Big 12: Gerry DiNardo

Coffman's KSU starting QB quest still has several hurdles

April, 29, 2009
4/29/09
12:13
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman appears to have emerged among the players currently practicing for the Wildcats, moving past redshirt freshmen Collin Klein and Joseph Kassanavoid during spring practice.

But we shouldn't immediately anoint Coffman as the Wildcats' starter for their Sept. 5 opener against Massachusetts.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported today that Grant Gregory, a backup quarterback at South Florida, will transfer into the KSU program to attend graduate school. Because of that, he will be able to play immediately.

Gregory was beaten out by Matt Grothe for the Bulls' starting quarterback. But he apparently was encouraged to consider KSU by USF coach Jim Leavitt, a former assistant coach under Bill Snyder during Snyder's earlier coaching tenure with the Wildcats.

"I'm going to K-State," Gregory told the Capital-Journal. "We're just getting everything finalized with my admission into the graduate school ... I'll be out there definitely by June 1 if not earlier."

KSU will be Gregory's third career school after he began his career at Indiana. After redshirting as a freshman after a stress fracture of his back, he opted to transfer after coach Gerry DiNardo was fired after that season.

He then moved to South Florida where his career hopes as a starter were scuttled after he sustained a thumb injury early in his first season of eligibility with the Bulls. Grothe eventually emerged as the Bulls' starter and Gregory was his primary backup the last two seasons. Gregory completed 17 of 30 passes for 280 yards and four touchdowns during that period.

Snyder has repeatedly said he's already expecting competition for Coffman when junior-college transfer Daniel Thomas arrives in June.

"He's very capable and we'll give him every opportunity at quarterback and if not that at running back," Snyder said.

Snyder compared Thomas' opportunity to that received by Michael Bishop in 1997.

"Daniel will be here in the first part of June," Snyder said. "Michael didn't get here until mid-July, but by the first game, he was the No. 1 quarterback and we had a pretty decent quarterback at that time in Jonathan Beasley. Michael developed in that short of a time."

So it should be an interesting and competitive summer for Coffman and the rest of the Wildcat quarterbacks.

And also leads me to believe that whatever performances we see at the Wildcats' Saturday spring game should be taken with a grain of salt.

Because the real competition for the starting job will begin in June.

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