University of Kansas

‘Super Stan’: How KU’s QB has hurdled, shouldered and blocked his way to respect

Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley estimates his vertical jump is somewhere in the low 30-inch range, saying it’s definitely not to the level of a basketball player or wide receiver.

His one-time elevation was likely higher than that, though, after deciding to hurdle 6-foot-2, 205-pound cornerback Nolan Borgersen on a QB run last Friday.

“I feel like that’s some incentive to get up a little bit more,” Stanley said with a laugh.

The mid-air aerobatics quickly went viral on social media, symbolizing KU’s toughness and desire during a 48-24 road victory over Boston College.

The moment also earned Stanley plenty of admiration from his teammates, who repeatedly saw the 6-2, 198-pound signal-caller seek contact on runs and blocks.

“I call him, ‘Super Stan.’ That’s his name,” KU running back Pooka Williams said. “He’s different. He puts his body on the line every play. He’s doing things other quarterbacks don’t do.”

It started with that second quarter play against Borgersen. Stanley had noticed on video the defensive back’s preference was always tackling low, and he also had a dream the night before he went over the top of the defender in a similar fashion on the left hash.

The vault provided a momentum boost — Stanley bounced up and extended his arm to signal first down afterward — and also began a run of toughness plays for the quarterback.

On the same possession, he kept the ball on another QB run, lowering his shoulder to provide a blow on 205-pound cornerback Mehdi El Attrach to end the play.

“That’s my quarterback, running head up,” Williams said. “I’m just like, ‘Yeah, that’s my quarterback.’”

Just before halftime, Stanley also played a key role in KU’s longest gain from scrimmage. Running back Khalil Herbert broke free for an 82-yard run, but it was Stanley putting a shoulder pad into 230-pound linebacker Max Richardson that allowed the play to develop.

“I’m serious. I need to work on some blocking drills with those run plays, because I’m responsible for that guy,” Stanley said with a grin. “It was cool, because he blitzed on the outside, and then the run ended up cutting back right to where that ‘backer left from. So I gave him a good little pop, and I’ve got to work on my technique a little bit.”

Stanley’s teammates weren’t surprised afterwards that he was so willing to sacrifice his body.

“That just shows the type of guy Carter is,” receiver Andrew Parchment said. “He’s a very selfless player, and I just love him so much and just the way he plays the game.”

KU coach Les Miles believes it’s those types of instances that prove just how much Stanley cares. When a guy puts himself at risk for those around him, Miles says, that’s something that gets recognized.

Still ... those aren’t the type of decisions that Miles is going to encourage too often moving forward.

“There’s some things that I would probably like to take back, like jumping over the top of the guy,” Miles said with a laugh. “We really need to give him a height range whether he’s allowed to jump over him or not: A 4-8 kind of guy as opposed to 6-foot-4.”

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Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.
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