To the combatants, the battle for Todd Reesing's vacated spot atop the Kansas Jayhawks depth chart at quarterback probably began the very moment the 2009 season came a close.
In the months since, the competition has never been far from the collective conscience of Jayhawk Nation. Who would be better for the new offense – sophomore Kale Pick or redshirt freshman Jordan Webb? More important, who would first year head coach Turner Gill think was right for the job?
As recently as Tuesday afternoon the race appeared to be neck and neck, and Gill said they would continue to evaluate both athletes until the choice became clear.
Less than 48 hours later, the Jayhawks have their QB1. When the team took the field Thursday afternoon, it was Pick's name atop the depth chart, a status Gill said he earned in large part by taking care of the football and avoiding turnovers.
"And then also the intangibles," Gill explained. "I love the way that (Kale’s) demeanor has been. Not to say that Jordan Webb has not had a good demeanor, but Kale Pick’s has just been a little bit better as far as the intangibles and his demeanor in the huddle, outside the huddle and when plays are going well and when plays aren’t going well. Just how he’s handled himself from that aspect of things.”
Of the two, Kansas fans are unquestionably more familiar with Pick, who served as Reesing's back-up a year ago. In limited action, he completed four of five pass attempts for 22 yards, and rushed 14 times for 167 yards – good for third on the team.
Upon receiving the news, the sophomore quarterback was understandably excited.
"It's definitely exciting," he said. "I'm glad that they made that decision, and I'm definitely looking forward to our season. I think we can do some pretty big things if we stay on the grind and keep working hard every day."
Webb now maintains the number two spot on the depth chart, with junior college transfer Quinn Mecham third. Kansas opens the season Sept. 4 with a home contest versus North Dakota State.