LAWRENCE (KSNT) – The competition in the KU quarterbacks’ group is tight.
Head coach Lance Leipold announced Tuesday that Jalon Daniels will be the Jayhawks’ starting quarterback, a certainty KU fans aren’t used to. The past season, the starting quarterback role wasn’t set until the first gameday.
“It doesn’t really mean anything to me, besides I’m going to be able to go out there and be able to play,” Daniels said. “I’m going to be able to show more people what I’m able to do.”
Jason Bean started the 2021 season under center. He was injured during the first half of the Sunflower Showdown, making way for Daniels to get significant playing time. Then, Daniels started the Jayhawks’ final three games.
“We’re pretty blessed that we have two quarterbacks that started games last year and played well,” KU offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki said. “That’s a rarity…. but him and Jason [Bean] are both having a good camp.”
Even though Leipold told the media he expects Daniels to start, he and the junior quarterback haven’t had any conversations about this expectation.
“At the end of the day, same preparation,” Daniels said. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter which group I’m running with. I’m going to keep trying to get better as a player, as a quarterback and as a man.”
Bean isn’t disappointed in the decision. He’s happy for his best friend.
“I feel really good,” he said. “I’m actually excited that we have this much depth at the position. I think it’s only going to make me better and the other guys in the position room better.”
Daniels is already more comfortable with his offense than last fall camp, when the coaching staff had only been working with the players for three months.
“Last year was the first year Coach [Kotelnicki] was here, so we were running a lot of base offense, you know,” Daniels said. “We’re getting very acclimated with the new plays that are getting put in.”
Kotelnicki notices his team is cleaner and sharper, even two days into fall camp.
“All of our guys have referenced the calls of our offense so much more,” Kotelnicki said. “They’ve practiced so many more reps. They understand it.”