Sunday, August 23, 2009

Depth perception

Pick’s goal: play second fiddle to Reesing

Kansas quarterback Kale Pick is working toward becoming Todd Reesing's backup this season.

Kansas quarterback Kale Pick is working toward becoming Todd Reesing's backup this season.


There generally isn’t a lot of middle ground for the backup quarterback: Usually, he’s either the first or the last person fans want to see.

Toiling to play his way into that football purgatory for Kansas University is Kale Pick, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound red-shirt freshman from Dodge City. To him, the title “backup quarterback” is music indeed.

“That’s what I’m working for,” Pick said. “That’s my goal right now, and I’m working hard each day to reach that goal. That’s what I want to be right now. That’s the next spot in the depth chart where I want to be.”

The spot beyond that, of course, is filled by Todd Reesing, a guy named to more preseason watch lists than Timex. Unseating him would be, well, improbable at best.

But locking up that coveted No. 2 spot would be the first in a string of dominos that only could help the Jayhawks this fall.

Coach Mark Mangino has said he’ll keep working Kerry Meier with the quarterbacks until a clear backup to Reesing emerges. Should Pick win that job, Meier would be free to spend his time honing his considerable receiver skills.

“It would help Kerry out so he can be a full-time receiver,” Pick said, “not only in games, but in practice. It would help him and us out, also.”

For what it’s worth, Pick has Meier’s vote already.

“Kale’s coming along,” Meier said. “He’s doing a lot of good things. One of the things people don’t see is the athletic ability Kale has. He’s a good looking prospect to have here at KU. … Kale’s a little different style than Todd. He has his own personality. He can get out and run. And his capability to throw the ball is very good, also. His ability to run the ball and throw the ball can give defenses fits.”

He did that at Dodge City High.

As a junior, Pick threw for 1,779 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. An all-stater, he led Dodge to its first winning season in a dozen years.

The first game into his senior year, however, he suffered a broken thumb and didn’t play again until the final game, when he still wasn’t fully healed.

“It was still partially broke,” Pick said, “but I played anyway.”

Pick graduated early from high school and went through spring drills in 2008. He red-shirted last season, meaning in the span of two years, he has little live-game experience.

“I don’t think it affects me all that much at all,” he said. “I go through practice all the time, and everybody goes full speed.”

True, but at KU quarterbacks are protected in practice. Tackling is verboten.

Pick’s not worried.

“I probably got tackled once or twice last spring,” said Pick, who was named the Otto Schnellbacher Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year last season. “We’re not live, but you also have to run away from the defense. It’s actually harder to get away from the defense when you’re not live because they can just touch you and say they got you.”

Regardless of what happens in the race to back up Reesing, Pick is relishing just being able to toe the line.

“It’s an important role,” he said. “As backup quarterback, you have to be prepared every day. You have to know your stuff, know who you’re playing against that week. You’re one play away from being on the field. But I don’t feel any pressure. Football is fun. I just like to come out here every day. I enjoy competing.”


Kent Wells 13 years, 3 months ago

Wow, what a great attitude. Who doesn't think he should change his last name???

mojayhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

Hey kuwells. Guess you didn't know. His middle name is "No".

John Mueller 13 years, 3 months ago

As a fellow Dodge City Red Demon, I am glad to see him in the program.

But, if we could keep Reesing at QB until he's 37, that would be ok with me.

How will anybody be good enough to fill those shoes?

That's going to take a man.

Maybe Favre will be available next year?

12 losing seasons in a row? When Hutch trash can play football and Dodge City can't, something is seriously amiss. I guess it's that dadgum global warming thing.

Ozarkhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

If I'm KU Marketing I say "no way would I change anything". I can see the trailer now of Pick riding out of Dodge on his trusty thoroughbred looking for the bad guys. His name even sounds like the name of some cowboy western star. "There is a new gunslinger riding out of Dodge and he is coming to tame the Big 12 North". Then the trailer morfs into him in the pocket nailing receivers for long gains. I mean you couldn't ask for a better name or a better location from a marketing standpoint. "It's High Noon baby!" Man what the marketing department could do with this guy if he turns out to be the player many think he is.

Waylon Cook 13 years, 3 months ago

Hey Spring,

If Mangino ever needs Favre we are in BAD BAD BAD shape at the QB position. RETIRE!

PIck I have read more than one is a bulldog, He and Webb are going to battle it out like nothing you've ever seen come next season to see who starts. Good thing for KU football to have!

Dyrk Dugan 13 years, 3 months ago

remember, Kale originally committed to Arkansas....and then he chose KU. So he was recruited and offered a scholarship by a big time SEC school. that says something about his potential for sure.

We're looking pretty good at QB for several years now. and having a KS kid lead us....would just be another bonus.

he's got the right attitude and work ethic it sounds like. his focus this year should be being at the ready if Todd goes down.....and it looks he's doing just that.

Sean Rodger 13 years, 3 months ago

Remember Reesing was a redshirt too, and we didn't know much about him until Mangino ripped his redshirt tag off against CU for a comeback victory! Who knew Reesing was going to be the all-star KU quarterback that he is today. But I agree with springtxhawk, if Lew could pull some strings with the NCAA and we could keep Reesing for like 10 more years or so - I would be happy with that! KU football has come a long way under Mangino - and I couldn't be happier to be a basketball and football school now!

Jayhawk444 13 years, 3 months ago

It will be very hard for sports editors to resist the headline pun on "pick" after a game where he throws a couple of interceptions. I can see it already.

Rivethead 13 years, 3 months ago

The competition for the start spot next year between Pick, Webb, and Matthews will be intense. The kid that survives that battle will definitely be ready for the Big 12.

kranny 13 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of Matthews, I'd like to hear a little bit about him also. He was great in Texas High School ball. I still think we haven't heard the last of him.

jayhawkinATL 13 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully, we have a number of blowout wins, particularly early, so that Kale can get quite a few snaps!!!

KGphoto 13 years, 3 months ago

It's gotta be hard to show the coaches you're the guy, when it's so painfully obvious this is Reesing's team. My advice to any QB in the race for number 2. Pretend that you know something the other QBs don't. Pretend you know you'll be starting next week. It'll help get your mind ready for the pressure, and surely translate into leadership in practice.

Whoever wins, the Hawks will look a lot different next year. There is only one Sparky. Hopefully the OL locks it up and the stable of RBs begin controlling games. At least long enough for the new QB to find his stride.

MNHawk23 13 years, 3 months ago

I like what ive seen and heard of Pick but Webb's highlights remind me a lot of Reesing. not to mention his stats from high school are absolutely ridiculous. it should be a great battle next year. And pretty much our whole o-line will be back, our running game should be solid with opurum and speedy deshaun sands, and our receivers should also be very good, with Wilson, Omigie (i love what ive seen from him), also crime dog jr (mcgriff), and Mcdougald could make for a lot of McWins. With that offense around them, a pretty good defense coming back, and a much easier B12 schedule, whoever wins the job just has to be good not great and we'll be right in the mix for another run at a north title.

Dan Harris 13 years, 3 months ago

Hey Spring- I haven't heard the term Hutch Trash in years but the SaltHawks will be going for their 5th State Title in a row! I don't think we won a total of 5 games in the 3 years that I attended HHS! Lets hope we don't have to find out how good Pick is until next year.

William James 13 years, 3 months ago

Man, in that pic he has the look of a Manning. Ya cant help but to pull for these Kansas kids.

Eurekahwk 13 years, 3 months ago

Who knew Reesing was going to be any good? Anyone who was from Texas and had seen him play HS football. There was an article in the Daily Kansas back in 05 talking about what a star he was, and how every game was packed just to see him play.

Luan Do 13 years, 3 months ago

Former Red Demon here, let's show them Dodge City is not all about drugs and pregnancies!

Rivethead 13 years, 3 months ago

KG - I disagree. I don't think the Jayhawks will look much different next year. Our offense was designed by Coach Mangino and implemented by Coach Warriner. If both of those individuals return next year, then our O won't change much. If Pick wins the job, you may see more read option, but that's about it. We'll still see 4 wide, the diamond formation, WRs stacked.....all the good stuff.

creightonjayhawk 13 years, 3 months ago

I feel old, I babysat Kale a couple of times when he was like 5 years old

JayViking 13 years, 3 months ago

I've umped a few of Kale's high school baseball games. I'm hoping Reesing can stay healthy and Kale can step in next year and dominate.

kw11b2p 13 years, 3 months ago

Jordan Webb is the future of KU football after Todd Reesing.

KGphoto 13 years, 3 months ago

Rivet: KU hasn't looked the same for two straight years since Mangino got here.

Mangino doesn't have an offensive (or defensive) model. He uses what he's got.

And what Kansas has got, changes every year.

labbadabba 13 years, 3 months ago

asn_snsation -

Care to explain your avatar? TMI...

Kman_blue 13 years, 3 months ago

Pick certainly seems to be the heir to Reesing at this point in time, but we've got 3 legit good Div. 1 QB's and it's going to be a heck of a battle next year to see who actually ends up starting. How many teams have that kind of depth at QB? 3 high quality guys who can play with little drop off from one to the other.

John Mueller 13 years, 3 months ago


Hopefully you know that in this context, "Hutch trash" is a term of endearment. I went to my first Hutch trash party at the Wheel as a freshman and never missed one after that!

And, yes, the Salthawks have built something of a dynasty of late.

But, man were they bad when I was in school.

Of course, everybody was playing for second to LHS back in those days.

Wonder if they still have Hutch trash night at the Wheel?

PS I hope Pick finishes as the all time leader in yards and touchdowns! But, those are big shoes........

shannyvan1 13 years, 3 months ago

If you'll recall, it wasn't all that long ago when we had serious trouble at the QB slot. We went virtually an entire season and never once started the same QB two weeks in a row. Our defense was quite good- remember the OU game in Arrowhead where we gave them their first two scores with interceptions deep in our territory and they still only barely beat us, and the game that year in Manhattan where we only had to post a handful of points to win, but couldn't mount any offense. We had a solid defense, but we just couldn't keep a QB healthy for any length of time. It is great to have some depth at this vitally important position. I'm sure Mangino recalls those times and is now stockpiling quarterbacks to avoid any future recurrence.

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