It’s not easy being Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart. Just a sophomore, it seems as if he’s been under intense scrutiny no matter what the circumstances are. Even last year, as fans were wanting former coach Charlie Weis to pull the redshirt off of the then-freshman, which eventually happened last October in a loss to Oklahoma.
Now, as Clint Bowen has taken over as interim coach following Weis’ firing on Sunday, the first question anyone seems to have on the team’s new leader is whether or not Kansas football is heading in the right direction with Cozart calling the signals.0
“Well, if you guys have been around the Montell, the guy shows up every single day with a great attitude, shows up every single day willing to go to work and putting in his work. His teammates respect him, his teammates trust him. He's a guy on this team that has earned his way through there. He's a young quarterback that is developing in a new offensive system. It's not always going to be perfect. There's some new things, there's a lot of things to learn. The kid is working as hard as he can to improve each week, and we're all behind him.”
To be fair, Cozart has had a crash course on college football. Thrusted into the spotlight last October, he’s carried himself tremendously well since. He led Kansas to a 31-19 upset over West Virginia last November that snapped the team’s long conference losing streak.
In the games that followed, he’s gone 2-4 as the team’s starter with a few, albeit, not many highlights. There’s have definitely been a number of lowlights as well, highlighted by his performance in a 41-3 loss at Duke last month. Some were calling for his benching in favor of backup Michael Cummings or even UCLA transfer T.J. Milweard.
Still, confidence is high that Kansas can dramatically improve and it will all start with Cozart, who has the full belief of the Kansas coaches. In their eyes, his improvement will coincide with the change that is taking place within the program with the change of leadership at the top.
To help the process, offensive coordinator John Reagan will moving up to the booth, where he will run the offense. The move will see Reagan return to a spot where he had a great deal success, when he coordinated the offense at Rice. The move could aid Cozart’s growth by giving him a set of eyes in the sky that could alleviate some of the problems he’s faced through the season’s first four games.
“I think that right now with the nature of where we are on offense and the youth that we have regardless of what year they are, we are a youthful or inexperienced offense and I think I can help us more by being upstairs. I think I can help us more by taking some of the decisions out of the quarterback’s hands,” Reagan said.