Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sparky’ appears to be KU’s starting QB

Todd Reesing (5) works out with the Kansas University receivers during an open practice. Monday's drills at the KU practice fields were open to the public and media.

Todd Reesing (5) works out with the Kansas University receivers during an open practice. Monday's drills at the KU practice fields were open to the public and media.


Sparky's about to become a starter, it seems.

If common sense told any of the 100 or so onlookers at Kansas University's open football practice anything on Monday, it's that Todd Reesing is in line to be the Jayhawks' starting quarterback when Kansas plays Central Michigan on Sept. 1 in the season opener.

Asked to confirm that Reesing was the front-runner, KU coach Mark Mangino hesitated, but did imply it.

"He has been extremely productive. He's taken control of things," Mangino said. "I don't want to use any terms, but I would say that probably we're pretty close to making a decision on the quarterback situation. It's not far off."

Reesing, nicknamed "Sparky" by Mangino, worked exclusively with the first team during 11-on-11 work Monday at the practice fields adjacent to Hoglund Ballpark. It was a stark contrast to the last six months of workouts open to the public, where Reesing and Kerry Meier split first-team repetitions almost evenly as the competition lingered.


Todd Reesing (5) works out with the Kansas University receivers during an open practice. Monday's drills at the KU practice fields were open to the public and media.

Meier did all of the second-team work Monday, which likely served as foreshadowing for the immediate future, but also raised the question about whether the oft-injured Meier is held back once again. He appeared to run gingerly at KU's first open practice earlier this month during roll-outs and option runs, though he participated in the entire practice.

Asked whether he was dinged up last week at KU's media day, Meier said "Not really. Back in the summer I got a little dinged up, but I'm healthy now."

Mangino wouldn't even offer that much when asked Monday if Meier was 100 percent.

"I'm not going to discuss anything along those lines," Mangino said. "I'll tell you this: I don't think it has a bearing on the competition, who's healthy and who's not."

Reesing moves ahead in QB battle

In Mark Mangino's second open practice of the season, the media and fans in attendance watched a Kansas offense run almost exclusively by sophomore QB Todd Reesing.

Reesing played in three games last season after having his red shirt pulled against Colorado in November. He led a come-from-behind victory over the Buffaloes and showed signs of being a major spark for the Jayhawks' offense.

But once Meier regained his health after a shoulder injury, he took over the bulk of the QB duties at the end of last season. Meier started all eight games he played, passing for 1,193 yards and 13 touchdowns. He completed 57 percent of his passes, but threw 10 interceptions.

Reesing, meanwhile, had part-time work in the three games he played. He threw for 204 yards on 14-of-24 passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

With a full offseason in the system, Reesing apparently made big enough strides to put him in the driver's seat in the offense's most important position.

Audio clips

2007 KU football practice Aug. 13

All that's needed now is the official word from KU's sixth-year head coach. Apparently, it's not too far off.

"He understands the offense very well," Mangino said of Reesing. "He's throwing the ball very well. If you give him time, he's going to get the ball where it needs to be. He's poised, and he's doing the things the quarterback needs to do to move this offense.

"He has done a very good job at this point in time, and we're excited about what he's doing. He just has to keep doing it."


Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 7 months ago

Reesing seems to be the guy. As long as he protects the football, i think he'll be fine. He's mobile and is able to find guys when the play breaks down. Let's get a starter in there, so he can ready to go by Sept. 1.

Jeremy LeMaster 11 years, 7 months ago

One further point... we have to be able to protect the QB so that they can protect the ball. If we can protect the QB everything else will follow.

justanotherfan 11 years, 7 months ago

O-line production is key, for both the quarterbacks and for the running game. Meier did a lot (maybe too much) of running last year and took some big hits because of it. Reesing could end up the same way if he has to scramble a lot or we end up in a lot of third and long situations where the D-line ignores the run and just races for the QB. If we get solid line play, I think 8 wins is reasonable. If we don't, 6 losses isn't out of the question.

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 7 months ago

Last year's line was stellar at protecting Meier, but he had too much trouble making up his mind on what to do. So most of the time he ended up running and getting hurt. Reesing's philosophy is pass first, run second...which is what it should be if you're a QB.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

This is making things start to look good for the home opener!

What does everyone think about the ad campaign for the football program this year. The whole "gameday as stress therapy" angle?

That's been my philosophy for years!!!

seattlehawk_78 11 years, 7 months ago

I think you're right JD. A lot of QBs who can run use it as a way of getting themselves out of jams and that gets them out of a passing mode. I think Michael Vick is still in that mode which is why I don't think he'll ever be a factor in the NFL.

I hope Reesing pans out but if I were Meier I wouldn't be too disappointed. Given Mangino's use of QBs during his tenure there is a good chance he will see some action.

bmcmich1 11 years, 7 months ago

"I think Michael Vick is still in that mode which is why I don't think he'll ever be a factor in the NFL."

Would wearing an orange jumpsuit up in Leavenworth for the next 5 years be another reason why he'll never be a factor in the NFL?? Just a thought...

bmcmich1 11 years, 7 months ago

Famous "Sparkys" :

  • Sparky Anderson

  • Florida Dept. of Corrections Electric Chair

  • Clark W. Griswold

  • Todd Reesing???

CasperCorps 11 years, 7 months ago

Finally we might have a Qb. I just hope they leave him in an entire game and don't go by halves. Even if he is struggling, just let him work through it.

Kirk 11 years, 7 months ago

Reesing might look like the guy now, but Mangino will find a way to F up the QB situation before long.

yovoy 11 years, 7 months ago

either guy coming off the bench would not bug me. i like meier - he's a competitor, and you have to beat him down to stop him. he's got fire, AND talent. he knows he's capable. i like reesing - he seems to have the same type of talent that meier does, but he had the luxury of being able to be more composed because the expectations weren't as high as they were for meier. what i REALLY like is that we finally have (at least) 2 quarterbacks that can operate a little bit. that's a big sign to me that we've come quite a bit further than some might think.

sure the line has to protect whoever is in, but i can live with either guy being under center. if reesing is first, and stays healthy, fine. if he gets hurt/fumblitis then i wouldn't call meier a "drop-off" in talent/ability/performance.

tankshot 11 years, 7 months ago

mangino- pick a starter and stay with him!

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 7 months ago


that's hilarious ...

when I hear Sparky it makes me think of that timeless quote from WarGames:

"Hell, I'd p!ss on a sparkplug if I thought it would help!"

Alan Halvorsen 11 years, 7 months ago

I agree Seattle, I do believe that even if Reesing is healthy the whole year (what are the chances) that Meier will play some too....He has some awesome abilities that we can use for some option plays and things like that. Then the Defense will realize that every time Meier comes in that he just runs option. So we could run an option pass with Meier chucking it as far downfield as he can...the D would be caught with their pants down. That would also give Meier some much needed confidence. Other than that though...its Reesing!

davidsmom 10 years, 11 months ago

It's interesting to read these articles and comment threads a year and a half later. My, oh my, oh my...hoping for an 8-4 record in 07-08. And I'm just reading this right now because I'm nervous about tonight's basketball game. If it starts getting scary, I'm going to put on my Orange Bowl DVD.Go Jayhawks!

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