LAWRENCE — One of the things that Kansas coach Mark Mangino has enjoyed about senior quarterback Todd Reesing is his love for economics.
"He's telling me about the dollar deflating and the market going up," Mangino said. "I said, 'I don't care what's deflating. I just want the market to go up.' "
Mangino doesn't care how things get better; he just wants them to get better. Looking at the future of the quarterback position at KU through that prism, hey, maybe the Jayhawks can keep on trucking without Reesing. They've got two young players — redshirt freshman Kale Pick, the current backup, and freshman Jordan Webb, who is redshirting — that were more highly-rated than Reesing as high-school prospects.
Still, it appears that Mangino and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner are far from satisfied with Pick and Webb as the lone competitors for the starting job entering next season. The Jayhawks are actively recruiting two junior-college quarterbacks — Jordan Rodgers from Butte (Calif.) Community College and Quinn Mecham from Snow (Utah) College — that they hope will give them a more experienced option to consider.
"They just said they're young right now," said Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. "They feel like they've got a lot of good talent around their team at the skill positions. I have over 20 games of experience and will have a little more experience than the freshmen they have now."
Rodgers is 13-3 as a starter and led Butte to the No. 1 spot in the final 2008 JC Grid-Wire rankings as a freshman after a grayshirt year. Kansas started recruiting him within the last two months, he said, and is now at the top of his list. Despite the athletic department investigation into Mangino's treatment of players, Rodgers is hoping to take his planned visit on Dec. 4.
"I don't think it's going to affect my decision," Rodgers said. "I'm gonna meet with the coaches and how I feel about them is going to affect my decision, not things I hear from other players."
Rodgers said he would have to reevaluate if Mangino is fired.
"That would definitely affect my process," Rodgers said.
While the investigation of Mangino has not affected Rodgers' interest, the same cannot be said for prep quarterback Jacoby Walker, who has already given an oral commitment to KU. Jon Kirby, who covers KU football recruiting for Rivals.com, said that Walker, a dual-threat quarterback from Spring, Texas, has started to hear from other schools in the last week.
Kirby said that Walker will graduate in December and will need to enroll at his college of choice within six weeks. With Mangino's future in doubt, the Jayhawks could lose him, which would leave them with only Pick and Webb in the fold after former quarterback Christian Matthews moved to wide receiver this fall.
"Juco signing day is in three weeks," Kirby said. "If you don't get a juco quarterback or Jacoby Walker, you're looking at starting next spring with two quarterbacks on scholarship, which is not good."
Rodgers is hoping to follow the same path as his older brother. Aaron Rodgers played two years at Butte before finishing his career at California and becoming a first-round draft pick. Jordan said he was 5-feet-10 inches tall and weighed 160 pounds when he graduated high school. After three years at Butte, he is 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds.
"That's our family," Jordan said. "We grow into college."
Pick and Webb would have an advantage over a newcomer in that they already have spent time learning KU's offense. Pick has thrown five passes this season, completing four of them. KU wide receiver Kerry Meier said that Pick and Webb have different styles.
"With Jordan Webb, he comes from an offense that is similar to the one we run here," Meier said. "The offense he ran at Union (Mo.) is kind of a spread offense where he's throwing the ball a whole lot. Talk about Kale, with his ability and his feet and his capability to make plays when the pocket breaks down, it's definitely something that's intriguing to the coach."
Meier said he expects that Pick would start spring ball as the guy to beat.
"Kale's been here longer," Meier said, "he's been through the offense, and right now, he's number two."
Mangino hopes that he is around to see how Pick and Webb perform under pressure.
"We want to see them when they're competing for that job and they're the guy," Mangino said.