This is the second of three columns on the candidates to win the starting quarterback job at Kansas.
Wednesday: Quinn Mecham
Today: Jordan Webb
Friday: Kale Pick
Brent Eckley, head coach of Union (Mo.) High, was asked to name a quarterback similar to his former star pupil, Jordan Webb, who will try to become the starting quarterback at Kansas University as a red-shirt freshman.
Flipping through a mental rolodex, Eckley said, “He’s not at all like the Missouri quarterback (Blaine Gabbert), as far as being a prototypical NFL quarterback pocket guy. He’s not like that at all. He has elusiveness, but he’s not what you’d call a prototypical dual-threat guy, either.”
Then it hit him.
“I don’t think, style-wise, he’s a whole lot different from (Todd) Reesing in the fact he’s able to move his feet, get them set to throw the ball, not necessarily a dual-threat, but you at least have to respect his ability to run, get him pinned in,” Eckley said, sending sweet music to the ears of Kansas football fans.
Eckley didn’t coach QB candidates Quinn Mecham and Kale Pick, so he’s biased. Still, I had to ask: Would he be shocked if Webb won the job?
“I would actually almost be disappointed if that’s not the case,” Eckley said. “When you talk about guys having ‘it,’ he has ‘it,’ that factor.”
Eckley said Webb compiled a 30-4 record as a three-year starter at the school that’s 50 miles southwest of St. Louis.
“After his freshman year, he came in a week after the season was over and said, ‘What do I need to do to start getting better?’ From that point on, he continually asked what he needed to do and then did it. I would be surprised if he doesn’t win it. That’s just my two cents, but we also spent every day together for four years.”
Eckley said Webb’s ability to hear something once, retain it forever and apply it to different situations made him different from anyone he has coached.
Webb’s sharp mind enabled him to learn a lot from Reesing.
“If you’re not, you’re not watching closely enough,” Webb said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen at making plays out of nothing. And I learned from Todd how to be a leader, how to carry yourself on the field. Even going through the injury he had, he came out every day and competed. And he showed toughness. ... During games, you could tell he was hurting, but he was trying his hardest and really trying to get it done for the guys around him.”
Webb said he was fired up when he heard the news that Turner Gill “a college football legend,” in Webb’s words — had been hired. He said he became even more excited after sitting down with the former Nebraska quarterback.
“He makes a person really comfortable,” said Webb, known for his strong arm. “He’s got great people skills. He’s just an upbeat person. He’s fun to be around. I can already tell that. I think he’s going to be great for the program.”
If Webb’s high school coach’s instincts ring true, Webb, too, will be great for the program.