Loaded at Quarterback

There are few teams in the Big 12 Conference with a better quarterback situation than the Kansas Jayhawks.

Everybody knows about Exhibit One. Todd Reesing returns after setting school records in attempts, completions, passing yards, completion percentage and touchdowns. The senior signal caller, somewhat jokingly listed at 5-foot-11, will own just about every Kansas passing record in the book by the time he finishes, and probably deserves mention as one of the school's best quarterbacks.

But Reesing hasn't just been good for a Kansas quarterback, he's been one of the top big-conference passers of all time. Only three BCS Conference quarterbacks have thrown for more than 100 touchdown passes in their careers, a group that Reesing would join by throwing 32 touchdowns this season. Only two active BCS Conference quarterbacks rank ahead of Reesing in passing touchdowns, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, with McCoy boasting one more season as a starter.

With just 2,500 more yards through the air, he would also join an elite group of 10,000-yard passers, a mark that only two Big 12 quarterbacks have hit (both of the others were Mike Leach products).

Perhaps most importantly, Reesing has been a winner. While Jayhawk fans are infinitely familiar with Reesing's Border War heroics last season, the game was just one of 20 that the Jayhawks have won with Reesing at the helm, as compared to just six losses. Reesing is also the only Jayhawk quarterback to pilot Kansas to two consecutive bowl games, and owns two of the Jayhawks' six bowl wins.

But while Reesing is a known commodity, what makes the Kansas quarterback situation especially strong is how well the team would be able to carry on if Reesing were to go down. The Jayhawks are one of just two teams — Baylor is the other — that has the option of a former season-long starter as a backup quarterback. Exhibit Two would be Kerry Meier, who started the 2006 season and gave Reesing a run in the 2007 preseason before conceding the job and making the move to receiver.

In his one year as a starter, Meier held a 4-3 record in games he started and finished, throwing for a Kansas freshman record 13 touchdown passes. He's been even better ever since, completing 28 of the 32 passes he threw as a sophomore and junior for a staggering 87.5 percent accuracy. Those passes went for 349 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Still, Meier's best asset may be his legs, as he's racked up 419 yards and six scores on the ground.

In that way, Kale Pick seems to be more Meier and less Reesing. The redshirt freshman with the inside track at the quarterback-of-the-future spot surprised coaches with his wheels once he came to campus a year ago. Pick showed those legs in the spring game, rushing for 31 yards—a number that would have been quite a bit larger if defenders weren't playing one-hand touch. But Pick is hardly a one-trick pony … coming out of Dodge City High School, he was known for his accuracy and great touch on deep throws.

Pick's primary competition for the job next year will come from a pair of true freshmen in Jordan Webb and Christian Matthews. Webb, who enrolled last spring, has outstanding accuracy and touch on his throws, while Matthews is a high-level athlete and scrambler with wide receiver speed and great leadership skills.

Reesing has the number one job on lock down, but there will be some interesting things on down the depth chart. Pick will likely receive grooming for the future this year, while Meier would fill in at quarterback should Reesing get hurt.

Key quarterbacks:
  • Todd Reesing, 5-11 200, senior
  • Kerry Meier, 6-3 221, senior
  • Kale Pick, 6-2 200, redshirt freshman
  • Jordan Webb, 6-1 210, freshman
  • Christian Matthews, 6-2 194, freshman

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