MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Those waiting for answers surrounding Kansas State’s quarterback battle will have to wait a little while longer.
Wildcats coach Bill Snyder confirmed Saturday that nothing has changed since April’s Purple/White Spring Game when Joe Hubener, Jesse Ertz and Alex Delton struggled to create separation.
With the late addition of junior college transfer Jonathan Banks, Snyder said his staff will wait a few more weeks to see how the competition pans out.
“It hasn’t changed,” Snyder said. “We’re trying to give some balance in the repetitions that each one of them takes and try define it in such way that we get to see all of them in a certain environment — all of them with the No. 1s, all of them with the No. 2s, all of them doing some of the same things so we can assess who’s good at what and who’s got some growth in certain areas.
“Nothing has changed right now, (but) once we get in pads, which is coming up pretty quickly, we’ll have probably an idea of who we want to continue to give more reps to and less to and try to narrow it down.”
Kansas State is trying to replace Jake Waters. He led the Wildcats to a 9-4 record a season ago, throwing for over 3,500 yards while combining for 31 touchdowns on the ground and through the air.
Hubener has the most experience among the four leading candidates but in a limited role as Waters’ backup a season ago. He has also never started at quarterback at any level, something he is well aware of as it pertains to outside criticism.
“I know people are going to judge it, but it is what it is,” Hubener said. “That wasn’t necessarily where I was needed in high school. I had enough to put on film to get here and (now) I’ve been here for five years since 2011. Scout squad freshman year, I’m practicing against the best in the Big 12, so I’ve played against competition that we’re going to see day in and day out.”
The third-string option last season, Ertz came to Kansas State as a top prospect out of Iowa but has yet to attempt a pass. Meanwhile, Delton proved flashy in the spring but was playing high school football in Hays, Kansas, this time last year.
Banks remains the lone wild card after signing with Kansas State in May after leading Contra Costa College to a 9-1 record. His ability as a dual-threat quarterback has impressed his coaches, but time isn’t on his side with kickoff less than a month away.
“He fits into the system and he’s quick learner, but it’s a time issue,” co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said. “That’s the issue we’re dealing with right now. We’ve got four guys, so he’s got to really learn fast, but he’s a quick learner and he does fits our system. It’s just about seeing how fast he can develop and how he compares to the other guys.”
Kansas State opens Sept. 5 against South Dakota. As that deadline looms and the questions increase, Snyder hopes to determine who will be under center sooner rather than later.
“I wanted it cut down yesterday,” Snyder joked, “but we’re going to make a decision based on what’s best for our program.”