Kansas coach David Beaty stepped to the microphone at just past 10:40 a.m. here at Big 12 Media Days, making his way through a ballroom at the Dallas Omni and ushering in a new era of Kansas football.
For Beaty, a first-year head coach who has inherited a depleted and downtrodden football program, it was his first appearance at the conference’s annual two-day media kickoff. The day also offered a grim reminder of where the Jayhawks sit in the Big 12 pecking order. The Jayhawks are projected to finish last in the Big 12 for the fifth straight year, and Beaty was the second coach to speak on Monday morning.
Moments after TCU coach Gary Patterson spoke about his program’s national title hopes, Beaty began his comments with a subtle recruiting pitch, praising the high school football coaches here in the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex.
Here are some more quick hits from Beaty’s comments:
▪ Beaty said that starting quarterback Michael Cummings, who had knee surgery in June after going down in the spring game, could seek a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. Beaty said Cummings was throwing on the field as recently as last week, and could still potentially play this season, but the program is still exploring options for an extra year of eligibility.
▪ KU will add two freshman quarterbacks to the equation in Florida high school product Carter Stanley and Bishop Miege graduate Ryan Willis. Could the freshmen QBs vie for time right away?
“We’re just going to have to see,” Beaty said. “They’re going to have to earn it.”
▪ Beaty emphasized a familiar theme — “earning it” — during his 20-minute session with the media. The Jayhawks, Beaty said, will attempt to earn everything they get.
“I’m a simple guy,” Beaty said.
▪ At any opportunity, Beaty mentioned his Texas high school football roots and his time spent as a high school coach here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. When the topic of Baylor’s resurgence came up, Beaty called Baylor coach Art Briles one of his “coaching heroes.” Beaty also said he would like to model his KU rebuild after similar program ascensions at Baylor and TCU.
▪ Finally, Beaty appeared fully energized and a little anxious during his media session. He fidgeted in his chair. He offered plenty of enthusiasm. At one point, as he finished answering a question, Beaty said: “Do you know how hard it is to sit still when you’re the kind of guy that’s always moving?”