Nate’s Notes: The great quarterback debate

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Freshman quarterback Skylar Thompson with the ball during the K-State football game against Iowa in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Nov. 25, 2017. (Nathan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

As April 21 and the annual Kansas State football spring game rapidly approaches, one major question looms large on the horizon: who is going to play quarterback when the first game rolls around on Sept. 1?

Realistically, there are two options for K-State: junior Alex Delton and sophomore Skylar Thompson.

Head coach Bill Snyder likes to keep these decisions under wraps until right before the game. In fact, it is more likely that fans will still be guessing all the way until the first offensive snap than it is that they will know before the season starts.

The off-season is made for speculation, so here are the cases for each quarterback.

Skylar Thompson

Personally, I think it is Thompson’s position to lose. I feel that he frees up the offense more than Delton does, but last season Thompson and Delton were listed with an “or” between their names on the two-deep roster as the back-up quarterback.

Thompson showed that he has an excellent arm throughout last season after then-senior Jesse Ertz went down with a season-ending injury.

It was Thompson who led the Wildcats through (most of) its 45-40 upset of Oklahoma State. Thompson completed 10 of 13 passes for 204 yards and three TDs. He added 93 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

The next week, he went 15-21 for 152 yards and one touchdown. That lone passing touchdown, though, came on the last timed down of the game to seal a 20-19 victory after a frantic drive. Thompson added 12 yards and a touchdown on the ground in that game.

Despite his stats and performance, Thompson found himself behind Delton when Ertz went down likely because Delton had one more year in the system than Thompson.

Thompson does have a glaring disadvantage; he is not the world’s most talented runner and K-State often relies on a dual-threat quarterback in its offense. With the departure of offensive coordinator Dana Dimel, it is uncertain how much this aspect of the offense will change.

Alex Delton

Delton certainly benefited from his extra year of experience last season. He was the first name up after Ertz went down.

Delton made seven appearances for the Wildcats last season, racking up 500 yards on the ground and 637 through the air for K-State.

At times, he look incredible at quarterback, like when he took over to lead the Wildcats to a 25-17 win over UCLA in the Cactus Bowl. He threw for 52 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-10 passing.

He really got things done with his legs in that game though, racking up 160 yards and three touchdowns.

UCLA, though, came into the game as the worst rushing defense of all Power 5 Conference schools.

My concern with Delton is that he is too one-dimensional, or that the coaching staff thinks he can only run the ball.

He can certainly throw the ball around quite well, but it seems like when he is in the game the play calling is almost always a designed quarterback run or a read option of some sort.

Neither player has the advantage of in-game experience, having split time for most of the season last year. K-State is likely in a good spot regardless of who the coaching staff picks come September.

We will get a better idea on April 21 when we find out who has been getting the bulk of the first-team reps.

Nathan Enserro is the assistant sports editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in public relations. The views and opinions expressed in this column 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.

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