Big 12: Kansas Jayhawks

The Jayhawks went into spring ball with three quarterbacks in the mix for the starting job.

They came out with one.

[+] EnlargeMontell Cozart
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerSophomore Montell Cozart beat out senior Jake Heaps and UCLA transfer T.J. Millweard to start at quarterback for the Jayhawks.
After the conclusion of spring ball last week, Kansas named sophomore Montell Cozart its starter. Cozart was in a battle with senior and 2013 starter Jake Heaps and UCLA transfer T.J. Millweard.

During the Big 12 spring teleconference on Tuesday, coach Charlie Weis explained why his staff elected to make the call posthaste in a quarterback competition that seemed to be wide open going into spring ball.

“What we didn’t want to do was go into the summertime misleading our players about who the starting quarterback was,” Weis said. “After the spring game, which was really practice 15, we did post-spring evaluations with the whole team; I think in the eyes of the coaching staff, Montell had clearly played better than the other quarterbacks on our team.”

Cozart appeared in seven games last season after his redshirt was pulled as a freshman. He never got on track with his arm, and completed only 37 percent of his passes. But Cozart sparked the offense with his legs, rushing for 193 yards during a four-game stretch in November.

Weis indicated that if Cozart hadn’t emerged as the obvious starter, the competition could have lingered into the preseason.

But Cozart clearly was the most effective quarterback in Kansas’ spring game, rushing for 70 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. And according to Weis, he was also clearly the most effective quarterback throughout the spring.

As a result, Weis saw no benefit in concealing from his players who the starter would ultimately be.

“We just thought it was in the best interest of our quarterbacks and our team to name him,” Weis said. “What would have happened was Jake would have been the leader in the summertime, then we would have come back [and] Montell would have gotten the first reps. We thought we would have mislead our team while they went through a tough, grueling summer. I think that it’s important for the players to know exactly where they stand.”

The Jayhawks know where they stand at quarterback. And now they can move forward around Cozart.

“I think it’s important if a guy has won a job, he should be put as the leader,” Weis said. “And based on 15 practices, not just the spring game, Montell had clearly won the job.”

Big 12's lunch links

April, 22, 2014
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The Grizzlies eventually won, but this shot was insane.

Big 12 recruiting update: 2015

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
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With spring football all wrapped up, college coaches are back on the road recruiting from now until May 31. Here’s an update on where the Big 12 classes stand entering the spring evaluation period. Also, remember to check out the RecruitingNation team and follow the On the Trail blog:

BAYLOR

4-star: WR John Humphrey Jr.; WR Devontre Stricklin; ATH Louis Brown; WR Chad President; RB Ja’Mycal Hasty; ATH Blake Lynch

3-star: OT Sam Tecklenburg

Other: OT Maurice Porter

The skinny: Baylor’s class is ranked No. 15 nationally, and no program in this conference has more ESPN 300 commitments than BU’s six. Hasty and Humphrey are perfect fits for what the Bears do on offense, and Humphrey might be the fastest prospect in the state of Texas. After loading up on offensive talent, expect some defensive pledges in the next few months.

IOWA STATE

4-star: None

3-star: None

Other: OLB Bobby McMillen

The skinny: More than two months after landing McMillen, the Cyclones have yet to add a second pledge.

KANSAS

4-star: None

3-star: None

Other: None

The skinny: Kansas hosted plenty of recruits this spring, but still no verbal commitments so far.

KANSAS STATE

4-star: None

3-star: QB Alex Delton

Other: None

The skinny: Delton remains the only pledge in this class, but he’s a good one. ESPN scouts praise his athleticism and instincts but want to see him make some mechanical fixes before he gets on KSU’s campus.

OKLAHOMA

4-star: DT Marquise Overton; TE Bobby Evans; S Jamile Johnson Jr.

3-star: DT Du’Vonta Lampkin

Other: None

The skinny: Oklahoma’s post-Sugar Bowl recruiting moment took a hit when ESPN 300 lineman Joshua Wariboko decommitted last week, but the Sooners are still in the running for him as well as some of the best prospects in Oklahoma and Texas. Wariboko wants to play in college with his younger brother, 2016 CB Max Wariboko, so it might take offering both to get the offensive guard back on board.

OKLAHOMA STATE

4-star: RB Ronald Jones II; QB John Kolar; OG Johnny Wilson

3-star: DT Taaj Bakari

Other: None

The skinny: The newly released ESPN 300 was very friendly to the Cowboys. Jones chose OSU this month over Baylor, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame, and he’s now ranked No. 3 among all running back prospects. Kolar was a huge riser in the rankings and is now the nation’s No. 3 pocket passer. Bakari, the most recent pledge, was a nice interior addition.

TCU

4-star: None

3-star: WR Tony James; WR Jarrison Stewart; OLB Alec Dunham; DE Breylin Mitchell

Other: DT Joseph Broadnax; WR J.F. Thomas; ILB Semaj Thomas; ATH Tre’Vontae Hights; OT Cody Ford

The skinny: TCU is off to a really nice start with nine commitments, highlighted by pledges from four future receivers. That’s just what the Frogs’ new offense needs. James might be one of the most underrated athletes in Texas, but the same could be said of several of these recruits. Considering this staff’s reputation for talent evaluation, don’t be shocked if a few of these TCU commits end up as four-stars when it’s all said and done.

TEXAS

4-star: S DeShon Elliott; OT Toby Weathersby; OG Patrick Vahe; RB Tristian Houston; RB Jordan Stevenson; OT Ronnie Major

3-star: DT Bryce English; RB Kirk Johnson; DE Charles Omenihu

Other: CB Keivon Ramsey

The skinny: The Longhorns are now in great shape at running back after landing Houston and Johnson in the same week, and Johnson’s coveted younger brother, 2016 WR Collin Johnson, also committed last week. Ramsey made his pledge at the spring game and is another hard hitter for the secondary. Texas would have 12 commitments now, but early pledges CB Jalen Campbell and S Johnny Shaw were taken off the list and will get a chance to re-earn their offers in summer camp.

TEXAS TECH

4-star: QB Jarrett Stidham; DT Breiden Fehoko

3-star: None

Other: ILB D’Vonta Hinton; RB Corey Dauphine; OT Trace Ellison; OG Lio Lafaele

The skinny: Landing Stidham was huge, but Fehoko is another top-50 recruit who followed in his brother’s footsteps and will work hard to recruit for this class. He can play anywhere on a defensive line. Even at 5-foot-10, Hinton is one of the state’s most talented linebackers. The Red Raiders have a chance to put together one of their best classes in a long time.

WEST VIRGINIA

4-star: WR Jovon Durante; S Kendrell McFadden

3-star: ATH Jordan Adams; ATH Jacquez Adams; WR Kahlil Lewis; RB William Cameron; OG Matt Jones; Stone Wolfley

Other: S Kevin Williams; S Sheldrick Redwine

The skinny: Thanks to its efforts in Florida, WVU is off to an excellent start with this 10-man class. The tricky part will be holding on to some of these recruits, especially Durante. The No. 120 overall recruit visited Alabama this weekend and reportedly came very close to committing. That flip could be coming soon unless the Mountaineers coaching staff can convince him to stay put.
The starting quarterback battles remained wide open heading into the spring games at Kansas and West Virginia.

So Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis and Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen decided to augment their evaluation of the competitors by removing their protective jerseys.

It paid off for both programs. Holgorsen was able to get a more accurate read on his quarterbacks, and Weis was able to select his starter: sophomore Montell Cozart.

“It was fun watching those guys get hit,” Holgorsen said. “They weren’t making the progress we wanted, and about six practices ago, we let them get hit and the sense of urgency picked up.”

[+] EnlargeSteve Edmond
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsPaul Millard performed well without a noncontact jersey during West Virginia's spring game, but he hasn't won the job yet.
Paul Millard had a strong spring game, completing 14 of 19 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns, but the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback competition will likely continue deep into preseason camp with Clint Trickett returning from injury and freshman William Crest joining the mix this summer.

At Kansas, new offensive coordinator John Reagan will bring some quarterback runs into play this fall. Cozart took advantage by rushing for 70 yards and two scores in the Jayhawks' spring game. He earned offensive MVP honors.

“In this offense, the quarterback has to be able to be a run threat as well as a passing threat,” Weis said. “If your quarterbacks never get hit, how do you know how they’re going to react when the pressure is on? The only way you can know is if he gets hit.”

There are pros and cons to this stance. Obviously it’s an silly option for a program such as Baylor, which returns the Big 12 offensive player of the year in quarterback Bryce Petty. There’s no reason for an established starter to go live in the spring game. But in certain situations, such as at Kansas and West Virginia, it makes sense. And not just for the quarterbacks in question.

“It’s really been good for our defense to see a lot,” Holgorsen said. “I mean, how many teams do we face that are going to run their quarterbacks a lot? It’s good for our defense to see it and their production picked up.”

Yet, there are still pitfalls.

“The easiest con is you can always get someone hurt,” Weis said. “It’s the last practice of the entire spring, and you’re going full speed with your quarterbacks. You leave yourself open for a lot of scrutiny if all of your quarterbacks get banged up. Fortunately, that didn’t happen with any of them.”

It’s an uncommon trend, but one that Weis didn’t rule out for the future.

“In the past, very seldom would I let the quarterbacks be hit or be touched,” he said. “There’s a risk/reward. The reward greatly outweighs the risk.”
We've been doing something different with the mailbag, including Twitter questions with the regular mailbag submissions. To submit a mailbag entry via Twitter, simply include the hashtag #big12mailbag. You also still can send in questions the traditional way here, too.

To the 'bag...

Trotter: At this point, I think it's only a matter of time before Grant Rohach is named the starter. He was clearly the best QB in the spring game, and coming off the way he played at the end of last season, momentum is in his corner. I know the Cyclones are high on the potential of redshirt freshman Joel Lanning, and Rohach will have to perform once the season begins to keep the job, but at this point, it's difficult envisioning anyone other than Rohach starting the opener against North Dakota State.

Trotter: Texas' Cedric Reed, Kansas State's Ryan Mueller, Oklahoma's Charles Tapper, TCU's Devonte Fields and Baylor's Shawn Oakman. On the next tier, I'd have Oklahoma's Geneo Grissom, Texas Tech's Branden Jackson, Iowa State's Cory Morrissey and Oklahoma State's Jimmy Bean.

Trotter: My two darkhorse picks at this point would be Texas Tech and TCU. Schedule is a big part of this, and Tech gets Oklahoma and Texas at home, and Baylor in Arlington, Texas. If the Red Raiders could escape a September Thursday night clash at Oklahoma State, then they could be a factor. QB Davis Webb has made tremendous improvement since December, and he's going to have plenty of firepower surrounding him. Assuming Fields is back to his old self, the Horned Frogs will again be a formidable defense. The big question, as always, is, can they score enough points? But if Matt Joeckel can step in at QB and direct what is essentially the same offense he had at Texas A&M to respectability, TCU could be a handful.

Trotter: Charlie Strong can't get destroyed by Oklahoma. Can't enter any fourth quarter without a legitimate chance to win. Can't lose more than three games. If he avoids those three potholes, he has chance to take Texas a step forward. To me, that's the litmus test.

Trotter: Anytime a team loses its leading tackler, it hurts. Fortunately for the Sooners, they're deep at linebacker, and can absorb a key loss there better than they'd be able to at some other positions. Jordan Evans played well as a true freshman, and shined in place of Shannon in the spring game. A linebacking corps of Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Dominique Alexander, sack-master Eric Striker and Evans would still be stout. Of course, it would be even better with Shannon.

Trotter: That's a tough question. It was startling how much the K-State defense suffered when Ty Zimmerman wasn't on the field last year, but I have faith Dante Barnett is ready to assume a leadership role in that secondary and stabilize the defense. I have less faith right now in K-State's running backs. So far this spring, no one has really emerged from a crop of backs with almost no meaningful experience. The K-State attack has always been predicated on a strong running game, so this is no small issue. Maybe freshman Dalvin Warmack can jumpstart the position when he arrives this summer. But running back looks like the biggest question on a solid-looking team with not many questions elsewhere.

Big 12 lunchtime links

April, 18, 2014
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NBA playoffs start this weekend. This should get you ready for the fun!
Charlie Weis knew change was necessary.

The Kansas coach stepped away from the Jayhawks offense this spring after his team fielded one of the nation’s worst offenses. Weis hired former Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan to take over the offense as well as coach KU’s offensive line. They’re only 15 practices into the change, and there's a long way to go until the offense reaches its destination, but Weis has been happy with the results after one spring of drills.

“I think he’s blended in very well in our place,” said Weis, who had studied Reagan’s offense at Rice before luring him to Lawrence, Kan. “It gives the offensive line a little bit extra when they know the guy setting up the offense is also their position coach.”

The general theme?

[+] EnlargeTony Pierson
John Rieger/USA TODAY SportsKansas is hoping that John Reagan's simplified offense will mean more big plays for players such as Tony Pierson.
Less is more.

Weis has made a point of stepping away from the offense and allowing Reagan to take over that side of the football. He doesn’t sit in or look over the shoulder of his new offensive coordinator, or try to put his stamp on every little aspect of the offense. Instead, his role is being a sounding block and a resource for the Jayhawks’ new play-caller.

“I’ve moved away and let them do it,” Weis said. “He has a great resource where he can come to me, ‘What do you think of this? What do you think of that?” and I don’t step on his toes. I’m letting him do it, I’m not sitting with the offense, [saying] ‘Do this, do that.’ It’s been really good for him, and I think it’s been really good for me too.”

Less is more translates to the field as well.

The offense has been simplified making things easier on the Jayhawks' playmakers. Less plays means less thinking and, hopefully, faster and more explosive playmaking from players such as dynamic running back Tony Pierson and newly anointed starting quarterback Montell Cozart.

“Because there are a lot less plays, you’re putting a lot less mental pressure on your players and putting more on the play-caller [Reagan],” Weis said. “Because there aren’t as many plays to choose from, the quarterbacks have a very good understanding where if they have a bad play at the line of scrimmage, they have the opportunity to put us in a good one.”

The simplified offense could help Cozart, who Weis named his starter on Thursday. Taking mental stress off of the shoulders of the sophomore could allow him to trust his football instincts to take over instead of overthinking while behind center and triggering KU’s attack.

The transformation from Weis’ offense to Reagan’s offense has come with a change in tempo as well. The Jayhawks focused on tempo this spring, but not for the reasons many would expect. KU doesn’t want to join Baylor and Texas Tech among the nation’s leaders in plays per game.

The Jayhawks do, however, want to inject added flexibility into the offense.

“[That's] the interesting thing with John’s offense,” Weis said. “So many places are just, ‘How fast can you snap the ball?’ That’s only one element. His [offense] is no-huddle, but they can play at a really fast tempo or they can play at a really slow tempo. He’s practiced a slow methodical tempo and one where you’re trying to snap the ball every 10 or 15 seconds.”

Sometimes the threat of being able to snap the ball quickly is just as beneficial as actually doing so. But having the ability to slow the pace of the game down is important as well, particularly if KU is looking to give its defense additional rest or change the overall momentum of the action.

“Most teams running no-huddle are ‘How many snaps can we get off?’” Weis said. “Well that’s great if you always feel like you have better players than the other team, then you’re just wearing them out. In his case, he can go either way. He can go that way or he can slow the whole thing down. It gives him a lot of flexibility.”

It’s a different era of offensive football for KU heading into the fall. And Weis is hoping addition by subtraction will pay dividends for the Jayhawks offense in 2014.
video
Kansas coach Charlie Weis’ decision to name Montell Cozart as his starting quarterback wasn’t a major surprise.

Those who watched Cozart separate himself from the competition during KU’s spring game could sense this was coming. The sophomore quarterback clearly was the best of the group, using his feet to make plays while also showing progress as a passer in new offensive coordinator John Reagan’s offense. He earned offensive MVP honors by accounting for two touchdowns.

[+] EnlargeMontell Cozart
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerMontell Cozart has been named the starting quarterback for the Jayhawks.
Weis' decision to hand over the future of KU’s offense to Cozart is the right one for several reasons.

First, Cozart has three years of eligibility remaining, giving him time to grow and improve, with some of his ups and downs as a young player likely to pay off later. Jake Heaps, his main competitor heading into the spring game, will be a senior in 2014. Cozart was pulled out of his redshirt as a freshman last season, starting three games and putting any freshman jitters in the past, allowing him to enter this season with knowledge of what to expect.

Second, Cozart brings the best combination of physical traits with his running ability and his passing skills continuing to develop. Earlier in the spring, Weis had talked of playing multiple quarterbacks and using them in different ways this fall, but Cozart’s progress as a passer makes that unnecessary. If he continues to develop as a passer, he could become the complete package behind center. And his spring performance showed he's the best option for now and the future.

Last, Weis' decision to name Cozart the starter just days after the spring game is a sign of confidence. The decision allows the sophomore to settle in as the face of KU’s offense, and it means the coach is confident that he has a quarterback. He said earlier in the spring that a lengthy quarterback battle that lasts deep into preseason camp means “you don’t have one.” If it all works out, Weis’ confidence will breed confidence in Cozart and among his teammates.

Cozart finished his freshman season with 227 passing yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions in seven games, so it’s not time to cement his spot on the preseason All-Big 12 team quite yet.

But naming Cozart as the starter could be remembered as the first step toward making KU’s offense the most explosive of Weis’ tenure.

Big 12's lunch links

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
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I'm guessing this is how Usain Bolt plays soccer.
Two seasons ago, the Big 12 sent an unprecedented nine of its 10 members to bowl games, prompting Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops -- among others -- to tout the depth of the league.

But last season, only six Big 12 teams qualified for bowls, as Iowa State, TCU and West Virginia had losing records while Kansas ran its bowl-less streak to five seasons.

In this week’s poll question, we ask: Which Big 12 team that didn’t qualify for a bowl last year has the best chance of getting back to one in 2014?

SportsNation

Which Big 12 team that failed to qualify for a bowl last year has the best chance of making one in 2014?

  •  
    17%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    38%
  •  
    43%

Discuss (Total votes: 6,136)

Until last season, the Mountaineers had made a bowl every year all the way back to 2001. But inconsistent play at quarterback and defensive injuries doomed them in 2013. West Virginia returns starter Clint Trickett and has added some interesting quarterbacks to the competition. The Mountaineers also appear loaded in the backfield and at wide receiver, and they added veteran assistant Tom Bradley to the defensive staff. But West Virginia plays a brutal schedule, which includes Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and has road trips to Maryland, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas.

TCU had also been accustomed to going to bowl games annually, as the Horned Frogs hadn’t missed one since 2004. Injuries to defensive end Devonte Fields and quarterback Casey Pachall ravaged TCU early on in the season. The Horned Frogs also struggled offensively all year, prompting coach Gary Patterson to overhaul his attack and bring in Houston’s Doug Meacham and Texas Tech’s Sonny Cumbie to coordinate a no-huddle, spread attack. TCU lost All-American cornerback Jason Verrett off last fall’s team, but Fields appears healthy after undergoing foot surgery. The defense figures to be stout again.

Paul Rhoads had led Iowa State to two straight bowls before taking a step back last season. The Cyclones got off to a rough start with a stunning loss to Northern Iowa in the opener. They later dropped a one-point game on a Thursday night to Texas and never regained the momentum. The Cyclones never quit, however, and finished the season on a high note by routing Kansas and rallying to topple West Virginia on the road in triple overtime. Iowa State still needs several players to emerge defensively, but the offense could feature the best collection of skill players the Cyclones have enjoyed in a long time, headlined by running back Aaron Wimberly, wideout Quenton Bundrage and tight end E.J. Bibbs.

Kansas hasn’t been to a bowl since current Iowa State offensive coordinator Mark Mangino was its head coach. The Jayhawks did defeat West Virginia last season to snap their 27-game Big 12 losing streak, but that remained their lone Big 12 win. Kansas has added transfer Nick Harwell, who was second in the nation in receiving in 2011 at Miami (Ohio) and should give the Jayhawks a much-needed go-to receiver. Kansas also brings back 16 starters, including nine on a defensive unit that played several teams tough last season. Of course, after winning just nine games combined the past four seasons, the Jayhawks would seemingly have the longest road back to a bowl.

But we leave it to you to decide: Which of these four teams -- West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State or Kansas -- has the best chance of getting back to a bowl in 2014?
Even though almost 10 months remain until the next national singing day, teams across the Big 12 have jumped off to fast starts in putting together their 2015 classes.

To catch you up on all the recruiting storylines that have developed so far, we checked in with ESPN.com senior national recruiting writer Jeremy Crabtree and Big 12 recruiting reporter Damon Sayles for their takes:

Which team has impressed you the most with its 2015 recruiting?

Crabtree: With all of the questions West Virginia faced in the offseason and the product the Mountaineers put on the field in 2013, you would think they would be struggling out of the gate with the 2015 class. But it has been the exact opposite. WVU has 10 commitments, including from one of the best receivers in the country, Jovon Durante. West Virginia is selling kids on an opportunity to play early and make a big difference in getting the program back on track. Plus, it has gone back to its roots and mined the very familiar recruiting territory of Florida for some of its best pledges.

Sayles: As much as I like what Texas Tech and TCU have done so far, I have to tip my hat to what West Virginia has accomplished. The Mountaineers have a pair of ESPN Junior 300 players in safety Kendrell McFadden and Durante. The Mountaineers are recruiting the state of Florida well; five of the 10 pledges are from the Sunshine State. West Virginia is off to a fast start, and with the program fresh off a successful spring game, more big-time commits could be coming soon.

Who has disappointed?


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Big 12's lunch links

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
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Tap, tap. I can't wait for this 30 for 30.

Spring game review: Kansas

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
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The time is now for the Kansas program under Charlie Weis. The Jayhawks head coach made several changes to his coaching staff this offseason, including the addition of new offensive coordinator John Reagan. Saturday’s spring game was unique, with the Blue team featuring KU’s first and second-teamers and the White squad featuring the third and fourth-teamers. In addition, all quarterbacks were live, meaning they could be hit, as KU tries to find its starting quarterback. Here’s what happened:

Best offensive performance: After entering the game alongside Jake Heaps as dual front-runners to start at quarterback, Montell Cozart was the best signal-caller on the field. The sophomore finished with 70 rushing yards and two touchdowns along with a game-high 58 passing yards, completing 6 of 10 passes. Cozart didn’t lock himself in as the Jayhawks starter, but Weis was pleased with what he saw.

[+] EnlargeMontell Cozart
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerMontell Cozart made several plays with his legs and showed poise in the pocket in Kansas' spring game.
"I was pleased to see him sit in the pocket,” Weis said. “We know he can bootleg and run on the edge, but it was good to see him show some poise in the pocket."

Best defensive performance: Linebacker Jake Love is a quiet playmaker alongside fellow linebacker Ben Heeney, who garners most of the headlines. Love finished with a game-high 10 tackles, including six solo stops. Love, who averaged 4.8 tackles per game in 2013, picked right up where he left off during the spring game. He could join Heeney to give KU one of the better linebacker duos in the conference.

Best debut: Receiver Nick Harwell’s final numbers were uninspiring. Four receptions for 31 yards won’t send fear into the hearts of Big 12 defensive coordinators. Those same coordinators would be wise to learn the name of the Miami (Ohio) transfer. His playmaking ability was evident and, if the spring game is any indication, Reagan’s offense is likely to try to put the ball in his hands often this fall.

Notable play: Cozart’s 60-yard run in the fourth quarter was the longest run of the game and was a glimpse at the reason why he could have the edge in the quarterback race if he continues to develop as a passer. He’s far from a finished product, but the sophomore could be a playmaker for Reagan’s offense.

Developing storyline: Michael Cummings has been the forgotten name in KU’s quarterback battle, yet he looked like the second-best quarterback on the field, outperforming Heaps and UCLA transfer T.J. Millweard. Cummings, playing on the White team, which featured third and fourth-teamers, led his squad on a 12-play, 74-yard drive against the No. 1 defense that resulted in the only points of the first half, a 26-yard receiver pass from Tre’ Parmalee to Andrew Turzilli. Cummings didn't finish with great numbers (3-of-10, 42 yards, INT) but looked like his name should be alongside Heaps and Millweard behind Cozart.

Biggest question answered: The Jayhawks have some playmakers emerging on offense to help offset the loss of running back James Sims. Harwell will be a threat at receiver, Tony Pierson is one of the Big 12’s most explosive threats when healthy and running back Brandon Bourbon more than held his own at Sims’ former spot in the backfield with 12 carries for 96 yards. KU’s offensive line and quarterback play will decide how explosive this offense can be, with multiple playmaking options starting to emerge at running back and receiver.

Quotable: “We still have questions, but we also have a lot more answers now than we did in the beginning of the spring. We've implemented a new offense and we still have a ways to go, but I think it's positive at this stage. We've got to continue raising the bar around here." -- Weis

Big 12 lunchtime links

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
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It's not like bringing a cat to the spring game but Kliff Kingsbury is still winning ...
Saturday, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and West Virginia all held their spring games. Below is a sample of the sights from each stadium:

IOWA STATE

KANSAS

OKLAHOMA

TEXAS TECH

WEST VIRGINIA

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