ARLINGTON, Texas (KSNT) – Kansas head football coach Lance Leipold took time at Big 12 Media Days to share his excitement for the potential turnaround of the program.
“I think our players have embraced it. We’re not in the moral victory business, we understand that completely. Becoming better holistically, academically, better teammates,” Leipold said. “That will help us on game day. When an 1-8 football game goes on the road and gets the win…it shows signs of what we can do.”
The first sign of the turnaround came during the spring game, where the defense stood out to the second-year coach.
“The volume and confidence of communication on defense is night and day from the fall,” Leipold said. “We understand it more, we’re confident, this is what we do.”
Leipold shared his joy that no Jayhawks in the regular rotation left for the transfer portal. Kansas is returning every player from the two-deep roster (starter and backup), unless they graduated.
“I’m very proud of the fact that we haven’t lost anyone in our two-deep, didn’t lose anyone outside of graduation,” Leipold said.
Kansas took until the first game to name a starting quarterback last year. Quarterback Jalon Daniels was brought to media days, perhaps hinting that a decision at quarterback has been made.
“I haven’t named Devin Neal the starting running back either,” Leipold joked. “We know right now where Jalon is, what we expect him to do. A year ago, I wouldn’t have known. To know where we’re at at the quarterback position in July is night and day from last year.”
Kansas’ win over Texas last season was a big boost for the program, but Leipold doesn’t think that the upset was a fluke.
“When you beat a program with the success like Texas…it’s something we’re going to be proud of,” Leipold said. “I was proud of the preparation that our guys were still having. There’s times in college football when guys could go through the motions; our guys didn’t do that.”
Leipold says that the win has helped with recruiting in the state. Three of Kansas’ verbal commitments for next season come from Texas.
“I’m not as scared to go into those Texas high schools anymore,” Leipold said.