Vikings visitor: QB Keith Wenning
Ball State University Cardinals
Coldwater High School
The rifle-armed three-year starter shattered numerous school, game, season and career records, along with etching his name on more than a handful of Mid-American Conference all-time record charts. His senior season was one of the finest in league history, thanks to his ability to scan the field and make better decisions than he did in the past.
Wenning's problems during his first three years as a Cardinal were the high amount of tosses that were intercepted. Even though he managed to record a career-low seven interceptions as a senior, it still gave him 42 career pass thefts, which tied the school's all-time record.
Working hard to improve his footwork, balance and body control, along with showing better patience in the pocket, did lead to a decrease in his rushing output, but it also helped him set school season-records for pass attempts (498), completions (319), passing yards (4,148) and touchdown tosses (35). He would close out his college career as the Ball State record-holder with 1,642 pass attempts on 1,035 completions for 11,402 yards and 92 touchdowns.
Wenning's pass completions and attempts also rank third in Mid-American Conference annals, as his aerial yards and touchdown passes both placed fourth. Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, he ranks sixth with 1,832 plays participated in, seventh with 11,730 yards in total offense and fifth with 105 total touchdowns responsible for. He also ranks sixth for passing yardage, fifth for touchdown passes, fourth for interceptions, third for pass completions and second for attempts.
Wenning was the prize from Ball State's 2010 recruiting class, snatched away from Coldwater High School, where the Ohio native lettered in baseball, basketball and football. On the gridiron, he completed 334-of-485 passes (68.87%) for 4,579 yards and 54 touchdowns, as he also rushed for 2,366 yards and 22 scores during his career, as the Cavaliers compiled a 49-4 record during his three varsity seasons.
During his first season as a starter, Wenning led the team to the state title, and as a junior they lost in the title game. His finest campaign was his last one at the helm, as he was named Ohio Division V Offensive Player of the Year. The Cavaliers again finished as runners-up in the Ohio State championship. In that game, Wenning set the Ohio championship game records for completed passes (40) and passing yards (414).
Wenning guided the Cavaliers to a 13-2 record and a second place finish in the Midwest Athletic Conference, as the All-State, All-MAC and All-Ohio selection set the school season records for most yards passing (3,699) and most yards in total offense (4,713), in addition to establishing the annual mark with forty touchdown tosses and becoming the first quarterback to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Wenning would go on to complete 294-of-421 passes (69.8%) as a senior. He was also a three-time All-Conference choice in baseball, adding second-team All-State honors during his junior campaign. He was named to the All-Conference team in basketball, also as a junior.
As a true freshman, Wenning was inserted into the starting lineup for the final 10 games, but the team struggled to a 4-8 record, leading to the dismissal of head coach Stan Parrish. He managed to gain 1,373 yards behind 128-of-235 passes (54.47%) that included 14 touchdowns, but he was also intercepted 14 times. He scored twice carrying the ball, but finished with minus-three yards on 32 attempts.
With Pete Lembo taking over as head coach, his first announcement was that the quarterback position was Wenning's to lose. The sophomore guided the Cardinals to a respectable 6-6 record, as he piled up 2,786 aerial yards behind 287 completions, as his 449 attempts rank as the fourth-highest in school annals. He also had 19 touchdowns, but was picked off 11 times. He also reached the end zone three times on 57 carries for a career-best 182 yards.
Ball State recorded a 9-4 record and earned a berth in a bowl game (St. Petersburg) for just the sixth time in school history in 2012. Wenning became only the second player in Ball State annals to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season (3,095), hitting on 301-of-460 tries (65.43%), as his 24 touchdowns placed fourth on the school season-record list. He did throw 10 interceptions, but scored three times on 56 rushing attempts.
What made the 2012 season more impressive was that he played late in the year with a bone chip in his ankle, suffering what was first thought to be an Achilles tendon injury prior to the season finale vs. Miami (Oh.). His 2013 season was almost stalled when he underwent left knee surgery in August, 2013, but he would go on to start all 13 games, setting school season-records behind 319-of-498 passes for 4,148 yards and 35 touchdowns, tossing only seven interceptions, along with rushing for five scores.
After the season, Wenning, who again led the team to postseason action (GoDaddy Bowl), becoming the first quarterback in school history to play in multiple bowl games, had one last appearance as a collegian. He was named one of three quarterbacks to play for the West team in the 2014 East-West Shrine Game. Throughout the week-long practices, he proved to be the most consistent passer in attendance and impressed scouts with arm strength, placement and timing, despite often practicing in windy conditions.
Wenning appeared in 49 games for Ball State, starting his final 47 contests…Completed 1,035-of-1,642 passes (63.03%) for 11,402, 92 touchdowns and 42 interceptions…Carried 190 times for 328 yards (1.73 ypc) and 13 scores, gaining 11,730 yards on 1,832 plays and was responsible for 105 total touchdowns…Caught two passes for 29 yards and a touchdown, in addition to handling some "pooch" punting chores, as he kicked three times for 93 yards, including two that were downed inside the 20-yard line, in addition to recording a pair of solo tackles…
Mid-American Career-Record Results…Wenning ranks third in the league in pass completions and attempts, topped by Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan (1,171-of-1,763; 2006-09) and Zac Dysert of Miami, Ohio (1,066-of-1,672; 2009-12)…Placed fourth in league history with 11,402 yards passing and 92 touchdowns, taking his spot behind LeFevour (12,905 yards and 102 touchdowns), Dysert (12,013 yards), Byron Leftwich of Marshall (11,903 yards; 1999-2002), Chad Pennington of Marshall (100 touchdowns; 1997-99) and Tim Hiller of Western Michigan (99 scores; 2007-09)…Finished third in league history with 1,832 total plays and fifth with 11,730 yards in total offense…
School Career-Record Results…Wenning holds the school all-time records for pass attempts, completions, yards passing and touchdown tosses, surpassing the previous marks of 1,124 attempts, 678 completions, 9,233 aerial yards and 74 scoring strikes by Nate Davis (2006-08)…
School Season-Record Results…Wenning holds the top three spots on the school pass completion chart; 319 in 2013, 301 in 2012 and 287 in 2011…His 498 attempts in 2013 topped the old record of 478 by Nate Davis in 2007, as Wenning holds the third and fourth spots on that chart with 460 in 2012 and 449 in 2011…His 35 touchdown passes in 2013 set the school record and rank seventh on the conference list, surpassing the Cardinals old mark of 30 by Nate Davis in 2007, as Davis is also third with 26 in 2008 and Wenning checks in at fourth with 24 in 2012…
School Game-Record Results…The Cardinals have had a quarterback throw for 400 yards in six games during their career, with Wenning tallying 445 yards vs. both Kent State in 2012 and Miami, Ohio in 2013 and 434 vs. Northern Illinois as a juniore. The only other 400-yard contests were by Mike Neu (469 vs. Toledo in 1993), Nate Davis (422 vs. Nebraska in 2007) and Meil Britt (437 vs. Bowling Green in 1983).
2012 Season…Wenning caught a 17-yard pass from Jamill Smith in the second quarter of the Ohio University game, but suffered a bone chip in his left ankle, missing the season finale vs. Miami (Oh.). The injury was first feared to be an Achilles tendon tear, but he returned to play in the Cardinals' bowl game after wearing a boot for two weeks.
2013 Season…Wenning underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery in early August, missing most of preseason camp.
5.00 in the 40-yard dash…1.72 10-yard dash…2.88 20-yard dash…4.25 20-yard shuttle…7.07 three-cone drill…28-inch vertical jump…08'04" broad jump…31 ¼-inch arm length… 10-inch hands…75 1/8-inch wingspan.
Wenning attended Coldwater (Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach John Reed…Completed 334-of-485 passes (68.87%) for 4,579 yards and 54 touchdowns, as he also rushed for 2,366 yards and 22 scores during his career…The Cavaliers compiled a 49-4 record during his three varsity seasons…During his first season as a starter, Wenning led the team to the state title, and as a junior, they lost in the title game…His finest campaign was his last one at the helm, as he was named Ohio Division V Offensive Player of the Year…The Cavaliers again finished as runners-up in the Ohio state championship. In that game, Wenning set the Ohio state championship game records for completed passes (40) and passing yards (414)…Guided the Cavaliers to a 13-2 record and a second place finish in the Midwest Athletic Conference, as the All-State, All-MAC and All-Ohio selection set the school season records for most yards passing (3,699) and most yards in total offense (4,713), in addition to establishing the annual mark with 40 touchdown tosses and becoming the first quarterback to ever rush for 1,000 yards in a season…He would go on to complete 294-of-421 passes (69.8%) as a senior…Was also a three-time All-Conference choice in baseball, adding second-team All-State honors during his junior campaign…Named to the All-Conference team in basketball, also as a junior.
Wenning is majoring in Business, earning Academic All-Mid American Conference honors as a sophomore and is scheduled to graduate from Ball State with a 3.34 grade point average…Son of Cindy and Mike Wenning…Born Keith Allen Wenning on 2/14/91 in Cold-water, Ohio.
Dave-Te' Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. With the NFL Draft Report, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
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