The Jayhawks finished 2-10, which is two more wins than David Beaty had in his first year at Kansas. Now going into year three Beaty is seeing the building blocks in place and excitement going into the season.
“Obviously, we weren't satisfied last year with our record, but we're extremely encouraged by the progress that our team has made,” Beaty said. “We've got a lot of work to do, but I love the energy and enthusiasm this team and our coaching staff shows.”
Several players have learned a lot since Beaty took over and have grown through the first two seasons. Some of the difficult times could pay off with experience going forward.
“I'm also really proud of our players and the way that they have developed over the last two to three years and the perseverance that they have developed along the way,” Beaty said. “This team knows that it has to earn everything that it gets. Nothing's going to come easy in this league. It never does because it's one of the finest leagues on the face of the planet. But these guys that we have, they're committed to getting better every day.”
Winning will help combined with upgrades to build program
One of the topics when it comes to the Jayhawks at media day is the fresh announcements they are proceeding with a $300 million renovation to Memorial Stadium. Asked if the win over Texas and new upgrades will help Beaty said it will, but it comes down to winning games.
“I do think that you have to win to be able to attract top talent,” Beaty said. “I think you can build good facilities and you can do those things, but at the end of the day, I do believe that you've got to produce on the football field and you've got to win games. So that obviously helped us in a lot of ways, but we've got to put a lot more wins together for it to really affect us. And the thing about recruiting, as you guys all know, we're not going to know for a number of years whether that recruiting was good or not.”
Bender, Stanley both have to be ready to play
Carter Stanley and Peyton Bender are roommates while competing for the starting quarterback job. They both bring different qualities to the competition and Beaty thinks it will be a battle going into fall camp.
“We have two really talented guys right now we've got vying for that quarterback spot,” Beaty said. “Carter finished the season for us last year. Watching his maturation was the thing that I really liked. The thing I really like about him is the way that he reacts in games. Guys are drawn to him. He's got some athleticism to him. He can extend plays, and he's a tough dude.
“Peyton played in our system with Coach Leach up at Washington State. So his familiarity was instant when he walked in the door, which gave us a great opportunity to truly evaluate him because he already understood the concepts. The kid's very talented. He's got as nice of an arm as I've been around, unbelievably quick release, very smart guy.”
Beaty has told them they always have to be ready to play. In the last two years the Jayhawks have used more than two quarterbacks.
“The thing that I talk to these guys all the time about is, if you just look at our league over the last two to three years, very few of us have been able to go through the entire schedule with just one guy playing the entire year,” Beaty said. “So for us, we feel very fortunate that we have two really capable guys right now at that place.”