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Jayhawks' QB race open as spring football begins

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — There will not be an anointed quarterback under center at Kansas this spring.

Sure, there's still a high-profile transfer competing for the starting job, and sure, there's a good chance that T.J. Millweard will ultimately earn it. But for the first time in two years in charge, coach Charlie Weis is letting the competition play out.

So, Millweard will find himself competing with Jake Heaps, the starter early last season, and Montell Cozart, the talented sophomore who eventually took over the starting job, when the Jayhawks take the field Thursday for their first practice of spring.

"You just have to let it play out," said Weis, who would like to have the starter settled by August. "I don't think you can come in with any preconceived notions."

When he first arrived at Kansas two years ago, Weis quickly named Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist his starting quarterback. Crist played so poorly that he was ultimately benched in favor of youngster Michael Cummings, who didn't fare a whole lot better.

Last year, it was Heaps — a transfer from BYU — who was identified early on as the starting quarterback. But just like Crist, he struggled to get the Jayhawks' offense moving, so Weis eventually ripped the redshirt of Cozart and played them both through the end of the season.

Now, throw Millweard into the mix and there promises to be quite the QB race.

"I think that all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together eventually," said new offensive coordinator John Reagan. "You like to say you're going into spring ball knowing exactly how it's going to turn out, and if I said that I'd be lying, because I don't know."

Heaps certainly brings the most experience to the table, and Cozart is an intriguing run-pass threat. Millweard was a highly touted recruit when he headed to UCLA, and he spent a mandatory redshirt season growing accustomed to the Jayhawks' offense.

"I think the cream usually rises to the top, and I think that will happen," Reagan said. "I just don't have that answer at this time."

There are other answers that Kansas will be trying to find this spring.

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