How does quarterback Jalon Daniels break Kansas into a surprise undefeated show against Duke?

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The key to quarterback success in college is hidden in Brent Dearmon’s laptop. The next level of custom analysis is there – if you think of a basic Microsoft Excel file as next level, proprietary and analytical.

“I don’t know if you heard that,” said Dearmon, the FAU’s attack coordinator. “I’m a math graduate.”

This is a good place to start this week’s top underground rags to rich quarterback success story.

Much credited with discovering Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels is Dearmon, formerly Kansas’ offensive coordinator. Daniels is largely responsible for leading Kansas to their first 3-0 start in 13 years.

The best early-season feel-good story this side of the Appalachian State spreads like Crimson and Blue ink spilled on a white tablecloth.

It features a rite of failures at a basketball school that needs a football program to be proud of.

It includes the likes of Les Miles, Charlie Weis, David Beaty, and Turner Gill. And loser. There is so much to lose.

“People probably didn’t expect that,” said Lance Leipold, KU sophomore coach of the Jayhawks’ return. “Uncharted waters for them.”

So much so that the first sale in three years at Memorial Stadium will witness a showdown between the avengers that looks more like a Final Four game: Kansas vs. Duke.

So much so that if Nebraska comes, Leipold himself is perceived as a short timer.

So much so that Dearmon, working under Miles, saw things others didn’t. This Excel file has 12 quarterback features tracked by Dearmon. Her 12 features. The numbers exploded her The version of quarterback success that has to be as good as anyone these days.

So much so that Daniels, a scrawny little-known candidate with a smile that could light up the world, definitely has the game to carry a show.

“JD was in line with some of the numbers four and five there when I entered all the numbers.“Star quarterbacks in the country,” said Dearmon, who made the quarterback discovery as KU senior offensive advisor in 2019.

“I loved it. I got it [his tape] to the offensive coordinator. I took him to the recruitment coordinator. Everyone asked him, ‘Is it long enough?’ it happened. The ball comes out of his hand unlike any human I’ve ever seen. It jumps out.”

Daniels came out of Lawndale High School, which is located just miles from both LAX and Los Angeles beach. He was in the same recruiting class as his California signal seeker friends Bryce Young, DJ Uiagalelei, and CJ Stroud. It was somehow overlooked. 2,305 overall by 247Sports. As a three-star candidate rated as Why overlooked.

“He was somehow underemployed in that LA area because there were too many people. [great quarterbacks]“Dearmon,” he said. “I thought you got lost in the confusion because of all these big names.”

Dearmon heard about Daniels from Southern California private quarterback coach Sam Fisher, who couldn’t get the boy out of his head.

Lawndale won a state championship with Daniels in 2018, but Daniels only started two seasons. The only “West Coast” offerings were from Eastern Washington and New Mexico State. Daniels knew he had to leave home to do that, and eventually went to Middle Tennessee.

“I’ve never seen a ball go that fast at 70 yards in my life,” Fisher said. “Jalon was smiling from ear to ear; that smile never went away. Nothing happened. I was totally shocked.”

That Excel file? Dearmon tracks basics such as touchdown and stop rate. He also pursues the win. That was enough for Dearmon, who played quarterback at junior Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee.

Is it a matter of height? Dearmon and Fisher cannot understand this. Daniels 6 feet. Young won the Heisman Cup in 5 feet-11. Baker Mayfield is 1.80 meters tall.

“The old school kids on the West Side said, ‘Oh, we want 6-4 kids.’ Dearmon said, “He’s grown on you.”

All of this was enough for Dearmon to stay on top of Daniels, who was on his way from MTSU to Kansas two days before signing the National Letter of Intent.

Daniels matured in Kansas. By the time he started at the age of 17 in 2020, balls were hitting his face and, figuratively, his brain was starting to work. After the worst ten years in show history (21-99 from 2010-19), the Jayhawks went 0-9 in 2020 in Miles’ second and final season.

A few months later, Dearmon announced that he was going to Middle Tennessee. The man who stood on the desk for Daniels in the staff room was now leaving his project behind.

Dearmon looks back sadly. If Daniels had stayed on the original Middle Tennessee commitment, they would be together today.

“He’s kept that with me 100% the whole time,” Daniels said of Dearmon.

Now, some of the same offensive line guards who have delivered a total of 63 sacks over the past two seasons have allowed none of the 70 tries in 2022.

The Jayhawks are in the top five on Saturday for scoring (3.0 points per game, fourth), third-down conversions (68.6%, second), touchdowns (13, fourth) and yards per scrimmage (7.13, second only to Alabama).

The only “Coach K” involved in Saturday’s competition is Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki. It added a triple option element to Daniels’ game.

You may have already noticed. Jalon Daniels beat one of the California quarterbacks — former #1 overall recruit JT Daniels — in an overtime in West Virginia. Jalon rushed (123 yards) and threw (three touchdowns) all over Houston in a 48-30 loss last Saturday.

These victories marked the program’s first consecutive road wins since 2007.

But there were signs on the way. Daniels spearheaded one of the biggest upsets of 2021, winning the game-winning two-point return at Texas in overtime. This ended a 13-year 56-game away streak in the Big 12 game. In that game, we saw what could happen as Daniels scored a career-high three goals and sprinted to a career-high 45 yards.

The game was also the turning point of the program for another reason. It was Daniels’ fourth game of the season. Due to a recent NCAA rule change, he could have finished his season there and deserved an extra year in the red shirt.

Instead, Daniels finished the season. That’s a major reason why the Jayhawks are right now.

“He was one of the most selfless [program] things you would want,” said Leipold. “Not common today. [Players say] ‘Where is mine?’ He saw the big picture. It was a huge message that we were where we needed to be.”

“If I left it like that,” Daniels added, “it would stop all the momentum.”

Leipold embraced them all. Twice this week, he has hinted that he will stay in Kansas despite his deep coaching roots in the state of Nebraska (1994-2006 Nebraska and Nebraska-Omaha).

Leipold was previously 3-0 at previous stops in Wisconsin-Whitewater and Buffalo, but being 3-0 in the Power Five – even one like Kansas – is different. He and his cast have come under requests from the national media this week.

In the past two weeks, former KU coaches Gill, Glen Mason and Mark Mangino have all been in touch.

All three know what it’s like to lose 10 games in Kansas, but Mason and Mangino finally turned the corner with the Jayhawks and earning at least 10 games. In fact, Mangino – the last coach to start 3-0 – stays in contact with Leipold regularly via texts.

Here is one of them from Mangino: If you win in Kansas, they’ll crawl on your nails for you.

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