Post-Spring look at who will start at quarterback for each Big 12 team

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Big 12 has seen a shake-up at the most important position in football. Turnover from the 2021 season features six schools expected to have a new starting quarterback in 2022.

Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor, and Iowa State will rollout new signal-callers this season. Four of those teams got their new quarterback through the transfer portal while Baylor and Iowa State went with in-house options to lead their squads into this college football season.

Adrian Martinez comes into the Big 12 as the most experienced quarterback with 38 starts under his belt according to Pro Football Focus. Spencer Sanders is second among projected starting quarterbacks in career games started with 32. Max Duggan has started 30 and Dillon Gabriel comes in fourth for most games started among Big 12 quarterbacks in their collegiate careers.

Hunter Dekkers is the only quarterback expected to start in the Big 12 that hasn’t started a game in his career according to Pro Football Focus. He takes over for Brock Purdy on an Iowa State team looking to bounce back after their disappointing 2021 season.

With spring ball wrapped up, let’s look at who will start for each team in the Big 12 this season.

Baylor Bears: Blake Shapen

Dec 4, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Blake Shapen (12) passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second quarter in the Big 12 Conference championship game at AT&T Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Career Games Started: 2

It was reported late Tuesday evening that Blake Shapen is expected to be named the starting quarterback for the Baylor Bears in 2022. He was really good in the first half of the Bears’ Big 12 championship win, completing 17 straight passes to stake Baylor to a 21-6 lead.

Iowa State Cyclones: Hunter Dekkers

Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Hunter Dekkers (12) runs the ball for a touchdown as Iowa State hosts Kansas at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Career Games Started: 0

With Brock Purdy off to the NFL, the athletic Hunter Dekkers takes over at quarterback. In his career, he’s completed just 58% of his pass attempts, but he’s averaged 9.8 yards per attempt as a runner. That dual-threat ability will help make up for the loss of Breece Hall in the running game.

Kansas Jayhawks: Jalon Daniels

Kansas junior quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) works on drills during practice Tuesday morning in Lawrence. Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Career Games Started: 9

The kid that beat Texas, Jalon Daniels should start at quarterback for the Jayhawks in 2022. When he was playing at the end of the 2021 season, he gave Kansas a lift, helping them beat the Longhorns and play close games against TCU and West Virginia.

Kansas State Wildcats: Adrian Martinez

Nov 20, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Adrian Martinez (2) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Career Games Started: 38 (Nebraska)

The most experienced starter in the Big 12 heading into the 2022 season, Adrian Martinez. College football has been waiting for Martinez’s ascension to greatness. If he can take care of the football in 2022, he’ll have Kansas State knocking on the door of Big 12 contention.

Oklahoma Sooners: Dillon Gabriel

April 23, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby watches quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) warm up during the spring game at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Career Games Started: 25 (UCF)

The Sooners’ latest transfer quarterback acquisition, Dillon Gabriel had a nice spring game performance, completing 65% of his passes and looking in command of Jeff Lebby’s uptempo offense.

Oklahoma State Cowboys: Spencer Sanders

OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) runs the ball during Saturday’s spring finale at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Nathan J Fish/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Career Starts: 32

Is this the year Spencer Sanders puts it all together? If he’s able to recreate the magic he had against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, the Oklahoma State Cowboys could see a return to the Big 12 championship in 2022.

TCU Horned Frogs: Max Duggan

Nov 20, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) is defended by Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Gavin Potter (19) during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Career Starts: 30

While there’s still a quarterback competition going on at TCU, Max Duggan’s experience and athleticism combined with Sonny Dykes offensive prowess makes the most sense for the Horned Frogs. Chandler Morris will have fall ball to make a case to start, but we’re expecting Duggan to keep the job.

Texas Longhorns: Quinn Ewers

April 23, 2022; Austin, TX, USA; Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers (3) throws a pass during Texas’s annual spring football game at Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on April 23, 2022. Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY NETWORK

Career Starts: 0

We’re not buying Hudson Card as a legit contender to start at Texas. It’s the Quinn Ewers show. He sat behind C.J. Stroud in 2021 and moved to Austin to start at quarterback. He’s got a ton of tools to be an excellent player for the Longhorns and they’ve got the weapons to be dangerous with the former five-star quarterback at the helm.

Texas Tech Red Raiders: Donovan Smith

Dec 28, 2021; Memphis, TN, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith (7) runs for a touchdown during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Liberty Bowl Stadium. Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Career Starts: 4

Much like with Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels, Donovan Smith provided a spark for Texas Tech in the latter stages of 2021. He completed 60.7% of his passes with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns last year.

West Virginia Mountaineers: J.T. Daniels

(Photo/Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald)

Career Starts: 19 (USC, Georgia)

The transfer portal acquisition of J.T. Daniels from Georgia took West Virginia from a middling team into the Big 12 into a sleeper to contend for a berth in the Big 12 championship game. Combined with the Mountaineers defense, Daniels, if he can stay healthy, will have West Virginia’s offense playing at a

1

1