(1) Montell Cozart, QB: Played in seven games last year backing up Jake Heaps though he did start against West Virginia. Was 23 of 63 for 227 yards. Also rushed for 214 yards, which made him Kansas’ third-leading rusher.
(2) Corey Avery, RB: A freshman who was a three-star prep prospect from Dallas (Carter). Rushed for 1,667 yards and 18 TDs his senior year. … But the RB spot also is wide open. Also could end up being juco transfer DeAndre Mann, the top junior college RB in the country last year by some services who rushed for 1,098 yards and a TD at Hartnell College.
(3) Nick Harwell, WR: Transfer from Miami (Ohio) who was No. 2 on his team in catches and led it in receiving yards as a junior in 2012. Sat out last year after his transfer. On this year’s Biletnikoff watch list.
About the Jayhawks’ triplets:
Some coaches hate to take transfers. The thinking is they bring with them too much heavy baggage.
Kansas coach Charlie Weis welcomes them. He signs them. He starts them. And he talks them up to the media.
But he actually has a home grown quarterback this season in Cozart, a sophomore who started three games a season ago. Quarterback Jake Heaps, the BYU transfer who began last season on the first-team, transferred to Miami in the offseason after Cozart beat him for the job.
Weis described Cozart as athletic and as a known commodity.
“I think that now we kind of know what we’re getting, and I think I don’t have to worry about the freshman jitters in the sophomore campaign,” Weis said. “In this offense that we’re running, I think athleticism at the quarterback position is a critical factor, and he definitely has athleticism. So besides being able to stand in the pocket and deliver, I think that that added element to either on called runs by quarterback or just scramble ability to bail you out of some trouble situations gives us a better chance to score more points.”
The Jayhawks are desperate to improve their offense, which ranked 117th in total offense in 2013. Kansas was last in the Big 12 at 294.75 yards per game. That’s less than half of what Baylor generated.
Cozart will be looking for receiver Nick Harwell, formerly of Miami (Ohio). Harwell caught 97 passes for 1,425 yards in 2011. He transferred after the 2012 season.
“Anytime you can plug in a No. 1 wide receiver that’s already been playing,” Weis said told reporters of Harwell, “it puts a whole different composition to your wide receiver position.”
The running back spot is problematic. The Jayhawks were trying to replace James Sims, who finished third on the Kansas career rushing list.
At Sunday’s scrimmage, senior Brandon Bourbon tore his ACL. On Monday, senior Taylor Cox tore his Achilles. Both are out for the year,
That leaves junior college transfer DeAndre Mann and Corey Avery, a four-star back from Dallas Carter. Weis also moved a freshman defensive back to tailback to improve depth.
Tomorrow’s triplets: Texas
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