It all starts with belief.

Jalon Daniels believes he can turn around Kansas football. He lost every game of his freshman season. He lost the starting quarterback job last fall. He still believed.

Lance Leipold believed in Daniels enough that he and his staff didn’t do the easy thing and bring in a transfer quarterback this offseason. To the head coach, building this program the right way means investing in the kids who do things the right way.

Kansas starting 3-0 is a surprise to everyone but them. Last year, the Jayhawks established belief. This year, they’re building confidence. And they are playing with a ton of it during this remarkable beginning to Leipold’s second season. This program hadn’t won three in a row since 2009. It just pulled off back-to-back road wins for the first time since 2007.

Kansas hasn’t had a winning season since Daniels was a 6-year-old. For most of his lifetime, the Jayhawks have been stuck in the basement of the Big 12. How do they get out? They build around dedicated players like him who are too relentlessly positive to believe this program is doomed to keep failing.

“I’ve never seen him in a bad mood,” Leipold said. “He’s got a bounce in his step, he’s smiling and he’s excited to be here.”

And he’s leading the No. 3 scoring offense in the FBS. Two years ago, you wouldn’t have seen this coming from Daniels. He struggled badly early on as a 17-year-old true freshman starter trying to make plays for a winless team. His college career has provided more challenges than he ever could’ve expected, but he’s playing better than ever because he got through them. Now Daniels is ready to achieve the unbelievable at Kansas.

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

Kansas was the best offer Daniels had coming out of Los Angeles. He was ranked the No. 129 quarterback in the Class of 2020. He didn’t even have the option to stay close to home. Until the Jayhawks entered the picture, his top five included Air Force, Army, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State and Eastern Washington.