Spring battle spotlight: Kansas QB

March, 5, 2014
Mar 5
1:00
PM ET
The quarterback position was supposed to be a position of strength and certainty for Kansas heading into the 2013 season. Instead, Jake Heaps struggled and true freshman Montell Cozart replaced Heaps in the lineup, starting KU’s final three games. Heading into this spring, the starting quarterback spot is wide open.

[+] EnlargeJake Heaps
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerKansas quarterback Jake Heaps will look to regain his starting spot in a wide-open spring race.
Departed: None.

Spring contenders: Senior Jake Heaps, sophomore Montell Cozart, sophomore T.J. Millweard, junior Michael Cummings, redshirt freshman Jordan Darling.

Summer contenders: None.

The skinny: After watching his offense sputter around the Big 12 in 2013, head coach Charlie Weis hopes to sit back and watch a starter emerge under center for the Jayhawks this spring.

“I don't think you can come in with any preconceived notion,” Weis said of the spring quarterback battle. "There will be some people that will say, ‘Well, I'll be surprised if it doesn't go deep into August,’ and that's never a good thing. It's never a good thing if it goes deep into August because it means you don't have one. Any time there is a quarterback competition that goes to the end, I had one, trust me, it means you don't have [a quarterback].”

Weis has his fingers crossed that he has at least one quarterback.

Heaps and Cozart had their opportunities in 2013 and didn’t exactly take the job and run away from the competition. Cozart is an athletic quarterback who needs to improve his passing skills to become a difference-maker in the Big 12. Heaps can excel as a passer but doesn’t bring the mobility Cozart can provide.

Therefore, a lot of eyes will turn to Millweard, a UCLA transfer who joined the program shortly before the 2013 season. He was a four-star recruit as the No. 91 player in the ESPN 150 when he signed with UCLA as a member of the Class of 2012. At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds with terrific passing skills, Millweard could rise to the top of the depth chart, particularly if he proves to be a dual-threat quarterback who can combine mobility and passing skills.

This is a wide-open race, particularly with every quarterback on the roster starting from square one in a new system under first-year offensive coordinator John Reagan.

“Who is going to put us in the best position to score touchdowns, that is what it all comes down to," Weis said.

Prediction: Millweard rises to the top of the depth chart. Without a college snap under his belt, Millweard is inexperienced but could have the best upside of all the quarterbacks on campus. With Reagan and Weis searching for playmakers and using the spring to find the guys who will be the foundation of KU’s offense in 2014, don’t be surprised if Millweard begins to separate himself from the competition and heads into the summer as the main man under center.

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