Jalon Daniels ready to prove what he’s made of
LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - After head coach Lance Leipold announced Monday that Jalon Daniels will be the starting QB to begin the season, he’s locking in.
“It doesn’t really mean anything to me besides I’ll be able to go out there and play and be able to show more people what I’m able to do but at the end of the day, my preparation is still going to be the same,” Daniels said.
Daniels started the last three games a year ago, after redshirt senior Jason Bean started the first nine.
“It kind of goes right over my head, it’s nothing I can control,” Bean said.
Daniels and Bean say regardless of who’s under center, they’re very close.
“I mean me and Bean have a great relationship. We’re tight, especially outside of football so that type of stuff we really don’t worry about because we know at the end of the day, it’s not in our hands, it’s in the coaches hands,” Daniels said.
“I consider Jalon to be one of my closest friends on this team, I’m here to help in any way he needs,” Bean said. “There is no animosity between us and again I just want this team moving in the right direction.”
Offensive Coordinator Andy Kotelnicki says he sees the improvement in this team and that they’re building confidence whether that be at the quarterback position and beyond.
“We’re so much further along as a program a year ago in terms of understanding how we do things, understanding the offense,” Kotelnicki said. “As I explained to the guys yesterday, it’s a frame of reference for everyone to understand, like I have my voice. Last year at this time, my voice was already gone.”
“When you get competition in that room, and you see the two people that are competing in a healthy way to perform, that trickles into all the positions on a football team in all three phases,” Kotelnicki added.
Daniels knows the competitive nature is there with the returning and new players which he wants to continue.
“I feel like we do a great job in pushing each other. You’re only as tough as your weakest link. If the guy behind me is not competing with me to try and get that spot, then I don’t feel like I have it already. I’m not going to feel like I have to get better as a man and a player.”
Daniels says he’s getting more comfortable with his receiving core and he’s ready to pad up and be a leader.
“If you play quarterback, you chose to play that position, you chose to have that type of pressure on your back,” Daniels said. As a quarterback, you’re supposed to know the plays, you’re supposed to know the playbook better than anyone else so I don’t really look at it as pressure, I look at it as that’s my job and I’m supposed to do that.”
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