Kansas head coach David Beaty simply cannot catch a break with his quarterbacks since being named the head coach of the Jayhawks. Quarterback Montell Cozart is out indefinitely with a shoulder strain. His backup, Deondre Ford, is also out for the year with a thumb injury. That means Kansas will have almost no other choice than to move forward with Ryan Willis.
Cozart had completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 752 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. Ford appeared in just two games, as has Willis. Willis, a freshman, has attempted 18 passes and completed eight of them for 100 yards in his brief time on the field this season. He will now be given the first team snaps and have a chance to show what he can do running the offense. He is not exactly taking over at a good time, as if there is one for Kansas. Kansas takes on Baylor this weekend, followed by Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma before getting to Texas.
The Kansas quarterback instability started in the spring when Michael Cummings was taken out at the knee by one of his teammates in the spring game. That injury led to knee surgery that put him on the shelf.
See, told you it was Name Your Starting Quarterback Day in the Big 12 today.
With Michael Cummings likely out for the season with a torn ACL sustained in spring practice, Montell Cozart was far and a way the favorite to be named the starting quarterback prior to Kansas’ season opener. That expectation officially came to fruition Monday, with first-year KU head coach David Beaty confirming that Cozart is his starter.
The battle, such as it was, consisted of Cozart, a junior, and a pair of true freshmen, Carter Stanley and Ryan Willis.
Based on experience alone, Cozart was held and shoulders above his competition.
Cozart started the first five games of the season before being replaced by Cummings for the final seven. The reason for the midseason switch was a simple one: production, or lack thereof. In those five starts for the 3-9 Jayhawks, Cozart threw five touchdown passes versus seven interceptions while completing less than 50 percent of his passes.
Cozart’s first start this season will come in the opener against FCS South Dakota State.
It was quite a disastrous afternoon for the Kansas Jayhawks. Not only was a starting quarterback injured, but two more players were confirmed to be suspended for violations of team rules.
Michael Cummings limped off the field with the assistance of the team’s medical staff. He had taken a low hit by safety Michael Glatczak, but the severity of the injury is not yet known. Kansas head coach David Beaty said it was too early to start discussing how the future of Cummings looks. Cummings was the leading passer for Kansas in 2014 with 1,715 yards and nine touchdowns.
Two other players with an uncertain future right now at Kansas are wide receiver Rodriguez Coleman and running back Corey Avery. Beaty said both players have been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules, and it is unknown when or if either player will return to the program. Avery was the leading rusher for the Jayhawks last fall, rushing for 631 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman. Coleman had three catches for 37 yards in 2014.