Tuesday, October 19, 2021

KU football plans to redshirt reserve QB Jalon Daniels this year

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) throws against the Baylor defense during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Nick Krug/Special to the Journal-World)

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) throws against the Baylor defense during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Nick Krug/Special to the Journal-World)


Don’t expect to see much of reserve quarterback Jalon Daniels the rest of this Kansas football season. Head coach Lance Leipold revealed Tuesday the staff plans for Daniels to use 2021 as a redshirt year.

That wasn’t the plan for Daniels going into the season, as the sophomore and returning starting QB for the Jayhawks spent most of the preseason in a depth chart battle with Jason Bean and Miles Kendrick. However, Leipold explained during his weekly press conference, after Bean secured the starting job and it became apparent redshirting was a viable option for Daniels, the coaches met a few weeks back with the young QB and decided to have Daniels preserve a year of eligibility.

“It’s a balancing act,” Leipold said of taking the redshirt approach with Daniels, “because whether it be through performance or through injury, things could always change.”

If some unforeseen circumstances forced KU to turn to Daniels as an emergency QB during the final six games of the season, as Leipold alluded to, the 6-foot, 215-pound sophomore could play in up to two more games this year and still keep his redshirt intact. NCAA rules allow players who are redshirting to participate in a maximum of four games during that season. Daniels subbed in late in two of KU’s losses earlier this season, at Coastal Carolina and at home versus Baylor, but didn’t appear in any of the other four games for KU (1-5 overall, 0-3 Big 12).

In 2020, as a true freshman, Daniels started six games and played in seven. Leipold noted the young QB, who turned 18 during his first college season, also played behind “an offensive line that was kind of being mixed and matched on a weekly basis.”

“He got thrown to the fire,” Leipold said of the challenging circumstances Daniels faced a year ago.

As a true freshman, Daniels went 76-for-152 through the air, for 718 yards, with one touchdown pass and four interceptions.

In some mop-up duty late during blowout losses to Coastal and BU this year, Daniels was 3-for-6, for 49 yards. He didn’t throw a TD or a pick.

When the coaches discussed redshirting with Daniels, Leipold said the second-year QB agreed it would be a good move for him and has since “embraced that opportunity.”

Leipold said both Daniels and Kendrick, who led KU to two TD drives in the final minutes of a lopsided loss to Texas Tech this past weekend, took the right approach to the QB competition over the past few months. The coach said he appreciates and admires “the attitude that both of those guys have had through this whole situation.”

Kendrick went 4-for-7 passing for 55 yards in the final minutes of KU’s loss to Tech, and the senior QB threw two touchdowns during his late-game cameo.

“Again, Miles has continued to work hard and show flashes,” Leipold said, praising Kendrick for being “highly competitive” when he got to sub in and giving the Jayhawks “at least something to feel decent about on a rather bad day.”

KU will play host to No. 3 Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) on Saturday at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium (11 a.m., ESPN).


Brett McCabe 1 month, 1 week ago

The QB room could be a relative strong point next year.

Randy Bombardier 1 month, 1 week ago

He's the next big thing, given time and improvement around him. Quick release, canon for arm. Just needs lots of film study and more experience.

Rodney Schulz 1 month, 1 week ago

I admire the players and the coaches for keeping their attitudes up and not turning on each other. Also, I am not one for quitting. However, if they can’t show some progress in the next 1 to 4 years, if the board of regents is competent, which is a big question, they should probably be asking: is this program salvageable, or should we shut it down and bulldoze Memorial Stadium?

Jim Stauffer 1 month, 1 week ago

No program is in that bad a condition. With improved fan support over the next two years and an improved roster showing signs of competition with the schedule, BMD's will then determine how fast we reach bowl status. But mark it down, this staff will stay the course and the course will rebuild this program from the ashes.

Doug Cramer 1 month, 1 week ago

Leipold and his staff will have to be on the road every spare second they have. This recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the worst in KU history. Tack on the fact that our current physical talent is no where near FBS levels...not even close.

I love KU basketball, but football under Mangino was a blast. Firing Mangino was the worst decision ever made in college sports history. Hopefully we have learned our lesson because this could go a full 2 decades the way this program is currently positioned. Even if Leipold gets some studs in the trenches and does everything right, we still have another 2 to 3 seasons of bad least. In reality, our next class will be ranked in the triple digits on par with Campbell University and Harvard.

Glen Miller 1 month, 1 week ago

I would venture to guess that this class will be light on high school players and heavy on tranfers. It doesn't look like we are making much headway with high school players and the signing window isn't far off. That being said, we are very young and the experience these guys are getting this year along with being coached up and hitting the weight room should help. How much will remain to be seen, but I have faith that Leipold and his staff are working diligently and will do whatever they need to to try and make sure the results next year are vastly improved. If he and his staff can do that, then I believe the recruiting will reflect it. It's going to be up to the staff to find diamonds in the rough and really coach these guys for the next year or two. I have had false hope in the past, but I believe in this coaching staff. They have done it multiple times before at Universities that don't have half what KU has to offer athletes.

Dale Rogers 1 month, 1 week ago

With most coaches I would agree totally about the quality of the recruiting class. However, these particular coaches are known for their ability to recognize underrated and overlooked talent, then developing them. That was their recipe for success in both Div 3 and in FCS. So, I will wait to see how the class actually develops on the field before I pass personal judgment on the quality of the class.

Brett McCabe 1 month, 1 week ago

Firing Mangino isn’t even in the same realm of stupidity as hiring Weis and Beaty. Mangino’s losing record in conference over an eight year tenure eliminates his firing as anything more than probably a good decision.

Dirk Medema 1 month, 1 week ago

Generally agreeing Brett, though IMO it was the 7 game losing streak to end his time, in conjunction with the roster dysfunction, that resulted in his departure. We might not have been quite as bad with him vs Gill the next season, we were definitely headed to another losing season. The slide began in the OBowl victory celebration when the coaches were complimented and not the players. One of the nice contrasts with this staff that takes blame and gives credit.

Harvard and Campbell have also been previously mentioned regarding recruiting, and again I’ll point out that ranking is strongly influenced by class size which is very small for us. If sorted by the quality of the recruits, the class is in the 60’s vs 100.

Relatively speaking, The staff started recruiting even later than they did preparing for the season. Others will sign the majority of their classes in December. This year in particular, we’re likely to get the majority of ours in February or later.

Dirk Medema 1 month, 1 week ago

It would seem that the end of the TTU game showed that our team is at the JV level, which in many ways is accurate and appropriate.

Given an 85 player roster and 22 players per depth, there generally is one O&D unit per class. There are obvious exceptions, but again generally the 2 deep should be jrs and srs. Ours are mostly freshmen and sophomores so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they aren’t competing well with jrs and srs. The good news is that Freshmen and sophomores continue to develop and will be more competitive in the future when they are playing against similarly aged opponents.

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