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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Keegan

Mecham quiet and calm

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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.

Comments

JayhawkRock 4 years, 7 months ago

Last season I said that Kale Pick was not going to be the starter next season and I think I could be right. No one has a starting position yet but I gotta believe that Mecham is the leader from what I have heard inside the athletic dept. Apparently hes is a very accurate passer and he can really move with his feet. I know D-1 football is a little different than juco but this is a really smart kid and I think he could pick it up quickly.

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Dirk Medema 4 years, 7 months ago

In pite of the lack of attempts, there seemed to be plenty of comments about Kale having a really nice arm. That being said, if he were to get another year or so of seasoning while Quinn ran the team, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

Really looking forward to seeing what Gill, Long, ... can do with this team. I'd say we can finish high, especially with the soft side of the south.

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Mike Kendall 4 years, 7 months ago

It will be interesting, that's for sure!!!!!

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Ben Kane 4 years, 7 months ago

If Pick has an arm that matches the swiftness of his feet then I'm rooting for him.

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Robert Brock 4 years, 7 months ago

The success of the offensive line may determine the type of quarterback which will be utilized. Pocket-passer, runner, scrambling-for-his-life...

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Andy Tweedy 4 years, 7 months ago

I think Pick is still the guy, too much upside. That being said, however, I was also pretty sure Kerry Meier had the job locked up over that little guy from Texas a few years back. Sure glad I was wrong about that!

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troutsee 4 years, 7 months ago

I haven't seen Mechem play, but Pick seems to have all the ingredients to be a star QB.

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KU 4 years, 7 months ago

I couldn't help but cringe when I read that Quinn's last name is pronounced "meek-um". I have always detested the slogan "Beak 'Em Hawks". If Mecham is the starter, we'll probably hear "Beak 'Em Mecham".

If Pick can throw a little, he seems to be the kind of guy Coach Gill would want behind center. He's appears to be exactly the kind of kid Nebraska had from Turner Gill to Tommie Fraser to Eric Crouch: gifted runner who can throw enough to keep the defense off balance.

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Dyrk Dugan 4 years, 7 months ago

the offense was already going to have to be adjusted with Pick...and now, with the new staff, the adjustment will come full circle.

Pick is the front runner, because he's actually played in a big time college football game. it won't hurt to have a couple of guys who can play. Frankly, i don't think the QB battle will be won before the season starts. But i would think vs. GTech, we would need a kid who can make things happen with his feet...and that is for sure Kale Pick.

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MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

I think I could see great things from either "Beak'em Mecham" or "Pick'em Apart." lol I could also see us using both QBs depending on the situation. From all of the articles I've read in the past, it seems Mecham has an arm and is very much a winner. Much like like old #5, only taller. At the end of the day, it really boils down to what kind of offense Gill and Long want to run. Either way, we should have at least two stud RBs to hand off to. :D

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Rivethead 4 years, 7 months ago

dagger:

There is nothing "soft" about this year's Big 12 South schedule for KU.

A&M led the Big 12 in offense last year. Baylor with RG3 is deadly (especially if you're a team with no LBs to spy him). And OSU is no slouch either.

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Jonathan Briles 4 years, 7 months ago

Why no love for Webb? He is actually an incredible player who has better legs than Meachem and a better arm than Pick. He is kind of a blend between the two. He can run when he needs to and pass quite accurately. In HS he ran for over six hundred yards and passed for over four thousand as a Junior alone. He tossed 55 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions. I don't care what kind of offense you have that ratio is incredible. Granted it was against some of the smaller schools in Missouri, but no matter who your playing those are great numbers. Not to mention the news papers could have fun with "The opposing defenses got caught in a Webb." Maybe not the best line but I'm actually pulling for Webb to win the job.

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Jonathan Briles 4 years, 7 months ago

I also agree with you Rivethead, no south game is in the bag and I do not think that, that is what dagger was saying. It is the weaker half but there is no soft south team. We can win any of those games but it won't come without a fight.

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huskercarpenter 4 years, 7 months ago

did i just read that this is the 1st of three articals, let me get back in my chair. this is awesome! thank you.

one thing you should know about turner and maybe you already know, is that he doesn't go after juco's alot. you will see 1-2 players each year i dought you will ever see him do the bill snyder deal (he has a knack for doing it). so when he brings one in you can bet that he has seen something that makes him think this guy can step in from the start. i am not saying he will overlook the others, but my opinion is that quinn is probably 1 step ahead of the others.

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Jaminrawk 4 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of who wins the QB battle, it's nice to know there are three pretty decent options that will be slugging it out. Competition is always a good thing when it comes to raising everyone's level of play and focus.

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Jonathan Allison 4 years, 7 months ago

should be a good competition this spring. I'd be surprised too if the coaches name a starter before mid August.

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jhawkrulz 4 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we will use Pick for the wildhawk formation.

I haven't heard much about Quinn, but I am excited to have 3 quality QBs, if they put in an offense that has running formations for the QB, I would guess that Pick would be the starter.

I think someone pointed out the line is the key, and I would agree. If our line isn't so good, than we need someone that can move around, and from the article Mecham wouldn't be that guy. I do like a good solid arm, and one that can read defenses (and we've historically had 3 of the top defenses in our conference (OU, NU, and TU)).

Either way I'm excited, and I'm excited about more football articles, make it a 5 part article!!

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youowethehawks 4 years, 7 months ago

Good God, do I hope none of these "nicknames" stick. As two have already been listed, we'll take them as read because there's no way in hell I'll say or type them.

For the heck of it:

"Webb of Deception"

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GridironHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

huskercarpenter... Gill admitted that he "honored" Meachem's scholarship that the former staff had offered. That's not saying Gill isn't excited to have him but it did sound to me like he didn't do much recruiting of him. I still think Pick will probably win the starting job but I also would not count out Webb. Webb reminds me a lot of Reesing. He seems to have that "it" factor and the ability to turn any play into a highlight video. Given the chance I think Webb could be a great college QB. The other QB who red shirted last year was Christian Matthews. I don't know if he is still on the team but, depending on the offense, he might be an even better fit to what Gill wants to do. He's an athlete who plays QB.

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huskercarpenter 4 years, 7 months ago

gridironhawk, i did not realize that he was a mangino recruit, thanks for the info. having more compitition is the key, the players pushing each other. what i do like about meachem is that he has only lost 2 games his whole career (the artical said 3, i saw turner and staff in topeka the other night and turner said 2). winning is the bottom line. as long as they all behave of the field.

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hawk316 4 years, 7 months ago

Great idea for a series of articles, Tom. Thanks. It will be interesting to gain some insight about each of the players competing for the QB job, and it will be fun to see who emerges from this group to lead KU to a great season. Pick has already shown significant potential, so hopefully, we will have some serious depth at the position.

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GridironHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I agree that competition is what makes any player better. I think part of Reesing's shortfalls this year was that he had no competition (not that Pick isn't good but everyone knew who the starter would be). I think players should have to compete for a starting job every year no matter what they did the previous year. Not that Reesing didn't try and push himself but nothing pushes someone more than competition. Records aren't broke by individuals but rather by the competition that drives them to greatness. In most cases, the person who finishes second in a race should get as much credit for the record as the one who breaks it.

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gardenjay 4 years, 7 months ago

Nice to see a football article in the midst of B-ball - thanks Keegan. It would be nice if the B-ball players posted on here to show some love for their sports brethren, given what happened last year.

Brethren? I think so, for example because some KU B-ballers will share with KU F-ballers that frequently false ideal of being a wealthy and famous athlete. Why anyone would not stay at KU and get a 4-year degree is beyond me, since if you turn pro early for the money what are the odds someone in your life will be figuring out a way to take it all - whatever you have (it's a sliding scale).

Then there is the fame, that's true, but from where I am standing infamy is how we remember our best athletes these days........be careful.....

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

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jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

We may have a softer south to deal with but our non-con has two losable games. Not having Texas and Oklahoma and playing in the north only means we have no Goliaths to contend with. A winning season is certainly within the realm of possibilities but so is a losing one.

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MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

Looks like we're going to be hosting Darrian Miller, a stud RB out of the KC area for KUs Junior Day this weekend. The kid rushed for 2,800 yards and 37 TDs last year I believe. That's nuts!

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huskercarpenter 4 years, 7 months ago

jhokfan, last week i posted something that oviously offended you, it was intended to be taken as a joke. i asked my wife about it, she chewed my ars. please accept my appology. sometimes i do things without thinking.

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jhokfan 4 years, 7 months ago

No problem hc. But don't expect me to pull punches when it comes to nebraska fb (or any other fb program). I will continue to call them as I seem them.

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Brak 4 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of who ends up being QB I just really hope one of these guys shines above the other 2 because the last thing I want to see is us using a 2 QB system, I mean look how well it worked for VaTech a few years ago in the Orange bowl.

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Phoggin_Loud 4 years, 7 months ago

MitchumMan, et al,

Is it just me, or is every recruit a running back?

HCTG spoke of speed, speed, speed. Is he trying to convert running backs to other positions? This would make sense if he feels he can't get elite speed to KU, but it comes with a price...like, uh, having to learn new positions.

What do you think?

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huskercarpenter 4 years, 7 months ago

in my opinion running back is the position that has the most injuries, so having 4,5 or 6 deep there is probably a huge plus. during a 2-3 week span last year nebr. was using their 3rd and 4th running backs to start games. a stable full of running backs would be a good thing.

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MitchumMan 4 years, 7 months ago

Phoggin_Loud

I don't think every recruit is a RB. I'm sure we have a few on our list, but I'm sure every school does. I think you can't pass up a quality player even if you do have 1 or 2 quality players in that position already. I mean look at USC and some other schools that are always in the mix for national championships. RB and WR are those skill positions that you're always going to have a chance to recruit. And with injuries and leaving early for the NFL, I don't think you can ever have too many of them. But about converting players - I could definitely see that too if we get too many players in one skilled position. All I know is that Gill & Co. have my full confidense even if I haven't seen them play a down yet.

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JBurtin 4 years, 7 months ago

Not to mention, Darrian Miller is a 2011 recruit.

I would think you would want your coaches to take at least 1 runningback in each class.

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rxjayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I want to see us be a defense first team. I love big hits and interceptions!

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