Though obviously enthused this week by the signing of a dual-threat quarterback in the Kansas football program’s 2020 recruiting class, offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon isn’t the type to expect incoming freshman Jalon Daniels to show up in Lawrence as some kind of preordained starter.
When the Jayhawks return to the field for a regular-season game in September of next year, it’s expected that a much older QB will be asked to execute the offense.
“You know, we've got two guys on the roster right now that I think are going to go and battle it out,” Dearmon told reporters this week.
The two whom Dearmon sees as potential starters are Thomas MacVittie and Miles Kendrick, he said Wednesday during his first interview session since KU head coach Les Miles promoted him to offensive coordinator and QBs coach during the October bye week.
Neither MacVittie, who joined KU as a transfer in January, nor Kendrick, who appeared in four games as a reserve in 2018, played a snap at QB during KU's recently completed 3-9 season. MacVittie lined up at receiver a couple of times and threw one pass at Oklahoma State on a trick play but was intercepted.
Dearmon also brought up Torry Locklin, who appeared in four games during his freshman season as a Wildcat QB and running back. Dearmon said KU’s coaching staff will have to determine during the spring exactly how they will use Locklin in 2020, when the 6-foot-2 athlete from Rockdale, Texas, will be a redshirt freshman. Dearmon said KU could keep Locklin as a Wildcat QB, give him a shot at “true” QB or move him to running back full time.
“So those three guys can really get after it in spring ball,” the coach added of the outlook of the position as it stands right now.
Although former KU quarterback Carter Stanley suggested recently Locklin could play any of those spots or even wide receiver, Dearmon didn’t indicate that type of move was the plan for Locklin but did further laud the young player’s versatility.
“Torry is a dynamic athlete. I wouldn't be surprised if Torry Locklin could go out and play safety for us or linebacker for us or receiver,” Dearmon said. “We're going to find ways to get that kid on the field.”
Coaches aren’t allowed, per NCAA rules, to talk about unsigned recruits, but it remains a possibility that KU could add another QB to the roster to join the competition before spring practices commence in a few months.
The Jayhawks’ biggest target on that front is former Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks. KU’s staff had the recent UF graduate in for a visit this past weekend.
Franks, listed most recently at 6-foot-6 and 238 pounds, played in 28 games for the Gators over the course of the past three seasons before dislocating his ankle this past September, ending his redshirt junior season. Over the course of his career, he has completed 367 of 622 passes for 4,593 yards, 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Asked about the possibility, in general, of KU adding another QB in this recruiting class, Dearmon provided his philosophy on such opportunities.
“I think any time a great player opens himself up to you, you take him, no matter if it's a pass-rusher, no matter if it’s an offensive lineman, usually a tackle. A great corner or quarterback. Those four positions are really, if you can find a game changer, you always take them,” Dearmon said. “I’m never going to say we’re out of the market, but it would have to be a perfect situation for us.”