Carson Coffman Ready to Lead at QB

Bill Snyder took his time and waited until 12 noon Tuesday to issue the Kansas State media note package and then took center stage for his weekly press conference to announce that junior Carson Coffman would be starting at quarterback in Saturday's season opener against UMass. Winning the starting job over Gregory, both quarterbacks bring something different to the table...

Talk about a secret!

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder said he decided that Carson Coffman would be the starting quarterback for the Wildcats a handful of days ago, but kept it to himself until Tuesday's noontime press conference.

When Coffman strolled in during the players' segment of the weekly media day it was around 1:20.

Asked about how it felt to officially be No. 1 and the starter against UMass on Saturday night at 6:10, Coffman could only offer, "I haven't been told that yet."

When told, the junior signal caller said, ‘I'm excited. I've been waiting for a long time. I'm excited."

The 1-2 battle was between Coffman, who has been in the KSU program three seasons, and Grant Gregory, a sixth-year senior, who didn't arrive on campus until June after transferring from South Florida.

On the decision, Snyder said, "It really wasn't the easiest decision. I think both of them have made improvement. They are really beginning to get the big picture, which is obviously vital for a quarterback.

"Both of them still have room to grow and I look for it to continue to be a competitive position," said the KSU coach. "That's not just true at the quarterback position, but virtually every position that we have."

For those new to the players, Coffman is a 6-foot-3, 212-pound product out of Raymore-Peculiar High School in Missouri. It was as a prepster that he guided his club to undefeated seasons as a junior and senior, passing for 3,196 yards and 42 touchdowns.

Best friends with quarterback Josh Freeman in high school, and roommates at K-State, Coffman played in four games in 2007 and six more last year. For a career, he is 28-of-46 for 304 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Gregory, a native of Athens, Ohio, started his collegiate year at Indiana in 2004, transferred to South Florida in 2005, and became a backup to Matt Grothe in 2007 and 2008. Last year he passed for 104 yards completing half of his 20 passes.

"Both have had their good days and their bad days," said Snyder of the two signal callers. "When a bad day has come, they both have responded quite well. Both of them have the capacity to get the ball where it needs to be and both are learning the nuances and the totality of the offense."

Snyder went on to say that there was not a great deal of difference between the two that that both would play roughly half the game on Saturday.

The K-State coach indicated that the third-team position was held by redshirt-freshman Joseph Kassanavoid, a 6-5, 239-pound product from Lawson, Mo.

Coffman will be joined in the backfield by Daniel Thomas, a transfer from Northwest Mississippi Community College.

The 6-2, 227-pound junior will get the start over 5-8, 193-pound senior Keithen Valentine. In eight games last year, Valentine rushed for 129 yards.

"They are different types of athletes," Snyder said. "Daniel is a bigger and more physical runner. I think Daniel might be a little more fluid, while Keithen is more of a change-of-direction guy."

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