Not exactly the Todd Reesing 2010 successor Labba mentioned, but a little different and more concerning look at the quarterback position and the future....or present...
Todd Reesing comes into the 2009 season a heralded Senior who has set or will set nearly every major passing record in the Kansas Jayhawk record book. I still remember the undersized freshman scrambling for two monster runs against the Colorado Buffaloes in 2006 and everyone suddenly take notice.
Spring 2007 a quarterback controversy ensued but by the end of the 2007 Orange Bowl season it was clear the right decision was made and the quarterback position was safe and secure through 2009. Now we've already begun the talk of who takes over in 2010. Will it be Kale Pick, Jordan Webb, Christian Matthews or even a player not on campus yet. Trying to sort this one out will be a hot topic in the off season to come.
Here's what hasn't had a lot of run though, and is a thought that most of us would rather not think. The doomsday scenario for Kansas football 2009 and a season ending injury to Todd Reesing. What happens next, is there a plan in place, who takes charge and are the pieces surrounding Todd strong enough to carry an inexperienced backup?
Sure the 2010 job is a question mark begging to be answered, but perhaps the more pressing concern should be who is the backup in '09 and are they ready to take the field?
A look at the possibilities after the jump...
Imagine this scenario, and knock on wood it won't happen but opening game Todd Reesing goes down and he's not getting up. The most prolific passer in Kansas football history see's his career come to an end prematurely. What now? The most talented team in recent Kansas memory and the one with the highest expectations suddenly loses it's leader and trigger man. A look to the sideline and who's that warming up? #19, #2, #12 or even maybe #10? The options are this Kerry Meier, Kale Pick, Jordan Webb and Christian Matthews.
For starters let's look at the backup in the spring game Kale Pick. For those who don't remember Pick was a pretty solid 3-Star prospect out of Dodge City Kansas who originally committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks in the fall of 2007. In that same fall Todd Reesing and the Jayhawks set the world on fire and I'm sure that any quarterback in the area took notice of what was happening in Lawrence. Pick ultimately changed his mind and chose to stay with the homestate Jayhawks. Standing 6'2" and 200 lbs. Pick has more size than Reesing and from a raw tools aspect he does posses a better arm and most argue more speed than Todd. The question with any replacement though will be the intangibles piece. Todd's uncanny pocket presence, his ability to keep his eyes downfield and flat out make the big play. All indications are Pick has taken well to the system and will be ready for 2010, but I'd be a little concerned in 2009 with the though of breaking in such a young offensive line at the same time we are breaking in a young quarterback. My thinking here, if Pick doesn't have that pocket presence, it won't matter how fast he is or how strong an arm because he might spend a lot more time on his back than upright making plays.
That brings us to option number two in Jordan Webb. The interesting thing with Webb and Pick is this, if it were to come down to these two it would be virtually the same scenario as Todd and Kerry Meier in '06. At that time Meier was the heir apparent, struggled with injury and was replaced by a midyear true freshman in Todd Reesing. Now that replacement was temporary in '06 but with the way things worked out who knows how Mangino would play his hand if the scenario exists again. The thing with Webb is this, he's been compared to Reesing as it is. He's slighly bigger but still undersized, he's worked in the spread his whole career and he's been reported to have a knack for keeping a play alive in the pocket. Again Pick probably has the edge in terms of the prototypical things you look for in a quarterback, but maybe Webb has the "it" factor that Todd brought to the table. Still though it's hard not to be a little leary of a true freshman making such a big splash. I mean, can lightning really strike twice?
The final two options are a bit different in my opinion. To me they take us from more of a pass first spread to a run first spread. I could be completely wrong on Matthews but I think in an ideal world scenario he might end up somewhere other than quarterback. That said if he's given the chance, he's show on film the ability to be a very effective runner and a fairly successful passer out of the spread. Another 3 star prospect Matthews is very athletic, shows the speed to break a play but might not be able to fully utilize the weapons on the field the way a better passing quarterback would. Again, I may be wrong but this is what's being said and has long been speculated regarding Matthews. Think of it like this, with Reesing Kansas is a true spread, with Matthews we may be back to the read option spread. Nothing against the read option or Matthews but with Briscoe, Wilson and Meier on the field, I want a pass first spread.
Last choice is Kerry Meier. I know, I know this was supposed to be the year that the Meier as a backup talk was going to stop. Sorry folks, if the doomsday scenario happens you can bet your bottom dollar this will be an option discussed. Kerry Meier as a reciever is great, as a teammate he's one of a kind and as a senior thrust back into the quarterback position I think he can be pretty damn good. Meier again was more in that read option mold and as a runner is more profficient than Todd but as a passer did leave some to be desired. Now who's to say though how things would have turned out. Meier only got a shot as a redshirt freshman and was hampered by injury, perhaps he has an equal season to Reesing in '07 if he wins the job? Overall though this is very much an option and Kerry brings an experience factor and leadership quality that none of the other three can match to date. The question is do you really want to breakup the trio of Meier, Briscoe and Wilson, who will comprise one of the scariest recieving corps in the Big 12 this year.
In the end, who's it going to be? I'm tempted to say Kerry Meier because he seems like the safe choice. Then I'm tempted to go with Jordan Webb because he draws those comparisons to our current signal caller. Of course then there is the thought of a Christian Matthews turning into that explosive dual threat quarterback like a Robert Griffin from Baylor. In the end though, for me it's Kale Pick.
Kale Pick is capable throwing the ball, running the ball and he's had a year and a half to prepare. Pick was a mid year in '07 so while his year says redshirt freshman, he's nearly a redshirt sophomore. This scenario keeps the triumverate of Meier, Briscoe and Wilson intact. If needed Tim Biere has shown the ability to max protect on passing scenario's to give ample protection with a young line. Plus, I've got to believe that if we are to consider ourselves a program on the rise and not a flash in the pan that we have to believe in the depth developing in our system. That means that we don't have to make wild choices when these things happen. We don't have to throw a Kerry Meier back into a quarterback role or a true freshman in as a starter on a potential BCS team.
Kale Pick is the guy that was recruited for this, has prepared for this and at least for the time being is the best choice and the choice that can continue the momentum should doomsday 2009 strike Lawrence.
Next question...does Todd apply for a medical redshirt? : D