How quarterback Jalon Daniels rolls Kansas into shock undefeated showdown in opposition to Duke

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The faculty quarterback’s key to success is saved on Brent Dearmon’s laptop computer. That is the place it retains high degree proprietary analytics – in the event you contemplate a primary high degree, proprietary and analytical Microsoft Excel file.

“I do not know in the event you heard that,” Dearmon stated, FAU offensive coordinator. “I’m a math scholar. »

That is an awesome leaping off level for this week’s high underground quarterback success story.

That is Dearmon, previously Kansas‘ offensive coordinator, who’s broadly credited with discovering Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels. It was Daniels who was largely accountable for main Kansas to its first 3-0 begin in 13 years.

The most effective early-season feel-good story this facet of Appalachian State smears from there like spilled crimson and blue ink on a white tablecloth.

It features a litany of failures at a basketball faculty that simply wanted a soccer program it may very well be pleased with.

It consists of the likes of Les Miles, Charlie Weis, David Beaty and Turner Gill. And defeat. So misplaced.

“Folks in all probability did not count on it,” second-year KU coach Lance Leipold stated of the Jayhawks’ turnover. “These are uncharted waters for them.”

A lot in order that the primary sale at Memorial Stadium in three years will see an undefeated showdown that feels extra like a Ultimate 4 sport: Kansas vs. duke.

A lot in order that Leipold himself is seen as a latecomer if Nebraska come to name.

A lot in order that Dearmon, who labored underneath Miles, noticed issues others did not. There are 12 quarterback traits adopted by Dearmon on this Excel file. His 12 characters. The numbers are exploding his quarterback’s model of success, which as of late ought to be pretty much as good as anybody else’s.

A lot in order that Daniels – an undersized, little-known prospect with a smile that might mild up the world – positively has the sport to hold out an agenda.

“JD, once I plugged in all of the numbers, he was rating up there with among the fours and fivesstar quarterbacks within the nation,” stated Dearmon, who made his breakthrough as KU’s senior offensive guide in 2019.

“I liked him. I took [his tape] to the offensive coordinator. I took him to see the recruiting coordinator. Everybody hitting on him was, ‘Is he sufficiently big?’ The ball comes out of his hand in contrast to any human I’ve ever seen. It rocks.”

Daniels hails from Lawndale Excessive College, situated a couple of miles from LAX and the seaside in Los Angeles. He was in the identical recruiting class as fellow California callers Bryce Younger, DJ Uiagalelei and CJ Stroud. Someway it was ignored. As a three-star prospect ranked No. 2,305 general by 247Sports, perhaps it is Why it went unnoticed.

“In that space of ​​LA, he is sort of been under-recruited as a result of there’s so many [great quarterbacks]”Dearmon stated. “I believed he received misplaced within the shuffle due to all these huge names.

Dearmon heard about Daniels from Sam Fisher, a non-public quarterback coach in Southern California who could not get the child out of his thoughts.

Lawndale had gained a state championship with Daniels in 2018, however Daniels solely began two seasons. His solely “west coast” affords got here from East Washington and New Mexico State. Daniels knew he must depart house to make it occur, ultimately committing to Middle Tennessee.

“I’ve by no means seen a bullet journey 70 yards so quick in my life,” Fisher stated. “Jalon was smiling ear to ear, that smile by no means went away. He had nothing to do. I used to be utterly shocked.”

This Excel file? Dearmon tracks the fundamentals just like the touchdown-to-interception ratio. It additionally tracks wins. That was sufficient for Dearmon, who performed quarterback at tiny Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee.

The peak factor? Dearmon and Fisher cannot determine it out. Daniels is 6 toes tall. Younger is coming off the Heisman Trophy at 5-foot-11. Baker Mayfield is 6ft 1in tall.

“The older West Coast guys at college have been like, ‘Oh, we would like a 6-4-year-old,” Dearmon stated. “He grew up with you.”

All of that was sufficient for Dearmon to remain above Daniels, who moved from MTSU to Kansas simply two days earlier than signing his nationwide letter of intent.

Daniels grew up in Kansas. When he began at 17 in 2020, he was being shot within the face and, figuratively talking, his mind was beating. After the worst decade in program historical past (21-99 from 2010-19), the Jayhawks went 0-9 in Miles’ second and remaining season of 2020.

A couple of months later, Dearmon introduced he was leaving for Center Tennessee. The person standing on Daniels’ desk within the workers room was now leaving his venture behind.

Dearmon seems again sadly. If Daniels had stayed true to his authentic dedication to Center Tennessee, they’d be collectively at this time.

“He saved it 100% with me the entire time,” Daniels stated of Dearmon.

Now, among the similar offensive line protectors who gave up a complete of 63 sacks over the previous two seasons have allowed none of 70 makes an attempt in 2022.

The Jayhawks enter the highest 5 on Saturday in scoring (3.0 ppg, fourth), third down conversions (68.6%, second), speeding touchdowns (13, fourth) and yards per rush ( 7.13, second solely to Alabama).

The one “Coach Ok” related to Saturday’s contest is Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki. He added a triple choice component to Daniels’ sport.

You could have already seen this. Jalon Daniels beat a kind of California quarterbacks — former No. 1 general JT Daniels — in an extra time win at West Virginia. Jalon rushed (123 yards) and threw (three touchdowns) in all places Houston final Saturday in a shock 48-30.

The wins marked this system’s first consecutive wins since 2007.

However there have been indicators alongside the way in which. Daniels led one of many greatest upsets of 2021, pitching the game-winning two-point conversion in extra time to win at Texas. It ended a 13-year, 56-game highway shedding streak in Massive 12 play. In that sport, we noticed what Daniels might turn out to be as he threw for a career-high three touchdowns, and was operating for a career-high 45 yards.

The sport was additionally a turning level in this system for an additional motive. It was Daniels’ fourth sport of the season. On account of a current NCAA rule change, he might have ended his season there and retained a further yr of redshirt eligibility.

As a substitute, Daniels completed the season. That is a giant motive the Jayhawks are in proper now.

“It was one of the crucial selfless moments [program] stuff you would need,” Leipold stated. “It isn’t frequent at this time. [Players say] ‘The place’s mine?’ He noticed huge. For us to be the place we should be, that was an enormous message.”

“If I ended like that,” Daniels added, “it could have stopped all momentum.”

Leipold embraced all of it. Twice this week, he hinted he would keep at Kansas regardless of deep teaching roots in Nebraska State (Nebraska and Nebraska-Omaha from 1994-2006).

Leipold has already been 3-0 in earlier stops at Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo, however being 3-0 at a Energy 5 — even one like Kansas — is totally different. He and his gamers have been in demand by the nationwide media this week.

Over the previous two weeks, former KU coaches Gill, Glen Mason and Mark Mangino have all reached out.

All three know what it is wish to lose 10 video games at Kansas, however Mason and Mangino ultimately turned the nook with the Jayhawks to to win at the least 10 matches. In reality, Mangino – that final supervisor to begin 3-0 – retains in common contact with Leipold through textual content messages.

Right here is one from Mangino: For those who win in Kansas, they’re going to crawl on the nails for you.

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