Cummings to start as quarterback on Saturday

Kansas head coach Charlie Weis announced yesterday that freshman Michael Cummings will start this Saturday against Texas in the University’s 100th homecoming. Weis updated the depth chart, and Cummings is listed first.

Last week, Weis had both Cummings and Dayne Crist listed at the top of the depth chart. This week, however, Weis decided it was time to move on and make the switch to Cummings.

Ashleigh Lee/KANSAN
Freshman quarterback Michael Cummings gets ready to throw the ball to an open teammate during Saturday, Oct. 20′s game against Oklahoma at the Gaylord Family- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla. where the Jayhawks lost 7-52.

“At this point, when you’re 1-6 and things haven’t gone real well, I think you owe it to your team to see what you’ve got,” Weis said.

Cummings received playing time in the second half of the games against Kansas State and Oklahoma State. While Cummings has practiced with the team,

Weis gave him his first taste of playing football at the college level. From there, Cummings worked his way up.

Cummings had an opportunity to impress his coaches in the last three weeks, including his first career start last Saturday.

“Mike had a fine performance for all the circumstances,” quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus said. “He certainly has room to grow and things to get better at.

But I thought he handled himself well in the situation, and I thought he managed his part of the operation fine. My mindset changed being the starter. But as far as my expectations, they haven’t changed.”

Powlus defined Cummings as a calm and collected player. Cummings said he will mentally prepare before the game to ensure he keeps a clear head on Saturday.

“Being named the starter definitely helps you prepare mentally in a different aspect for the game,” Cummings said. “I feel like I’m going to prepare all week like I know how. I’m prepared to lead the team when my number is called.”

After redshirting his first year at Kansas, Cummings finds himself earning the opportunity he always dreamed of. Cummings said he wants to take advantage of it and continue to finish the season as the starting quarterback.

“As long as I got a chance to compete, that’s all you can ask for,” Cummings said. “All you can ask for is a chance. I just kept my faith, kept my notes and kept working.”

Even though Cummings will start as quarterback, Crist remains an important player on the team. Weis said Crist will keep his role as a captain because his teammates voted for him.

Cummings said he also received advice from Crist and hopes to eventually apply the lessons Crist has taught him.

“Since Dayne’s been here, he’s been a great influence on me,” Cummings said. “Him being a fifth-year senior, he has insight that I won’t have until I’m a fifth-year senior. If I can get it from him, then I’ll be able to build on that and have more insight to give somebody else down the line.”

  • Updated Oct. 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm
  • Edited by Allison Kohn