot. Honestly, we adjust to the landscape pretty good as a coaching world, to be honest with you. I don’t think that that is going to be something that’s going to change the way that we do business.”
If Kansas Has A Strength It’s At Running Back
KU has a serviceable group of backs, and with a lot of unknowns at QB, and well, all over the field, the Jayhawks’ will have to butter their bread on the ground.
“In my time as a college football coach, what I’ve learned is it is very difficult to make it through a season with one or even two running backs. You need to have some depth, and that’s something I’m glad that we have right now. We’ve got some very capable guys, guys that have played college football.
“Taylor Cox has fought the injury bug. He got his sixth year back. We’re excited for him to be back.
“And we signed a kid named Ke’aun Kinner out of Navarro Junior College, the national College Player of the Year. He came from Little Elm High School. I knew his coach. Just a terrific kid, terrific kid. Hard worker. And he’s an exciting guy to watch. We’re excited about him.
“We’ve got D.J. Mann that’s there. And we signed a kid, Taylor Martin, out of Fort Worth who we think is going to be an exciting running back for us.
“We need every one of them. This is a tough league. These are kids that run really fast and run at each other, and bodies get hurt. We’re going to need each and every one of them. I’m excited about our group.”
On Beaty’s Return To Kansas
Jayhawk fans may want to keep hitting the off-season snooze button until basketball, but they have to like their new coach. It won’t be a quick turnaround, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see steady improvement in Lawrence.
“There’s no doubt that it gave us a head start, understanding the culture that is the University of Kansas. And not really just the university, but the great state of Kansas and the people of it and what those people are like — the humble, hard-working, blue collar people that make up that state.
“As we began to build the blueprint for what we want our team to look like, we look no further than the people of our state. The example that they set for us every day.”