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Archive for Thursday, April 19, 2007

The right man for the job is …

Mangino not ready to pick his QB starter

April 19, 2007

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One word on a standard college football depth chart smells of stalemate: "or."

Kansas University's football team has just one position without a clear first-teamer, according to its depth chart released Wednesday.

It's an important one, too. As expected, quarterbacks Kerry Meier and Todd Reesing haven't locked up either the starting or backup spot now that spring season is over, so the two-letter word "or" goes between them.

It's no surprise. KU coach Mark Mangino insists no one has taken a lead, and both Meier and Reesing think it's a deadlock between them.

The competition likely won't be resolved until August - if resolved is the right word.

"Resolved means it's a problem," Mangino said. "I don't see it as a problem."

Meier and Reesing had similar performances in Sunday's spring game at Memorial Stadium.

The longer it lasts, the more the question springs up: Will they both play on Sept. 1, when Kansas plays Central Michigan in the season opener?

The Jayhawks have done that in the past.

In 2005, Adam Barmann and Brian Luke played in the season opener against Florida Atlantic and split snaps in some Big 12 Conference games that year, too.

Even Meier and Reesing shared the ball against Iowa State and Missouri a year ago, though Meier was used significantly more.

Still, playing both is not a desirable solution for Mangino.

"I would like to have one guy be the No. 1 quarterback, and he be the guy," Mangino said. "I think that's the way it will play out. If it doesn't for some reason, I feel like a lot of teams have proven you can win rotating quarterbacks. Case in point is Florida."

The Gators thrived last season primarily using senior Chris Leak at quarterback. However, freshman Tim Tebow played plenty, too, even though Leak was healthy.

The two co-existed and led the Gators to a 13-1 mark and national championship. With Leak gone, Tebow's now the Gators' clear-cut guy heading into 2007.

A two-QB system doesn't sound likely in Lawrence this fall. But a one-player answer isn't ready to be revealed, either.

"It would be my hope that somebody will emerge as we continue repetitons into two-a-days, as we continue to put them in difficult situations," Mangino said. "One of them will surface as the No. 1 guy, but the No. 2 guy won't be far behind.

"We feel for the first time, we have two starting quarterbacks. We're just looking for one to completely take the job over."

Other notable developments on the new depth chart:

¢ Sophomore Jake Sharp is listed as the No. 1 running back, but it's Brandon McAnderson - not Donte Bean - listed as the backup. McAnderson also is the No. 1 fullback heading into the summer.

¢ There's no "or" at middle linebacker. Junior Joe Mortensen is listed as the first-team Mike linebacker, with junior Mike Rivera the backup.

¢ KU's first-team wide receivers include Marcus Henry, Marcus Herford and Dexton Fields. Jeff Foster, Raymond Brown and new receiver Angus Quigley are second-teamers.

¢ Just five seniors are among the 23 first-team spots on the offense and defense - McAnderson, Henry, tight end Derek Fine, right tackle Cesar Rodriguez and defensive tackle James McClinton. There are no freshmen, four sophomores (including one QB) and 14 juniors.

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