Now that we have actual start dates, with scheduled times, it’s finally safe enough to start actually previewing the 2020 K-State football squad, and who, barring COVID quarantines, should actually be playing this season.
We’ll start this year with the most important position on the offense, and since I’m lazy (and it’s still true) I’m gonna go ahead and copy my homework from last season:
This might just be the easiest position preview for the
20192020 Kansas State Wildcats. For just the third time in a decade, there is zero controversy or questions about the starting quarterback job for heading into the season.
Seriously, there’s not a whole lot different to the first part of what I wrote before 2019. Sure, we now have a a whole season of film and a (mostly) complete cycle through the calendar with the same coaches, but the tune is essentially the same. The starting quarterback for your 2020 Wildcats is Skylar Thompson.
Thompson may not have the biggest arm or the fastest wheels, but he’s a solid, productive quarterback that can make all the necessary throws at this level, and is just enough of a threat in the run game to keep teams honest. And the coaching staff trusts him to run their offense, and over the course of 2019 gave him more and more green lights when it came to opening up things in the playbook. 2020 should be more of the same.
Now, the real difference from 2019 is what’s behind Skylar on the depth chart. Nick Ast is still hanging out there, and the junior from southwest Kansas still has enough to keep pushing the younger guys coming into the system. Ast saw the field at quarterback in five games in 2019, going 3-3 passing with 28 yards in blow-out action.
The other two scholarship QB’s on the roster are both freshmen, though Jaren Lewis is entering his second season in Manhattan. Lewis was a late pick-up in the 2019 recruiting class, and became a popular dark-horse QB2 pick before last season started. But Lewis redshirtted the entirety of the 2019 season, and this offseason has been relatively quite for the Missouri native.
But it’s been all hype for the other scholarship freshman, true-frosh Will Howard, who arrived on campus for the spring semester, and was already turning heads in the pre-spring workouts before everything got shutdown. But the hype picked right back up once practices resumed, with coaches and other players talking up the big-armed kid from Pennsylvania. There’s talk that Howard may have already worked himself in to legitimate discussion for QB2, and possibly not redshirtting the 2020 season (which is moot anyway with the NCAA’s decision on eligibility for the 202 season, but the point is, the kid could play this year if needed).
It’s a solid QB room, and even more impressive considering what that room looked like when Chris Klieman first arrived in Manhattan in late 2018. And with highly-touted 4-star recruit Jake Rubley on the way for next season, this are only looking brighter.