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Archive for Monday, December 13, 2010

Zack Stoudt chooses Ole Miss

Juco QB passes on Jayhawks

December 13, 2010, 6:13 p.m. Updated December 14, 2010, 12:00 a.m.

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Zack Stoudt, the No. 2-ranked junior-college quarterback in the country, will not be coming to Kansas University.

Stoudt, one of the top priorities on the KU coaching staff’s recruiting board, orally committed to Mississippi on Monday night, marking a sour end to weeks of anticipation and effort by the Jayhawks.

KU was one of seven schools that extended a scholarship offer to Stoudt, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound, pro-style quarterback from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In October, KU coach Turner Gill drove to Iowa to watch Stoudt play. Stoudt returned the favor by making a visit to Lawrence the weekend of Nov. 20 for the Jayhawks’ game against Oklahoma State. At the time, all signs seemed to indicate that Stoudt would commit to KU.

“Right now, Kansas is my favorite,” Stoudt said on Nov. 23. “Those other schools are going to have to beat them out.”

One did, and, now, KU is left scrambling. It appears that Mississippi’s conference and history of producing NFL-caliber quarterbacks was a big pull for the Ohio native.

“It came down to the opportunity to play in the SEC,” Stoudt told Neal McCready of Rivals.com. “On top of that, the opportunity to play at Ole Miss is very good. Coach (Houston) Nutt is a great guy, and I really liked (co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) coach (Dave) Rader. They need a guy to come in, and the spot is wide-open.”

Stoudt also told McCready that informing the KU coaches of his decision was tough.

“They are a great group of guys,” he said. “Coach (Chuck) Long was as good a guy as I’ve ever been around. He probably would’ve been a great coach for me.”

Losing out on Stoudt is a big blow for the Jayhawks, who will enter the spring with just two experienced quarterbacks, Jordan Webb and Quinn Mecham, on the roster.

Webb was the Jayhawks’ leading passer this year as a red-shirt freshman, but his stats and sporadic play overall were underwhelming. He finished 121-of-214 (56.5 percent) for 1,195 yards, with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. Webb also added 84 yards rushing in nine games, including seven starts.

Mecham, in four starts, had a higher completion percentage than Webb (61-of-102, 59.8 percent) and threw for 554 yards and four TDs, with five interceptions.

Other existing options for the Jayhawks in 2011 include a pair of former quarterbacks now listed as wide receivers.

Kale Pick, the junior-to-be who was KU’s opening day starter at quarterback in 2010, and Christian Matthews, a highly touted dual-threat QB out of high school, also have experience at the position. But it’s highly unlikely that either player would return to quarterback next season. Late last month, Gill said Pick was “on board at receiver, full-throttle, ready to go.” And Matthews hasn’t taken many meaningful snaps at QB throughout his KU career.

Help is on the way, but that help won’t arrive until August and will come in the form of true freshman Michael Cummings, a 6-foot, 196-pound dual-threat quarterback from Killeen, Texas, who missed the second half of his senior season because of a knee injury and still is on crutches. Cummings shapes up as a likely red-shirt candidate.

Cummings committed to Kansas in June and is expected to sign in February. He said the chance to play for Gill and Long, KU’s offensive coordinator, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

“Playing for them will be the best of worlds,” Cummings told Rivals in June. “They were both great quarterbacks. Coach Gill was a mobile quarterback and coach Long was more of a pocket-passer. So they will be great coaches that can help me a lot. I spent a lot of time around them. Coach Gill is a man who knows what he wants to do with his program. He wanted me to be a part of it.”

Comments

ecilop 3 years, 4 months ago

Many of you sound like closet Missery fans. There will be a large improvement next year, although because of the schedule it may not show that soon.

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irvan moore 3 years, 4 months ago

rather play for Nutt than Gill? what could he have been thinking?

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amesn 3 years, 4 months ago

No kidding..all of these so-called "fans" act like we had a winning record after Mangino's first year here! Does 2-10 ring a bell?? Its like they expected Turner to come in and turn everything around in one season and that we should have been playing in the Big 12 championship this year already! There is much work to be done and like someone said it takes time, but I truly believe TG is on a great path to success. Not to sound preachy but I like how TG has brought back integrity to this program, he is ethical with very good morals-and I'm sure the mothers of the recruits would MUCH rather engage in conversation staring at his face then looking at Mangino's jowls!

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Danimal 3 years, 4 months ago

Give Coach Gill and his staff a break. I don't remember anyone moaning about that awful Mark Mangino after his inaugural season at KU, mostly because no one paid attention to KU football back then. Seriously though, why would any hot shot QB prospect pick KU? What was Gill selling him on? That he would have no receivers to throw to, or rarely have a pocket to throw out of? KU is not even close to good right now so no sane JuCo QB is going to take a chance on KU.

Anyone that watched Gill and his assistants salvage Mangino's last recruiting class has got to know these guys can recruit. KU wouldn't have even been on this kids radar if it weren't for Gill and Long. Like I've said before, this is one of the most talented coaching staffs KU has ever had. Give them some time and some love and support and I think they'll bring success back to KU football.

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kubacker 3 years, 4 months ago

As long as Gill is here we're screwed. We were told he "is the man" because he is a world class recruiter that players and their parents just can't say no to. Truth - he can't coach at this level and he sure as hell can't recruit at this level. We're not going to get any kids with any real talent as long as that loser is our head coach.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Someone on the football message board said that there is a real QB stud in the Jayhawk Juco Conference. Anyone know anything about him?

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kshusker 3 years, 4 months ago

Of course, I was hoping he would select KU. The sooner KU can find a quality quarterback the better. It makes life alot easier for everyone associated with the team. I think a Juco QB is a good solution right now. It truly does all start with the offensive line and the quarterback.

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pigballin 3 years, 4 months ago

I wonder how Blake Bell out of Wichita is feeling now since picking OU? He is 3rd string behind another red shirt frosh.It looks like he will be riding the bench for maybe forever as a back up.

Ku could have been his experience to play instead of riding the pine.

Now ,,where does Gill go now? Wishbone offense?

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pigballin 3 years, 4 months ago

I have been to that part of the country and it not impressive,,just like Tuscaloosa ,Alabama,,another college town and campus that is so boring in many ways. Humidity will be a killer there. And the mosquitas.

I bet they had the girls hanging in around.

So that means KU will be hurting big time on offense,because what they have now is NAIA.

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riverdrifter 3 years, 4 months ago

Not surprised at all. KU is not a good fit for JuCo QB. Recruit one out of HS and let him mature with the team.

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MustHaveSalt 3 years, 4 months ago

Not that playing here will be easy in the new Big 12 next season, but Ole Miss creates a partial vacuum, if you get my drift. LSU, Ark, Fla and Bama are better. Auburn likely will lose Newton, but still. And, Tenn and UGa won't be down forever. For his sake, I hope he is "stout."

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