Initial thoughts at the quarterback position are that this is going to be tough. Sure Todd Reesing struggled through 2009, but he was a special player and someone who could make plays, see the field and keep things alive the way few can. As Kansas enters 2010, they need to find a replacement.
The good news, the other difficulty at the position is determining who should start. A two man competition between Jordan Webb and Kale Pick seems strong as ever. The hunch has and continues to be that Kale Pick will win out, but more and more it appears that Webb is unwilling to give up the position easily.
Projected Depth Chart
QB: Kale Pick, Jordan Webb, Quinn Mecham
Pick is a redshirt sophomore and the only quarterback on the roster to have seen any action at the division one level. Kansas hasn't been in the position of needing a new quarterback for several years now, so the fact that there has been a little preview into his abilities is reassuring in some respects.
During the 2009 campaign Pick was rarely given the opportunity to throw but did show the ability to make plays with his feet. At 6'1" 210 Pick has good size and while he's viewed by many as a quarterback that can run, he absolutely has the ability to throw the ball as well, he just needs the opportunity.
For what Kansas and Chuck Long will most likely want and need to do to be effective, Pick seems like the logical choice. His ability to run different sets, different styles and do well in those styles will be key to a Jayhawk team searching for a new identity after three years in the pass happy spread.
Webb continues to push for the starting job despite all indications that Pick will get the nod. His unwillingness to give up the position is making things difficult in camp, but in a good way.
Webb is your more prototypical spread quarterback with the ability to make the reads, make the throw and out of the two quarterbacks he does throw the better ball. He can stretch the field with his arm and make a crisp pass underneath just as easily.
Where he doesn't present the same options is with his feet. Certainly Webb can make plays with his feet, but it's not his game as much as a more classic passing style. If the staff decides the tools are in place to continue with the offense from years past, then Webb might be the guy.
In the end though, it's just nice to have options.
A junior college transfer that hasn't quite made the adjustment to the division one level. Mecham has good size at 6'3" 205, but so far he hasn't factored into the conversation at all when it comes to the quarterback competition. He was very successful at the junior college level, twice being named national player of the week in 2009. During his sophomore season he threw for over 3000 yards and 40 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions.
If for some reason both Pick and Webb go down it will be nice to have a junior college star like Mecham waiting for his opportunity. From there it's a matter of whether or not he can do anything with it.
Personally, I hope we don't get to that point.
Looking Beyond 2010
Obviously with Pick and Webb both still having two and three years of eligibility remaining after this season, 2011 and beyond figures to be much like 2010. Whoever snags the spot this year will likely spend spring and fall of next season defending that spot and earning it again unless they are able to take Kansas to a level not expected in 2010.
Also entering the picture beginning in 2011 will be Killeen Texas quarterback Michael Cummings. Cummings is a dual threat quarterback which has been the target all along for Chuck Long and Turner Gill and he measures 6' 200 pounds with upper 4.5 forty speed.
It's unlikely that we'd see a true freshman come in and snag the job away from both Pick and Webb, but after a redshirt year and maybe another year learning the system, Cummings could be the quarterback that Gill makes his mark with at Kansas.