Kansas football coach David Beaty is hopeful a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday will offer clues in finding separation in some key position battles, including quarterback.
Junior quarterback Montell Cozart remains the front runner to win the starting job and start the Jayhawks’ opener against South Dakota State on Sept. 5. But for the first week of fall camp, Beaty says, the KU staff has attempted to balance reps in an effort to gain a full evaluation.
“You just don’t have enough snaps in order to get a full evaluation in a two-week period,” Beaty said. “And we haven’t even been two weeks. We’ve been a week and a half.”
In recent practices, Cozart has been the first quarterback in team reps, while freshmen Ryan Willis and Carter Stanley have followed close behind. Beaty and offensive coordinator Rob Likens have conceded that it could be difficult for a true freshman to win the starting job right away, but they haven’t ruled out that possibility.
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“You want it to happen as soon as you can get it done,” Beaty said. “The reality of it is, we’re narrowed down pretty good now already to probably at least three. For the most part, two in a lot of areas. So you kind of have a pretty good idea.”
▪ Beaty said recent addition Corey King could be a factor on the defensive line, in part because the Jayhawks remain very thin at defensive tackle. King, who spent the last four years at Miami, Fla., was cleared to practice on Thursday and will be eligible as a graduate transfer. On Friday, Beaty termed King as a “walk-on,” but it’s possible he could be put on scholarship later in camp.
“He’s definitely going to give us some added depth there,” Beaty said.
Because of his late start, Beaty said it could take King some time to move up the depth chart. But he appeared optimistic that King would be ready to play in the season opener.
“It’s going to work out fine,” Beaty said. “He’ll be ready to go by that first game. And the thing about him earning it, he’s at a little bit of an advantage because there’s not as many players there. We’re not totally three-deep in those spots. So from his standpoint, he doesn’t have as big a mountain to climb.”