With sudden depth issues at the quarterback position, the Kansas University football team may have gotten as immediate of a high school answer as it could in Todd Reesing, a dual-threat slinger from Lake Travis, Texas, who already is on campus.
Reesing put up monster numbers in high school, but major programs were shy about pursuing him because of his height. At 5-foot-11, Reesing is three or four inches shorter than the prototypical quarterback college coaches crave.
"I'm not concerned at all that he's not 6-3 or 6-4," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "Some of the best quarterbacks I've been around have been rather vertically challenged."
That includes 6-foot standout Bill Whittemore, KU's most productive quarterback of the Mangino era. Mangino said Reesing and Whittemore had similar run-and-pass capabilities.
"Our quarterback numbers are low, so he'll get repetitions," Mangino said of Reesing, who graduated from high school early and will participate in spring practice. "He can throw from the pocket, but he's got such quickness, he can evade the rush.
"There's been some talk, because he's not a real tall guy, whether he can throw the ball over the defensive line. I think if you watch tape of him : he can throw the ball over the offensive and defensive line. He has that keen ability, not unlike Bill Whittemore, to find the throwing lanes."
Kansas also signed Tyler Lawrence, a 6-2 southpaw QB from Shawnee Mission West. Reesing and Lawrence will compete right away for snaps, along with front-runner Kerry Meier, a red-shirt freshman, and senior Adam Barmann.
"Tyler Lawrence, another intelligent young man, came here in summer camp and just tore it up," Mangino said. "We're real pleased to have Tyler, and he's right in our back yard here. It's a good catch for us."
¢ Cautiously optimistic: Mangino confirmed that not every one of the signees had qualified academically, though he wouldn't say specifically who needed to improve their GPAs or test scores.
"Most of them have. There are some that haven't," Mangino said. "I can say with a certain degree of confidence that every one of them have an opportunity to qualify."
¢ Jones not here: Junior-college transfer Marc Jones, a tight end who signed in December, didn't make it to campus because of academic issues.
KU coaches are hopeful Jones can enroll at KU in time for summer classes. The other three December signees are on campus and participating in workouts.
¢ Still no news: Mangino said KU still was awaiting word on the eligibility of defensive tackle Eric Butler.
Butler has played just two seasons of college football, but first enrolled in college five years ago, starting his eligibility clock. KU is petitioning for added eligibility.
"So far, we haven't gotten encouraging news," Mangino said, "but we haven't given up hope yet on the process."
¢ A few left: Mangino said that if all 21 of Wednesday's signees qualified and made it to campus, he estimated 83 of KU's allotted scholarships would be filled.
NCAA has an 85-scholarship limit. Like most years, Mangino likes to save a scholarship in case a diamond in the rough pops up after signing day.