Charlie Weis could have waited to name his starting quarterback. Kansas won’t begin its football season for more than four months. Some coaches embrace the mystery, waiting as long as possible to announce a starter.
Weis didn’t need to officially hand the reins to sophomore Montell Cozart after his leading performance during spring football. But that’s exactly what Weis did. And he explained the decision-making process in detail on Tuesday for the first time.
“In the eyes of the coaching staff, Montell clearly plays better than the other quarterbacks on our team,” Weis said on a Big 12 coaches teleconference. “And what we didn’t want to do was go into the summertime misleading our players about who the starting quarterback was.”
Weis has strong feelings about leadership. Some players, he says, are born leaders. Some players are thrown into the role because they are talented. Some players, such as Cozart, must step up because of their position.
Senior quarterback Jake Heaps is one of those born leaders. So Weis was concerned that, if he didn’t announce a starter, Heaps would spend the summer leading while Cozart remained in the background.
“I think it’s important that if a guy has won a job,” Weis said, “that he should be put as a leader.”
Cozart beat out Heaps and sophomore T.J. Millweard during spring practice while proving himself capable of running offensive coordinator John Reagan’s no-huddle, spread offense. A graduate of Bishop Miege, Cozart completed just 36 percent of his passes and threw zero touchdowns after splitting time with Heaps for the final seven games of the season. Cozart also threw two interceptions. He rushed for 227 yards.
“We didn’t have to say anything,” Weis said of the quarterback decision. “We just believed the best interest of our quarterbacks and our team was to name it then.”Coleman stands out among receivers
Weis continues to point to junior receiver Rodriguez Coleman as a breakout candidate for this fall.
“I’d say from the beginning of spring right through the end of spring,” Weis said, “(Coleman) showed that he has a chance of being a legitimate Big 12 wide receiver.”