Though Kansas football coach David Beaty announced eight midyear transfers Wednesday, he spent most of his time talking about one of them.
Peyton Bender, a 6-foot-1 quarterback from Itawamba (Miss.) Community College, officially signed with the Jayhawks after receiving a late offer from Georgia.
Beaty expects Bender to battle for the starting job with incumbent Carter Stanley, saying the transfer has a “freakish” arm.
“His release is about as clean and as quick as I’ve been around,” Beaty said.
Bender also has some Power Five experience. He spent two seasons at Washington State under coach Mike Leach, playing in five games during his redshirt freshman season in 2015.
“He already has a very good understanding of what the Air Raid is about.” Beaty said. “I’ve been able to visit with him quite a bit, and he could pretty much step in right now and run our offense without hesitation because he already knows it, terminology and everything.”
At Itawamba, Bender completed 65 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions. He’ll have two years of eligibility at KU.
“We need him to come in here and compete and push Carter right now,” Beaty said, “and I know Carter won’t give that thing up easy.”
Beaty addressed the two-year contract extension he received earlier this week, giving his appreciation to athletic director Sheahon Zenger while saying the added security helped the Jayhawks’ staff with recruiting.
“Dr. Z has done it in every area,” Beaty said. “He’s made improvements and strides. He’s answered the bell to anything and everything that all of our programs have needed, and for us, he’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do here.”
Following a USA Today report that new Texas coach Tom Herman may have had preliminary interest in bringing Beaty on staff, the KU coach stated Wednesday that he hadn’t been pursuing other opportunities.
“There was only one place and there is only one place that I want to be. And like I told you, you're going to have to have a backhoe to get me out of here,” Beaty said with a laugh. “I don't care if the Dallas Cowboys call. I'm not going anywhere, unless you take me out of here in handcuffs.”
KU football midyear signees
Peyton Bender, QB, 6-1, 180, Itawamba CC (Washington State)
Hasan Defense, CB, 5-11, 185, Kilgore College
J.J. Holmes, DT, 6-3, 335, Hutchinson CC
Kerr Johnson, WR, 5-11, 180, Santa Rosa JC
Kyron Johnson, LB, 6-1, 200, Lamar (Texas) HS
Willie McCaleb, DL, 6-2, 235, Northwest Mississippi CC
Keyshaun Simmons, DL, 6-2, 285, Pearl River CC
Shakial Taylor, CB, 6-0, 175, Mesa CC (South Dakota State)