The new dynamic of true freshman quarterback Jalon Daniels could benefit Kansas football this Saturday for homecoming vs. Oklahoma State.
At just 17 years old, true freshman quarterback Jalon Daniels has quite easily made his way into Kansas football’s quarterback conversation. His first start for the Jayhawks featured 159 passing yards, a solid amount for a freshman in the Big 12 conference.
Daniels, in my opinion, gives a dynamic to the Jayhawks that we haven’t seen in a while. There is a level of grit that comes from him that definitely suits the role of leading our offense. It’s something that Kansas’ has been missing and it has plagued our offense for years now.
This isn’t to say he isn’t without his shortcomings though. Daniels went 19 for 33, which didn’t move the chains nearly as much as head coach Les Miles had possibly hoped. The freshman does have an ability to scramble in and out of the pocket, which can be dangerous seeing as our offensive line isn’t nearly as reliable as many of us would like.
That being said, this is actually what I appreciate about Jalon Daniels. I think it’s extremely beneficial for us to have a guy in the pocket that is confident enough to make decisions on his own accord and not hesitate under pressure. Being able to make quick moves on the fly is substantial for getting this offense on the scoreboard.
Daniels had an impressive run last Saturday in Waco, resulting in quite a memorable hit to the head. The freshman got up immediately, brushed it off, and was right back in the huddle. That kind of resilience is what Kansas needs going into our homecoming matchup this Saturday.
As confirmed on Hawk Talk, Les Miles has stated that the quarterback competition is set to continue into Saturday, so we may see a rotation, or perhaps a new face to lead the Jayhawk offense on Saturday. Coach Miles during Hawk Talk on Wednesday said his keys for Saturday were: “Don’t turn it over, start fast, and do what we need to do”.
Regardless, Kansas needs to get their act together offensively, and I think the skill set and quick thinking of Jalon Daniels can help us move the chains this weekend. Getting a fast start is important, but having consistency from our offense is a must. This will be something Coach Miles is sure to address closely, as the Cowboys lead the Big 12 so far on defense.