College football has so many awards that one of these days you half expect someone to come up with a new one in honor of the nation's best backup quarterback. It could be called the Kerry Meier Award.
Meier's transition to receiver has been such a compelling development, what has been lost is how well he runs Ed Warinner's offense when Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Reesing is watching from the sideline.
By the time Meier switches roles, the opposing defense either is made up of second-stringers or first-stringers exhausted by getting abused all game. Still, that doesn't change that he has done such an efficient job of executing the plays called for him. Give the guy credit for keeping his head in the game when he could have been hanging it in the wake of losing the job to Reesing during preseason practices.
"I think it took probably a day," Meier said, asked how long it took him to get over the disappointment of being beaten out of the job he figured to have for four seasons. "I realized that Todd's the man for the job this year, and that's how it's going to be. I took it as motivation to work and realize maybe if that's Todd's job, I need to find another way to get on the field. I think I found a way. I'm enjoying what I'm doing now, and it's an effective role on the team."
In his role as a possession receiver, Meier has caught 20 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He has completed 25 of 29 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and has averaged 5.2 yards per carry on 15 rushes.
In the Memorial Stadium season finale, a 45-7 victory against Iowa State, Meier completed nine of nine passes, threw for a touchdown and caught three passes for 41 yards and one touchdown.
What's a bigger thrill, throwing one or catching one?
"I think they're equally great," Meier said. "Toward the end of the game, I was trying to get that running touchdown for the trifecta."
There never has been a hint of friction between Meier and the man who beat him out. Neither player let that happen. Each appreciates how hard the other works.
"Kerry's one of those guys who doesn't get many rests in practice," Reesing said. "He takes a rep at either receiver or quarterback almost every play. He's really worked hard to put himself in a position to have success as a receiver and help the team however he can. I think Kerry's done an unbelievable job making plays at receiver, but still knowing his job at quarterback. He's had a great attitude this season, and having guys like that on your team is really something positive. There are no sour apples on this team. There are no bad attitudes."
Nobody had to tell Meier that working beats sulking.
"Technically, I'm still a quarterback, so I have to improve my game as a quarterback because I'm one play away, being a 2," Meier said. "I've been getting equal reps. I'm taking it all in, trying to absorb all the information I can at quarterback and absorb all I can at wideout too. I think I adjust to whatever situation I'm put in, and I think adjust to it well. With each week, that's one more week of experience at the wide-receiver position. I'm getting a lot, lot more comfortable with what I'm doing there."
So far, only one of Meier's completions came on a trick play.