Thursday, April 18, 2013
Updating the Big 12 spring QB races
By David Ubben
Turnover at the quarterback position is the story of the Big 12 this spring, but some schools have made decisions, some are close, and some haven't gotten far in replacing their passers. Here's an update on where each race sits.
Note: Because they have clear, incumbent starters, Iowa State and Texas have been omitted from this update.
As expected, Bryce Petty has locked down Baylor's starting QB job.
Kansas:Jake Heaps transferred from BYU and looks to have easily surpassed Michael Cummings, as expected, with a strong spring, working mostly with the first team. Kansas held its spring game on Saturday and Heaps far outperformed Cummings, tossing four touchdown passes and completing 20 of 28 passes for 257 yards. Not much competition here.
Kansas State: K-State is about halfway through spring, but there's been almost no development (publicly, at least) in the quarterback race. Last year's backup, the speedy Daniel Sams, is helping juco transfer Jake Waters get acquainted, but they're still splitting reps with the first team and I'd be surprised if we see an announcement until fall.
Oklahoma: Bob Stoops doesn't care about establishing a starter heading into summer 7-on-7 drills, but Blake Bell might have taken that out of his hands with a strong performance in the spring game. An endorsement from Landry Jones can't hurt. Bell showed this spring he's more than a BellDozer and made plays with his arm on Saturday, completing 14 of 23 passes for 214 yards and two scores. Stoops hasn't made an official designation, but Bell looks like he's distanced himself from his competition in Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson.
Oklahoma State: You can find folks anywhere making a case for Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh or Wes Lunt, but Mike Gundy's opinion is the only one that matters. He says Oklahoma State's starter is Chelf, and Chelf is receiving most of the first-team reps this spring. It's not hard to see that changing, but for now, the job is Chelf's. The rising senior may have to do something to lose it.
TCU: Most assumed Casey Pachall's return to the team meant he'd step back in and reclaim his job. This spring, it hasn't been that easy. He may do exactly that this fall, but Gary Patterson says he's looked rusty after not throwing or lifting from October to January while receiving in-patient treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Meanwhile, sophomore Trevone Boykin has looked much improved. Patterson says it's still an open competition, the duo is splitting first-team reps and there may not be a decision until fall.
Texas Tech: It doesn't seem like Michael Brewer has a ton of competition on the roster, but Kliff Kingsbury turned some heads when he trotted out Davis Webb to start a recent scrimmage. Brewer still has to earn the job and it's hard to see that not being the case, but for now, this job is still up for grabs.
West Virginia: This one's still wide open. Texas natives Paul Millard and Ford Childress are still splitting first-team reps and there doesn't appear to be much separation just yet. Expect this competition to heat up in the fall. The coaching staff has already said they don't expect to name a starter by the end of spring or even by the beginning of fall camp.