Dylan Meier has been the biggest question mark throughout both camps at the position- especially with his marked absence at the spring game. Injuries last year, coupled with his absence in spring has lead many questioning if Meier would return at all following a season where he could barely lift his right arm. It was obvious this tough as nails player was hurting towards the end of last years' season after many fans saw Dylan repeatedly pulling himself off the mat from one brutal hit after another. Nevertheless, Meier gutted it out, playing through injury where some have said his range of motion and throwing ability was severely hampered to lead the Cats on Saturdays.
This fall however, hope springs eternal as Meier is ahead of schedule in rehabbing his right shoulder and is squarely in the mix to reclaim his starting position.
"He's on schedule according to our trainers said Head Coach Bill Snyder actually he's ahead of schedule. Interesting this is Dylan was hurt early in the season, and at that point in time didn't practice, with the exception of the running game and handing the ball off. He didn't throw the ball until Saturday's. He still did a fairly decent job out there. I think with him being able to throw the ball on a regular basis, and practice daily will be a great asset for both him and us."
Meier's main competition this fall has been in fellow junior quarterback Allen Webb- who saw significant playing time last year and has shown flashes of potential and improvement in fall practices this year.
"I think that position will continue to be very competitive said Snyder. Allen Webb has made significant improvement through the course of our spring practices."
The knock on Webb has been his penchant at times to tuck the ball and run instead of buying more time with his feet and allowing for passing plays to develop. Although gifted as a runner, Webb will need to improve his passing for the Cats to mount the dual attack that will keep defenses honest this season. The addition of red shirt Allan Evridge has bolstered the competition at the position- a fact not lost on the players.
"The quarterback position is very competitive between Evridge, Meier and myself, said Webb. It's going to be a battle all the way to the start of the season because we have good quarterbacks. One thing I can tell you is that my job is just to play because I'm a player."
The one thing that all the Wildcats are commenting on is the hard work the team has put in during the spring and throughout summer break when players go their separate ways. This off-season attitude and work ethic has carried over into fall practices and has set the level for what is to be expected from this squad. The intensity from the coaches and the players have this fall camp resembling more of a football boot camp with effort and participation being stressed. With new faces and players joining the team, it has set the standard in Manhattan and within the program.
"I'm just trying to go out each practice and take it very seriously said Webb. I try to learn as much as I can and get better. I want to work with the team and get better as a team. I'm not going to lie the off season was intense, brutal, hard and very competitive," said Webb "but I'm really looking forward to this year."
As for the other quarterback in the mix - freshman red shirt Allan Evridge got his first taste of action during the spring game, making the most of his opportunities. Following spring practices, the scouting report on Evridge was that he is a quick learner and a player who should get several looks himself heading into the fall. With both Webb and Meier being juniors, Evridge is certain to see some action this fall as the Cats will almost certainly red-shirt touted freshman Kevin Lopina. Inexperience is the only drawback for Evridge, but with his ability to adapt and learn quickly he could see limited action.
The competition is fierce for the quarterback position at K-State and to this point it looks to be a two horse race between Meier and Webb with Evridge being counted on for snaps down the line. Who gets the job is anyone's guess but I think junior wide receiver Yamon Figurs put it best when talking about the close competition between these two signal callers.
"Both of them can get you the ball," said Figurs.
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