With A New Outlook, Offensive Leaders Meet with Media Monday

Sophomore quarterback T.J. Millweard taking snaps during Monday’s fall camp practice.
Returning Offensive Stats from 2013
Category Returning Total PCT.
Rushing Yards 608 1849 33%
Passing Yards 227 1685 13%
Receiving Yards 1054 1685 63%
Touchdowns 13 22 59%
Points 106 184 58%
Rushing Leaders Career Stats
Name Att. Yds. TD Avg. Long
B. Bourbon 81 422 4 5.2 51
T. Cox 97 508 3 6.2 39
Receiving Leaders Career Stats
Name Rec. Yds. TD Avg. Long
N. Harwell 229 3,166 23 13.8 82
J. Mundine 41 498 8 12.1 35
T. Pierson 53 668 3 12.6 77
Quarterback Leader Career Stats
Name C-A-I Yds. TD Long
M. Cozart 23-63-2 227 0 45
Punting Leader Career Stats
Name No. Yds. Avg. Long In20 50+
T. Pardula 84 3,668 43.7 78 25 25
Offensive Line Leaders Career Stats
Name 2013 Honors
N. Fusimalohi Honorable Mention All-Big 12
P. Lewandoski Academic All-Big 12 First Team

Fall Camp Central

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After isolated thunderstorms forced the Kansas football team indoors on Sunday, the team returned outside to mild temperatures and sunny skies for its fourth practice of fall camp on the fields located adjacent to Memorial Stadium on Monday.
Before the team strapped-on shoulder pads for the second day, designated offensive leaders had a chance to meet with the media about the sense of urgency to have success this upcoming season.
Although the 2014 edition of the Kansas offense will have some new faces in key positions, experience isn’t going to be something that is lost. Among the nine ‘offensive leaders’ selected to speak to the media Monday, every one of them has seen significant snaps in the past, while five have been named all-conference or all-america selections in their career.
Poised to lead the team at quarterback in only his second collegiate season will be sophomore Montell Cozart. While primarily recognized as a scrambler, Cozart has had to field many questions regarding his accuracy throwing the ball down field. The sophomore signal-caller listed why he thought he was missing receivers last year and believes that things he worked on in the offseason will lead to a better completion percentage in 2014.
“Jitters, not being comfortable in the offense and not having confidence in myself,” Cozart said. “I worked on widening my base in the pocket, being more equal, (Staying) more comfortable in the pocket and being patient. I think those four things I worked on have definitely helped my accuracy.”
Lining up next to Cozart and entrusted to grind-out the tough yards will be a duo of senior running backs, Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox. After playing behind KU’s third all-time leading rusher for the last four seasons, both backs are willing and anxious to fill the void left to them. Bourbon cited an energized and focused mentality coming into this season.
“I’m pumped and excited. I’m ready to get these scrimmages going and some games going,” Bourbon said. “You can tell the coaches are excited to get it going too. There is always new hope going into a season, but this year does feel different.”
One thing the Jayhawks definitely want to be different this season is the production from the wide receiver position. Lined up out wide will be a talented and deep core of receivers led by senior Nick Harwell who transferred to Kansas and had to sit last season out. Harwell mentioned that so far the group is performing well and there is ongoing competition amongst wide outs to earn a spot on the field.  
“I feel like we are looking really good,” Harwell said. “We have made major strides since the spring and we just keep looking to be better. Everyone is trying to earn their spot. It is fun just to go out and compete against each other.”
If either of the above for mentioned groups fails to move the ball and secure a first-down, the Jayhawks have confidence in the preseason Ray Guy award member, senior Trevor Pardula, to pin opponents deep in their own territory. Last year, Pardula consistently backed-up opposing offenses after he booted 25 balls 50 yards or more and downed 25 of his punts inside the 20-yard line. This year, Pardula hopes to come out with an even stronger leg than before.
“Over the summer I did strength and flexibility training,” Pardula said. “It plays a huge role in kicking and punting and whenever you can add to those areas it definitely improves your punting and kicking. Every time I go out I want to help the team the best I can and put the opponent in the worst possible position.”
Hoping to keep Pardula off of the field as much as possible, All-Big 12 senior offensive lineman Ngalu Fusimalohi looks to command the trenches under the tutelage of first-year offensive line coach/offensive coordinator John Reagan. Fusimalohi believes Reagan is creating depth at the position, while the cohesiveness of the group is going to be a big difference this season.
“(The depth), it’s good, it gives us a chance to compete for our spot,” Fusimalohi said. “Everything we do, it gives us more (depth) at our position. Connecting and coming together and being on the same page, I think really that is what the offensive line is about. You can’t play as an individual on the offensive line.”
Not to be forgotten amongst the offensive linemen he used to line up next to is senior tight end Jimmay Mundine who led the Jayhawks in receiving touchdowns a season ago. Mundine believes that talent has never been the issue, but the cohesiveness of the team is something that is improving and is going to translate into success on the field.
“I’m seeing a lot of guys come together and believe in one another,” Mundine said. “From the offensive line, to the receivers, to the quarterbacks and running backs. Talent has not been the question since I’ve been here. It’s about us coming together and making it happen.”
Looking Ahead
The day the Jayhawks have been waiting for has nearly arrived. Kansas will suit up in full pads for the first time this season on Tuesday. Just before the players take to the field to practice their tackling technique, requested defensive backs will meet with members of the press at 12:30 p.m.
Fans can get their first opportunity to see the 2014 edition of the Kansas football team on Saturday, Aug. 16 for Fan Appreciation Day. The festivities will take place at Memorial Stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. Practice will end at 4:15 p.m., and those in attendance will have the opportunity to get autographs from players and staff who will be set up around the newly renovated field inside the stadium.
To stay up to date during fall camp follow the Jayhawks online via 2014 Fall Camp Central and on Twitter @KU_Football.
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