OPINION: With Ertz hurt, it’s time for Thompson to see the field

Jesse Ertz, senior quarterback, prepares to pass the ball before the K-State football game against Baylor in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Sept. 30, 2017. (File photo by Meg Shearer | Collegian Media Group)

With the Kansas State football team going in the wrong direction, and with starting quarterback Jesse Ertz having the injury bug, the quarterback situation for the Wildcats is a serious issue.

Before we start, let’s make one thing clear: when Ertz is healthy, he’s the guy. He has proven to be a capable thrower and an exceptional runner. If Ertz is healthy and on the field, he is the best option at quarterback for the Wildcats.

The thing is though, he is not healthy and is not on the field. Against Texas, Alex Delton looked pretty darn good. He ran the ball effectively against the Longhorn defense, but that could’ve just been because Texas didn’t scout for him.

The biggest knock Delton probably has on his game is his throwing ability. Delton, though it has been just limited time, hasn’t really proved that he can throw the ball against Big 12 defenses. Having the ability to run at the quarterback position is great to have, but it’s not necessarily a necessity. Having the ability to throw though is an absolute must.

Speaking of quarterbacks who can throw, let’s talk about Skylar Thompson. Plain and simple, Thompson can absolutely sling it. Thompson has no experience at all against Big 12 opponents, but then again, Delton doesn’t have much either. At 3-3, what do the Wildcats have to lose? Why not give the freshman a shot to see what he can do?

Personally, I think Thompson has the potential to be one of, if not the best, passer in Wildcat history. Chad May and Jake Waters are probably the top two in terms of most gifted throwers, but Thompson certainly has the ability to be right up there with them. Thompson isn’t a slouch on his feet either, as he can move a bit.

Now when Ertz returns from injury, he’s going to see a majority of the snaps. But that doesn’t mean another quarterback won’t see time. Delton would be a good compliment to Ertz for a little change of pace. Have Ertz run the offense, then bring in Delton for a play or two to run the ball or the option. It’d be tough on a defense to have to defend the option with K-State’s deep running back group and the speed of Delton.

Since it appears Ertz will be out for some time, either Delton or Thompson will have to step up and be the leader of the offense. If one of them separates themselves from the other, that quarterback might find himself atop the depth chart when Ertz graduates.

Brett Engle is a sophomore in business administration. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.