Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2007

QBs unsure who’s ahead

Spring competition ‘a deadlock,’ Meier says

April 12, 2007


At this point, Kerry Meier and Todd Reesing both are pretty clueless as to who's leading Kansas University's quarterback competition.

"It's a deadlock right now," Meier said. "It's not me that makes the decision, but I'm going to come out each day and put my best foot forward to try to make the decision easy on the coaches."

Reesing is in the same situation. Both have been switching off first-team repititions all through spring practices, which continued Wednesday at Memorial Stadium and will finish Sunday with the spring football game.

"As of right now, we each have our days," Reesing said. "One day one person will look better, and the other day it will be the next guy.

"I think it will be a while before one of us elevates : over the other guy."

The good thing is, the competition comes without an asterisk. Both quarterbacks have been 100 percent healthy throughout the spring, which is particularly significant for Meier.

The starting quarterback when healthy last year, Meier missed several games because of an injury to his throwing shoulder that was aggravated at least once. Meier confessed Wednesday he wasn't 100 percent at the end of the year, though it was more strength than it was pain.

"Our training staff, our lifting staff - we got after it," Meier said. "I'm right back to where I was."

If it is the neck-and-neck race that all parties say it is - KU coach Mark Mangino isn't revealing if either QB has the edge - that could make Sunday's spring game all the more intriguing.

It's expected the two quarterbacks will square off against

each other, with Tyler Lawrence getting his share of repititions, too. Of course, it's possible that Meier and Reesing interchange between first and second team, much like they've done for the last month.

"We think the competition is healthy," Mangino said. "But we're also doing this because we want more than one quarterback ready, because they come in handy."

Mangino would know. In his five years as KU's coach, he's never had a quarterback come close to starting every game in a season, almost always because of injury. Meier's struggles with his shoulder last year were only the end of a long line.

When spring ball started, it may have been easy to speculate that it was Meier's job to lose. But Mangino instead said Meier was the "incumbent" but declared the job was anybody's to win.

"It's always encouraging to know you're going to have a chance to compete," said Reesing, who played parts of three games late in the 2006 season. "All you can really ask for is a chance. If you get a chance and blow it, that's on you. But if you get a chance and you go out there and do your best, that's all you can ask for."

Don't expect any answer to come Sunday. Though Meier clearly distanced himself from the field in winning the starting job before last year's spring game, it doesn't look so obvious this time. Mangino said it was "unlikely" a starter would be named after spring ball, meaning the battle will rage on.

Not that it's a bad thing. At least the battlers don't seem to think so.

"I look at it as motivation," Meier said. "If that spot's up for grabs, I'm going to work my hardest to earn it."


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