Todd Reesing was a special player for Kansas for the 3 years he was a starter. This was further enforced by the fact that Kerry Meier was a fine quarterback and was supplanted by Reesing. Reesing’s skill set fit the mold of the offense that then head coach Mark Mangino wanted, he wanted a QB with a quick release, could move in the pocket, and was very precise when it came to throws 15 yards and in and could make quick decisions. Reesing fit this bill to a T, Mangino’s offense didn’t throw the ball much further than 15 yards, they didn’t have long developing plays, and they operated almost solely out of the shotgun. This was the offense Mangino chose to run and all of his players were recruited and trained to fit that offense.
Such reasoning would lead one to believe that Turner Gill is working with that very same axiom. Gill has been ‘recruiting, recruiting, and more recruiting,’ since he arrived in Lawrence, and every player he has recruited is projected to fit well in his system, otherwise Gill wouldn’t be wasting his time. Looking at last year’s team Gill’s system would look very similar to what Mangino’s system was; however, come the 2013 and 2014 seasons; I really doubt that Gills offense will look very similar to what we saw in 2010.
With the recruitment of Brock Berglund, Michael Cummings, Bilal Marshall and Seth Russell it is apparent that Gills offense won’t be the quick pass, aerial attack that we saw last year. These QB’s were more like Gill was himself when he was QB-ing Nebraska to national championship games. They are big, mobile, with strong arms but aren’t in the Peyton Manning mold of making quick decisions, or changing the plays from defense recognition.
Gill has also recruited a bevy of running back talent accompanied by smaller undersized wide receivers with speed and good hands. This makes one wonder what will Gill’s offense look like when he finally has his players in and can fully implement his system?
I don’t imagine that his offense will look like it did last year. If you ask me, I bet KU’s offense in 2012 and 2013 looks closer to Auburn’s or Oregon’s offense does. Big mobile QB’s with strong arms that don’t have to make many decisions but have the ability to make one decision and go with it. Cam Newton wasn’t an expert at reading offenses, but he could make his first read and go with it. If Berglund or Russell are able to replicate what Newton on any level this offense will be dynamic.
On top of the QB difference, the RB’s Gill has been recruiting are made for this system as well. He has recruited smaller backs that are the ‘slasher’ type who can see a hole, hit it, and go. This lends itself to the spread option or even the true option as Gill ran when he was in college. The lack of big splashes from the WR world is to be expected as they are not big players in these types of offenses. The QB will share the brunt of the load and that is why KU has been able to sign bigger recruits in the QB market recently.
I was excited for this type of offense when Gill arrived and will be excited when it finally gets fully installed. With the recruitment as of late I am excited to see where this offense will go and how dynamic it can be with the athletes we have coming in.