Big 12 Football: Updating Every Team's Quarterback Situation
The Big 12 is the land of gunslingers. Bryce Petty rewrote the record books last year, Trevor Knight toasted Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and Davis Webb is poised to be the next stat-sheet stuffer at Texas Tech.
But not every school in the league has a bona fide starter. Teams like Iowa State and West Virginia are in search of who will lead their offenses next season.
Now that we're in the heart of spring ball, let's update each Big 12 school's quarterback situation.
Of all the Big 12 schools, the Baylor Bears probably have the most security at its quarterback position with Bryce Petty.
He lit up the skies last year, throwing for 4,200 yards, 32 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Josh Friemel of The Dallas Morning News reported back in December that Petty would be returning to Waco for his senior year, forgoing the NFL draft. That set the stage for the Bears to immediately be in the hunt to repeat as Big 12 champs.
Petty is easily one of the nation's best quarterbacks, and his job as Baylor's starter is as safe as it gets.
Following head coach Paul Rhoads' worst season at Iowa State, he starts this spring with huge questions at the quarterback position.
Sam Richardson struggled last season, and according to an Associated Press report (h/t Fox Sports), rising sophomore Grant Rohach is the favorite to take the job in 2014.
Rohach's best showing came against West Virginia late in the year, when he tossed for 331 yards and four scores in one of the Cyclones' three wins in 2013.
But under new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino, both Rohach and Richardson will get to battle it out this spring and fall for the starting quarterback job.
Like Iowa State, the Kansas Jayhawks have a full-fledged quarterback battle on their hands.
The top two candidates for the job, both transfers to the program, are T.J. Millweard and Jake Heaps. Millweard is in his first year at KU after coming from UCLA, while Heaps is in his second season in Lawrence following a stint at BYU.
Heaps saw action last year but struggled with injuries and consistency. His struggles caused head coach Charlie Weis to remove Montell Cozart's redshirt and put him into the lineup. But Cozart didn't prove to be much better than Heaps.
Nevertheless, he will be part of the battle to win the signal-caller job.
According to an AP report (h/t The Daily Jeffersonian), Millweard is the favorite to take the spot this spring. But the start of the season is a long way away, and anything can happen.
Last season, the Wildcats flip-flopped between Jake Waters and Daniel Sams at the quarterback position.
But as the season progressed, Waters slowly took control of the job. By the time the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl rolled around, he had taken the reins over Sams, and his 271-yard, three-touchdown performance solidified him as the starter in the Little Apple.
Now Waters has the entire spring, summer and fall to develop his skills without having to compete for the job.
The bigger question, though, is what K-State will do with Sams. He's a tremendous athlete, and the Wildcats will look for ways to utilize him. Whether that means a position change is in order is yet to be determined.
Trevor Knight's showing against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, where he threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns against the legendary Crimson Tide defense, solidified him as the starter in Norman.
After battling for playing time last season, Blake "Belldozer" Bell has changed positions from quarterback to tight end.
Now Knight has virtually no competition for the job and has the entire offseason to develop as the starter under Bob Stoops.
Knight is a great athlete who can make plays with his arm and feet, but he was inconsistent for most of last season before coming out against Alabama. Now his expectations are high, and he'll need to be more consistent in 2014 to maintain his hold on the job.
J.W. Walsh is the only returning starter at the quarterback spot on the Oklahoma State Cowboys roster, but he still has to compete for the job.
In fact, there is chatter around Stillwater that true freshman Mason Rudolph may actually be the favorite to lock down the position this spring, per Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.
An early enrollee into the program, he is a 4-star prospect and was the 16th-best quarterback in his class, according to 247Sports.
According to Jason Elmquist of Stillwater News Press, head coach Mike Gundy is giving the edge to Walsh because of his experience: "We have the same schemes, we just have to call different plays based on who’s in the game. But J.W. has be the guy who has been in there and made the most plays for us throughout spring and he understands our offense."
Daxx Garman is also in the hunt for the job, but it's thought to be a two-man race in Stillwater between Walsh and Rudolph for now.
Who would have thought that, for yet another season, Trevone Boykin is the favorite to be the starter in Fort Worth?
Many thought he would switch positions, which would pave the road for Tyler Matthews to take the job.
But according to Stefan Stevenson of the Star-Telegram, TCU head coach Gary Patterson has Boykin as the No. 1 quarterback for the Horned Frogs.
The signal-caller race will get interesting after the spring, when freshmen Grayson Muehlstein and Foster Sawyer arrive. Both highly touted recruits are expected to be thrown into the mix for the job.
For now, Boykin is the guy for the Horned Frogs. Any further developments will have to wait until the fall.
It's somewhat unclear as to how much control David Ash has on the starting job in Austin.
The Longhorns have Ash and Tyrone Swoopes competing for the job under new head coach Charlie Strong, and Ash is the perceived favorite.
Ash, who missed 10 games last year due to the fallout from a concussion suffered early in the year, will be a senior next season. But Swoopes could provide a spark at the position, and Strong will be looking to shake things up.
This job should be Ash's to lose, but you never know what will happen when a new head coach installs in his old system.
Davis Webb took hold of the job last season in Lubbock, which led Baker Mayfield and Michael Brewer to transfer this offseason.
Now Webb, who threw for 2,718 yards and 20 touchdowns, is the man for the Red Raiders, and he has the entire offseason to continue learning the spread system under second-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Webb had a great showing in the Holiday Bowl, racking up 403 yards and four touchdowns. Now he'll look to build off that showing in 2014 and become part of the longstanding tradition of elite gunslingers at Texas Tech.
Nobody knows who the favorite is to take the West Virginia quarterback job.
Incumbent starter Clint Trickett is out this spring with a shoulder injury. That leaves senior Paul Millard and sophomore Skyler Howard battling it out this spring.
Both players saw time last year as the starter, but they struggled in what was head coach Dana Holgorsen's toughest year in Morgantown.
According to Greg Madia of The Daily Athenaeum, the Mountaineers won't name a starter until the fall. But for now, it appears that Millard may actually be the favorite to take the job.
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