Bill Snyder announced senior Carson Coffman as the starting quarterback as Kansas State enters the 2010 season and heads toward its season opener against UCLA. Snyder announced the decision during the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday morning.
"I said we'd (decide upon a starter) within 10 days of the ballgame. Carson Coffman will start," Snyder said. "That's been prevalent in our camp here in the last week or so."
Coffman, considered a slight favorite entering fall camp, returns after completing 71 of 117 passes for 860 yards and two touchdowns and four interceptions a year ago. The 6-foot-3, 211-pounder was named the starter this time a year ago but was replaced by sixth-year senior Grant Gregory in week five against Iowa State. Coffman returns all but five passing attempts among Wildcat returners this season.
"(Coffman possessed) more consistency during the course of the preseason camp and his performance level was better and when you total it up, and that probably comes from the consistency that he has, which has a lot to do with the experience," Snyder said. "He has more experience on the field than the other two guys."
Converted wide receiver Collin Klein, a sophomore, and redshirt junior Sammuel Lamur were the other candidates for the starting spot.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Klein followed a decent spring with a disappointment when an injury prevented him from participating in the spring game. Klein believed he had a productive fall camp but appeared somewhat inconsistent during the final hour of an open practice on Aug. 21.
Lamur provides athleticism at the quarterback position that the Wildcats haven't seen in at least a couple of years. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder seeks his first pass at the Football Bowl Subdivision level but teammates laud his arm strength and ability to maneuver in the pocket.
Snyder said he made the decision at quarterback last week "just because we wanted to make sure we had ample preparation time as far as the quarterback fitting in with whichever group he played with.
"But (Coffman) had taken a substancial amount of reps with what would amount to the No. 1 offense during that time as well. I don't think it's a matter of catching up at all, just everyone being on the same page, which I think they were moving in that direction anyway. Nothing dramatically changed. We still give reps to our No. 2 and No. 3 quarterback. I don't think anything different has taken place other than we have solified who would be the No. 1 quarterback."
Snyder said he believed Coffman's motivation this season could stem from his benching a year ago.
"I would certainly think so. I hope that would be the case and I believe it is," Snyder said. "He's a very team-oriented young guy and wants to do anything and everything that he can to help his teammates and his team. He's got a good understanding of what our offense is all about and he's somewhat a quiet, young guy but by the same token there's a fire that burns there, a passion for it.
"He's a very competitive young man."
The Wildcats open their season with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday against UCLA at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.