Battle for QB - Life After Freeman

Carson Carson is No. 1 ... for now. With Josh Freeman peddling his talents to the NFL, the search is on for the next Wildcat quarterback. Will it be Coffman, or will it be unproven redshirt-freshmen Collin Klein or Joseph Kassanavoid? A hint: Don't expect an answer until August.

He's gone.

His school record 680 completions, 1,151 attempts, 8,078 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 8,421 yards of total offense ... are gone. All gone.

Josh Freeman is only days away from the April 25-26 National Football League Draft leaving the position of quarterback of the Wildcats there for the taking.

"Coach says it's wide open," said Collin Klein. "We're all working as hard as we can." Joseph Kassanavoid adds, "Coach says no positions are set. There's not a lock down on any position, so all of us are competing for spots."

And Mr. Carson Coffman?

"The first day of practice I'm No. 1 because of my experience, but we're all getting reps in 7-on-7," Coffman said. "We'll see how it goes." Coffman, a 6-foot-3, 212-pound junior, saw action in six games last year. He completed 61 percent of his passes for 282 yards and one touchdown.

Kassanavoid (6-5, 239 redshirt freshman) and Klein (6-5, 227, redshirt freshman) were redshirts last season.

Other in-camp candidates are Trey Scott (6-2, 205, sophomore) and Milton McPeek (6-4, 219, redshirt freshman), while expected to arrive in the fall is Northwest Mississippi Junior College recruit Daniel Thomas.

While his academic eligibility has been in question, coach Bill Snyder gave every indication that he would be in camp in August.

Of his edge through experience over the other players, Coffman said, "I've been waiting for an opportunity for a long time. It was hard playing behind Josh. He was my best friend, but now I feel like it's my time to take over. I'm excited."

Coffman says he was "bugged" a little when he wasn't recruited by Snyder out of high school, but adds that it has all worked out for the best.

As a prepster, he passed for 3,196 yards and 42 touchdowns for Raymore-Peculiar High School, where he QBed undefeated teams in 2004 and 2005. Kassanavoid was a three-sports star at Missouri's Lawson High School where he played football, baseball and basketball. He passed for 1,464 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior, plus rushed for 352 yards and 11 scores.

Klein was ranked as Colorado's seventh best player by Scout.com after passing for 1,398 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior year in Loveland, Colo.

All likely fit Ron Prince's pro-style offense better than Snyder's quarterback-run concept, but each is looking forward to the challenge. Klein said he ran everything from a spread to a tight-wing offense as a prepster, while Coffman prepped in a wing-T offense, as did Kassanavoid.

Each candidate points to Coffman as the leader in experience, and Kassanavoid, who is considered to be a professional pitching prospect, as having the strongest arm.

"I feel like I can fit in very well in any offense," Kassanavoid said. "I know I can play physical football. I can take a hit, pop up, and be ready to go again. I may not be as fast, but I'm a pretty physical guy. I'm a linebacker playing quarterback."

Snyder kept mum on the offensive system that would be put in place, but only assured that it would be ready to go by August.

"It's quite understandable that you can't do it all. We have no intent of being able to do it all, but we will implement every bit of our offense, every single bit of it, and then we will assess how well the young people in our program fit into areas of that offensive package," Snyder said. "Where we seem to fit in the best in terms of personnel, we will extract that part of it to build the foundation for the coming season.

"There are maybe some things you hang your hat on that might be basic, but by and large, it will all be determined by what our young people are capable of doing," Snyder said.

"It would be inappropriate to put a youngster in a situation to attempt something that he does not have the capacity to accomplish."


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