Beaty talks to media at spring ball press conference
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty spoke with the media on Thursday to preview the upcoming spring football slate and what he has seen through the first four spring practices.
A video of the press conference can be seen on the Kansas Football Facebook Page and a transcript is below.
DAVID BEATY: Good to see everyone. We’ve had four really good practices to this point. I’ve been pleased with what we’ve been able to get done. We don’t have a whole lot of time today, so I think what we’ll do is go ahead and start with questions, so we can kind of be directed to what it is you’re looking for today, so let’s get started.
Q. What is the status of the quarterback competition for the spring, and what role does (Miles) Kendrick play in that?
DAVID BEATY: Well, we’re obviously very early in spring. We’re four days into it. We’ve got two days under our belt with pads still in an installation. Certainly don’t want to put the cart before the horse with regard to any of that.
But I am pleased with the way the group is working. Miles certainly has the opportunity that the other guys have as well. They always will. We’re going to have a competitive spirit around here, and we always have. That won’t be any different. But he’s looking really good out there for a young guy. His completion percentage is way up there.
I think the thing that’s really stuck out to me for that whole group is how they’re making each other better daily. I think they all bring something different to the table that is really helping the other guys kind of step their game up in that area.
Miles is an extremely committed guy. I mean, his work ethic is one of the better ones I’ve seen. I mean, he’s a guy that people know in our program that when those doors are open, he’s going to be here. I’ve seen that really help elevate Peyton (Bender) and Carter (Stanley) and Miles Fallin, really the rest of our team, so that’s been good. I think that’s a leadership quality that he possesses. It’s helped bring it out of the other two as well.
But it’s really just a little early to be able to tell too much about him right now. I’ll know a little bit more here in six, seven practices.
Q. How many players do you have snapping this spring, and who would be your lead candidates for center? You lost a good one.
DAVID BEATTY: Yeah, we did. We’ve got every single guy we have on the roster that’s an offensive lineman are snapping every day. That doesn’t mean they’re snapping in practice, but when those guys are getting — when they’re done with their workouts every day, those guys are actually all snapping.
We’re trying to take an NFL approach in regard to making sure that our guys are very versatile in what they do. The good news is you start finding some guys that have a natural — little bit more of a natural knack for it. (Andru) Tovi’s taken really more of the first team reps right now. Joey Gilbertson was a guy that we recruited as a guard center guy, and he’s taken most of the second team reps. Jack Williams played it in high school.
But all of them are taking snaps. We’ll continue to kind of mess around with that with regard to the rest of the guys as we go through spring. We already do it with some of our inside drills and things like that. But we’re going to make, obviously, really sure that we never have a snapping issue. It’s something that you can develop and it just takes a little time to.
Q. Daylon Charlot, why did he switch to safety to begin with and why did he switch back, and how high on him are you?
DAVID BEATTY: We took him over to the defensive side last year, really more from a depth perspective than anything. We needed some depth over there. We weren’t very deep at the safety spot, which was something we had to address in recruiting, and he had a skillset that we thought could handle it.
You know, we always knew that if we were able to go and get what we needed in recruiting, we wanted to bring him back over. So he’s back in the position that he started at. I know he’s excited about that.
But the thing I appreciate about Daylon is he did it selflessly. When he moved, he did it selflessly to try to help the team, but I know he’s excited to be back over there.
Q. Where’s Charles Baldwin at right now?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, Charles is, I think what’s going to happen with Charles is he’s going to go ahead and finish his degree, and I think he’s going to seek a transfer. Charles has done everything that I’ve asked him to do to this point to be able to get that done. So we wish him well.
We haven’t really been around each other in a number of months, but we do keep in contact. He’s actually done a terrific job of managing his side of it. We wish him well. Looks like he’s going to be on track to graduate, and he can get that done and he can get to the place where he needs to.
Q. So he hasn’t practiced since like this past fall?
DAVID BEATY: Yes, that is correct.
Q. Is Josh Ehambe practicing? I did not see him yesterday.
DAVID BEATY: Josh is not practicing right now. We’re trying to make sure that we’re being very careful with our guys that have faced injuries, particularly head injuries. So Josh is one of those guys that we have kind of in the protocol, so to speak, to make sure that he is healing and healing properly.
I know that you guys noticed that Mesa (Ribordy) is not on our roster. As of right now he’s still absolutely a part of our team, but he’s going to have to retire, unfortunately. But I know that it’s a sad day that we actually announce that that’s happening, because he’s such a big leader for us and a big part of our team.
But the great thing of it is the kid has a great forecast for a terrific life. That’s the number one thing when it comes to that. I told you guys, I mentioned it to to you before, my wife and I are big proponents of making sure that we manage concussions. I think I told you before she had a boyfriend in college, that passed away on the field as a result of multiple concussions.
We’ve seen it up close and personal, and it’s like we talk about in our staff rooms all the time, that’s somebody’s family treasure, right? We tell them and we talk to them about that all the time, that that’s our number one priority, and it absolutely is.
I’m sad for Mesa, but I’m so happy for him that he’s going to be able to be a great father, a great husband, as we move forward, because it’s just not worth it for their health.
Q. Do you have an update on Chase Harrell’s status since the initial statement?
DAVID BEATTY: Yeah, I tell you. The thing about Chase is obviously the number one thing for Chase is his well-being, it’s his well-being. And we want to make sure and we have made sure that we’re giving him every resource possible to make sure that he is getting himself into a good place. He’s done a terrific job of doing everything that we’ve asked him to do and things that we’ve encouraged him to do.
He’s a kid that we all love. He’s adored in our program. The number one goal for us is to help Chase. It’s to help Chase. Football becomes secondary when it comes to guys that have gone through, as I think all of us are aware of, he went through an experience that I’m not sure many of us can affiliate with. With what he watched and what he went through over Christmas break. Us being able to give him that help is the number one goal. So from that standpoint, we’re focusing on that.
Q. Is he practicing right now?
DAVID BEATY: He’s not practicing currently. He’s been with the team and he’s been with us in workouts. But he’s not practicing currently, like I said. Everything from an accountability standpoint and how we handle him internally is all in place. He understands that. But it’s really more about the services that we can provide and the things that we can do to help him get to that place that he needs to be.
He’s a great kid. He’s a wonderful kid. Got a great family, and we’re working our rear ends off to make sure that we give him everything he needs.
Q. With (Khalil) Herbert and (Taylor) Martin and Pooka (Williams) and Dom Williams, on paper it would look like one of your deeper positions. Do you think you’ll emphasize the run more this year, and where does Dom fit?
DAVID BEATY: Well, we certainly feel strongly about the stable of backs that we have right now. We also have a couple of guys that walked on that were ineligible last year. Kendall Morris, a kid that came to us from Austin Peay that played our scout team that actually really excited about.
We have a big kid, last name (Kezelee) Flomo that is a bowling ball. The dude’s about 230 pounds and he’s a big back. Gives us a different dimension that we’re also really excited about. Both those guys played on the scout team all last year.
We’ve got some depth there. I think watching Dom develop just over these first four practices, you can see a definite difference in his football IQ. Deron Thompson, another guy that’s been around for a while. He can run. I mean, I would say to this point he might be the guy that’s had the most breakout runs coming in the spring, just because of his speed. He’s a fast kid, but he also works really, really hard.
We certainly need to do a great job of developing or establishing the run. We have to do that. I think that’s been something that’s been proven over time is that you’ve got to run the football. We just believe you do. You’ve got to run the football, and there is certainly going to be a commitment to that.
Q. Flomo, could he be a (Winston) Dimel type guy? Not many guys can handle that.
DAVID BEATY: He absolutely could do that. Yeah, he’s a put-together cat now. He’s thick. He’s about 230 pounds, and he’s hard to bring down. I mean, it’s hard to tackle him. He’s a guy that I think could specialize in short yardage and goal line stuff, but he could also replace a fullback, and bring a load in there and split zone, and some of the other things they have to do. He catches the ball well out of the backfield as well so I’m excited about some things he can do.
Q. It’s been a while for James Sosinski. Have you had a chance to talk to him since he got back, and what could his ceiling be?
DAVID BEATY: I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Coach Self and the basketball team, and Devonte’ Graham and what an unbelievable career. I don’t know if I’ve seen, in the times I’ve been here, a kid that has literally unified an athletic department like this Devonte’ Graham kid has. He might be one of the most electric personalities I’ve ever seen.
I’ve just watched him make all of our programs better. This kid is an amazing person. To get him to be able to go experience that, I was so happy for him and the job that Coach Self and those guys did.
But Sosinski was back in practice yesterday. He caught a ball down the seam, and a couple guys bounced off of him. He’s got some extra weight on him now. He looks good. He caught two passes yesterday, and both of them he did not get tackled. People fell off of him. So we’re obviously really excited to have him back with us.
He’s going to speak to our team about that experience. He’s going to talk to our team about what he learned over there that we can bring over here because he lived in it. I think that’s going to be very valuable for us.
Q. What are your initial assessments of Corione Harris? You’ve been around a few months now and been able to watch him practice, what stands out about him?
DAVID BEATY: There’s a number of those new guys that really have stood out to us, Corione being one of them. The two safeties, Jeremiah McCullough and Davon Ferguson, both those guys have stood out to me. I mean, Stephon Robinson, Nick Williams, the other freshman, Najee Stevens-McKenzie, those guys — Codey Cole. I mean, all of them are guys that we’re like, okay. That’s what we saw on tape.
Corione, I think the thing that Corione brings to the table that I like the most is he’s got some dog in him. He’s a corner, and he’s got some dog in him. He likes to hit you just as much as he likes to cover you, and he’s athletic as all get out. The kid’s got some ability that a lot of them don’t have, where he can make a fundamental mistake and his speed and his quickness allows him to make up for it.
Now it’s so early, it’s so hard to tell, but the very first day you could tell something was different about that guy. You could tell. Now we’re putting a lot in. We’ll see how he handles it from there, but, man, I’ve enjoyed watching him. He’s got some dog in him, and that’s what you need.
Q. Doug Meacham yesterday was working with the quarterbacks. I haven’t seen him do that. Is that just a one-time deal?
DAVID BEATY: No, it’s not a one time deal. Doug’s going to move over and coach quarterbacks. He’s our offensive coordinator, and for us, we’re always looking to make sure that we’ve got the best combination. The good news about that for us is that we’ve got great, great coaches that can do it.
Garrett’s (Riley) going to move back over to what he did when he was at East Carolina. He worked with the inside receivers, tight ends. We’re really trying to make a commitment to doing a good job of running the football and doing some things with play-action pass off of that. In order to do that, you have to have a focus on that tight end. He needs to be coached individually and Garrett did it at a high level for us at East Carolina, so it made sense there.
And Doug being able to do it in his time in Houston with David who I think is going to be a highly recruited guy out of Michigan, I mean, he’s done it with some of the top ones, so that made sense to us. Particularly with those guys on the sideline all the time, and Doug talking to them, I think it’s been a really nice, nice transition for those guys.
Justin Johnson’s going to handle the receiver position, which we just hired him. We’re excited to watch him do his deal. And A.J. Ricker coming over there has been fun to watch. Really fun to watch.
So other than that, man, I know you’re going to get to talk to some of our guys. I’ll end you with this. There’s been a focus on a lot of thing that’s we’ve got to get better at. Couple things haven’t changed. It’s always going to be that mentality of “earn it.” It’s what we started with, and it’s certainly good enough. We’re going to continue to focus on that.
You know, we can get a lot better faster if we do a much better job with the alignment and assignment, fundamentally sound in everything that we do, being really focused on that, which is what we’re putting a lot of time into.
Then finally becoming the toughest team in this conference. We’ve got to become a tough team. Toughness doesn’t mean you stand out there and fight with gloves on for us. It means you’re tough enough to be able to focus and lock in and not have mental mistakes.
Those are things that we think we can get a lot better, faster at, and we’re putting a lot of time and effort into those things. Y’all have a good one. We’ll talk at you soon, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports