FRISCO — Kansas State coach Bill Snyder isn’t ready to name his starting quarterback yet. He did want the candidates for the job to feel a little pressure in the summer.
So he brought both Alex Delton and Skylar Thompson to Big 12 media days on Tuesday.
Sure, the quarterbacks fielded plenty of questions about their competition. Thompson also was asked about the strangest thing he had ever googled and his grandfather’s pin, which he wore to the Ford Center on his suit jacket. Delton chatted about having Kansas State great Collin Klein as his quarterbacks coach and also reality TV. Both explained why they side with LeBron James whenever the Wildcats debate the G.O.A.T.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily pressure here at the media day. I feel like it’s more fun, just enjoying the moment,” Delton said. “I feel like pressure is when it’s third and long at West V.”
Kansas State is no different than most of its fellow Big 12 schools. Only West Virginia (Will Grier), Iowa State (Kyle Kempt) and Oklahoma State (Taylor Cornelius) backed a quarterback at media days. Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma boast clear front-runners. Texas’ Tom Herman insisted that four quarterbacks may have a shot at playing time.
Thompson, a sophomore, started the final four games of the 2017 season. Delton made four starts for the Wildcats during his sophomore year, and he was named the offensive MVP of the Cactus Bowl. Thompson had 52 more passing yards than Delton, but Delton held a 500-267 edge in rushing yards.
“It’s a lot of pressure and stress sometimes because you’ve got to bring it every day,” Thompson said of the battle with Delton for playing time. “I’ve enjoyed it. It’s made me so much better because I know I’ve got to bring it each and single day. I can’t afford to take a day off.”
Happy Horns: There is more a month to go until Texas plays Maryland, but UT has seemingly won the attrition battle this offseason. Receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps transferred to Trinity Valley Community College and linebacker Edwin Freeman announced he’d play elsewhere as a graduate transfer. Those, though, were the only scholarship players who transferred out.
In the leadup to Herman’s first season, six players transferred out of the program. (Defensive lineman Chris Daniels departed in September). For comparison’s sake, running back Duke Catalon, linebacker Cecil Cherry and offensive lineman Darius James became ex-Longhorns between Charlie Strong’s first and second years at UT.
When asked why UT hadn’t lost many transfers, Herman said the Longhorns are “happy.” Herman maintained he still runs a hard and challenging program, but that the players had bought in.
Still a defender: Herman said incoming freshman D’Shawn Jamison will still have a role in UT’s secondary. Jamison signed with Texas as a four-star cornerback but is currently listed as a wide receiver on the roster.
Herman said Jamison will play on both sides. He stopped short of saying that Jamison’s future is on defense, but did describe to move to slot receiver as a “stop gap.”
Dress code: The second day opened with a presentation by Greg Burks, the conference’s new coordinator of officials. Among Burks’ talking points was an update on the NCAA’s uniform rules. Burks said players must have their midriffs and knees covered or they’ll have to leave the field.
Burks said the crackdown on exposed knees was due to both “safety concerns and just for the look of the game.” What’s the harm in showing off a belly? Said Burke: “The rationale for that is when you push the jerseys up you can’t see numbers and we need to see the entire number.”
In May, Texas defensive back P.J. Locke III mocked the new dress code.
A DB go out there looking like that, Automatic CHECK fade ball 😂 https://t.co/3dNO0ku5sg
— James "PJ" Locke III🤭👑 (@PjLocke4) May 2, 2018