This is the first of three columns on the candidates to win the starting quarterback job at Kansas.
Today: Quinn Mecham
Thursday: Jordan Webb
Friday: Kale Pick
Todd Reesing threw 1,460 passes for 11,194 yards and 90 touchdowns during his record-breaking career at Kansas.
The three quarterbacks who will compete for his job during spring practice under new head coach Turner Gill have combined to throw five passes for 22 yards and no touchdowns in Division I football. Dodge City’s Kale Pick compiled those numbers during his redshirt freshman season as Reesing’s backup in 2009.
Jordan Webb, out of Union High in Union, Mo., redshirted in his first season at Kansas. Quinn Mecham, a transfer from Snow (Junior) College in Utah, has the least exposure to Division I football, but has by far the most post-high school game experience.
To forecast what sort of Big 12 quarterback Mecham will make requires trying to read the signs from his high school and juco careers, from his recruitment, from a 14-minute interview and from his highlight film.
Encouraging indicators: His combined record as a starter in high school and juco was 34-3, including a JC bowl game won when Mecham directed his team on a 94-yard touchdown drive with less than three minutes left. He’s smart, as evidenced by a 3.9 grade-point average at Snow.
Question marks: Mecham — pronounced meekum — said Kansas was the only Division I-A school to offer a scholarship. Plus, he’s on the quiet side considering he plays a leadership position.
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior-to-be, Mecham and Tyler Hughes, his offensive coordinator at Snow, addressed perceived strengths and concerns about his adjustment to big-time college football.
“Traditionally, I haven’t been very vocal,” said Mecham, already enrolled at KU. “Some people don’t like that. I can be vocal when I need to, but I’m more one who tries to make my actions show what I can do, lead that way.”
Said Hughes: “He won two state championships in high school and threw for 65 touchdowns in two years and was team captain. He’s not going to stand in front of the room and yell and curse and get everyone riled up, but I think that’s a little overrated, the need for a quarterback to be a cheerleader. I didn’t care about that, personally.”
Hughes gave Mecham high grades for field vision, footwork and throwing mechanics.
“I don’t know why other Division I offers didn’t come,” Hughes said. “Virginia recruited him pretty hard for a while, and when their coaching staff got replaced, that fell apart.”
Mecham’s highlight tape showed calm feet, a sign of a calm mind in the pocket.
“At Snow they teach us to settle your feet because if you’re jittery with your feet, your eyes aren’t seeing as much,” Mecham said.
At the moment, Mecham’s eyes see a job opening, and he’s going after it with all he’s got.