As Paul Rhoads talked about his grading system for choosing a quarterback this year, he repeatedly listed decision making, throwing accuracy and running as the factors. The last factor is intriguing when consideration is given to the Big 12’s reputation for great passers.In the last four years, 11 conference quarterbacks have averaged more than 300 yards passing per game. Of that group, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III was a great runner and Missouri’s Chase Daniel was fairly productive on the ground. However, Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden (twice), Oklahoma’s Landry Jones (twice) and Sam Bradford, Tech’s Seth Doege, Graham Harrell and Tyler Potts and Kansas’ Todd Reesing all failed to rush for 120 net yards in the seasons they passed for 300+ per game. Iowa State likes to run its quarterbacks. Jared Barnett gained 437 yards on the ground a year ago and Steele Jantz added 216. Jantz was slowed in the run game after an injury at UConn and Rhoads feels Jantz improved his running ability significantly during the off-season. The top returning QBs in the conference according to most are OU’s Jones and K-State’s Collin Klein. Jones hasn’t run much, but the Sooners did employ back-up Blake Bell for 13 rushing TDs a year ago and Klein rushed for 1,141 yards and 27 touchdowns last year. In a league known for passing, it’s interesting there is a place for running QBs, too. The Cyclones have two capable ones and are eager to employ them.
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