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16 DAYS TO 2017 KICKOFF: Jesse Ertz

In which BracketCat counts down the 16th day until the 2017 kickoff with a profile of quarterback Jesse Ertz.

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#16 Jesse Ertz
Hm, this is some mighty fine hardware, Jesse Ertz (16) thinks to himself, but a black and gold one with a golden football outline on top would be even nicer...
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Goal No. 16: RESPONSIBILITY. You are responsible for your own performance.

#16 Jesse Ertz

Redshirt Senior | 6-3 | 212 lbs. | Burlington, Iowa
Jesse Ertz
Jesse Ertz
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

My, how these entries can grow dramatically in just one year’s time...

Jesse Sisco Ertz (b. Dec. 7, 1994) was one of the top prep quarterbacks coming out of high school in 2013. Still an unknown at this time last year (but no longer), he obtained a degree in business management from Kansas State in May.

A tough quarterback who was one of the top dual-threat signal callers in the nation as a junior, Ertz will look to improve his production as a senior after being voted a team captain for the second straight season.

He enters his senior campaign holding the school’s career record for lowest interception percentage (1.52 percent), while he is ranked fourth in 100-yard rushing games among quarterbacks (three) and fifth in career rushing yards among quarterbacks (1,063).

Ertz earned Kansas State’s Red Raider Award in 2013 as the top contributor on the scout squad while redshirting and saw action in four games in 2014, rushing for 46 yards on seven attempts, including 26 yards against Oklahoma State.

He earned the starting nod for the 2015 season opener against South Dakota, but rushed once for 5 yards and suffered a season-ending injury on the first play from scrimmage. Prior to that, the consensus was that Ertz had run away with the competition for starting quarterback. Last year, we finally found out why.

Ertz started all 13 games under center, throwing for 1,755 yards and nine touchdowns on 152-of-264 aim while rushing for 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns on 183 carries. He was one of three quarterbacks in school history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,500 yards, while he was one of only four in the nation to accomplish the feat in 2016.

Ertz also recorded the school’s 15th 1,000-yard rushing season and finished third among quarterbacks in single-season rushing yards, was the third-fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 rushing yards after he did so on his 175th carry of the season, and recorded 2,767 total offensive yards to rank 10th in school history, while he was the 29th player in school history to throw for 1,500 yards in a season.

He ranked eighth in the Big 12 — and tops among quarterbacks — by rushing for 77.8 yards per game, a mark that ranked sixth nationally among signal callers; also led all Big 12 quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns; and averaged 5.53 yards per rush, ranking fifth in school history and tops among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts.

Ertz recorded three 100-yard rushing games, tying for third in school history among quarterbacks. He was named Texas Bowl MVP after throwing for 195 yards and a score on 14-of-20 aim, plus rushing for 67 yards and two touchdowns, and ranks fourth in K-State bowl history in completion percentage (70 percent) and rushing touchdowns.

Ertz tossed a 79-yard scoring strike to Byron Pringle, the second-longest pass play in K-State bowl history and the 12th-longest pass play overall. He ended the regular season with a 170-yard rushing effort at TCU, the fifth-most yards among KSU quarterbacks.

Ertz teamed with running back Justin Silmon (133 yards) to give the Wildcats their first double 100-yard rushing game since Collin Klein (116) and John Hubert (101) against Kansas in 2012, while it tied for the third-most combined yards in a double 100-yard game in school history.

He also combined with Silmon and wide receiver Byron Pringle (126 yards) to give K-State two 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since 2003 (vs. California), and recorded an 83-yard touchdown pass to Pringle at TCU, the eighth-longest pass play in school history.

Ertz rushed a Herculean 30 times against Oklahoma State, tying for the fifth most in K-State history among quarterbacks, and recorded consecutive 100-yard rushing games against Iowa State (106) and Oklahoma State (153), the first Wildcat signal caller with back-to-back 100-yard games since 2013.

He registered three rushing touchdowns against the Cowboys, while he had two scores against Texas and Texas A&M; logged a season-high 207 passing yards at Stanford, while his 20 completions against Texas were a season high; and threw two touchdown passes against Missouri State, a season best.

Before signing with K-State, Ertz was named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year under head coach Brian Borrison at Mediapolis High School and also was an All-American honorable mention selection by Parade.

He broke the Iowa high school state record for most touchdowns in a career (98), ranks fifth in state history in career passing yardage (7,317), and registered more than 9,000 total yards and 130 touchdowns in his prep career.

Ertz was named the 2012 Offensive Player of the Year, as well as a first-team all-state selection by Iowa Preps, after leading Mediapolis to a state runner-up finish and a 13-1 record, and was honored as the All-Hawkeye Player of the Year.

A two-time Des Moines Register and Iowa Newspaper Association first-team all-state honoree, he twice was named to the all-district first team and was the district’s 2012 MVP.

Ertz also was named to the Iowa Sports Connection’s first-team all-state squad in 2011, was named the All-Hawkeye Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and was an Iowa Preps Elite second-team all-state selection as a junior.

A three-year letter-winner in basketball, Ertz was a first-team all-conference selection and second-team all-state performer by the Iowa Newspaper Association in 2012. He was a first-team all-conference and third-team all-state performer as a sophomore, and a three-year letter-winner in track who won a state championship in the 4x100 in 2012.