So far so good for Kansas quarterback Peyton Bender
Not particularly tall, broad or mobile, Kansas junior quarterback Peyton Bender doesn’t need to be any taller, broader or more mobile to become the best prospect the Jayhawks have had standing in the shotgun since Todd Reesing.
Bender need do no more than he did in Saturday’s spring game to clear that bar. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception.
“I thought I did fine,” Bender said afterward. “I did what I was supposed to do. We kept the play-calling pretty simple.”
Bender looked comfortable and in charge.
As for how his spring has gone in general, Bender said, “I’ve been pleased. There’s room for improvement. There are plenty of mistakes I’ve made. I just have to continue on the learning process of the offense but so far I think it’s going pretty well.”
Bender ran an Air Raid offense in high school in Florida, during a redshirt season and his redshirt freshman year at Washington State and as a sophomore for Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.
Every version of the Air Raid is a little different, including the one offensive coordinator Doug Meacham installed this spring.
“The Air Raid offense tends to be a little bit easier on the quarterback,” Bender said. “It’s fairly simple, but it’s a more complicated version of the Air Raid than I’ve run in any other system. It’s been a little bit more on my plate, but I think I’ve handled it well. I’m definitely learning it.”
Both Bender and redshirt sophomore Carter Stanley get snaps with the first string offense during practice and head coach David Beaty has not named a starter.
Still, I would be surprised if Bender doesn’t win the starting job, which would make Stanley the best backup Kansas has had at quarterback in many, many years.