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WKU Football: Quarterback Week — The Mike Sanford I Know

Photo Credit: 247Sports

The Horses in the Barn

Well, first of all, who are the options? I won’t delve into these guys too deeply, because we (along with everyone else on the WKU beat) will be covering them in depth all week. Here’s a quick snapshot of each.

Steven Duncan

Big framed, decently rated by recruiting services, and a pro-style quarterback, Steven Duncan seemed like one of the three realistic possibilities at QB this year. However, his DUI charge in April really dampens his likelihood. He certainly won’t play against Wisconsin, because he’ll be serving his one game suspension. However, he could still see the field this year.

Drew Eckels

The man who will, at the very least, start the season opener against Wisconsin, Eckels has done well in his very limited playing time (15-for-24 passing in 17 games) as primary backup to both Doughty and White the past three years.

Graydon Kulick

A transfer from Davidson, Kulick was on the team last year and never really factored into the conversation. This should probably be the case again this year. Still, keep an eye on him. You never know who’s going to surprise you.

Davis Shanley

A two-star recruit from Sanford’s 2017 recruiting class, Shanley received a redshirt last season. He’s looking to get in the mix, but barring unforeseen improvement, he’s still rounding into shape as a college athlete. He probably needs another year or two to compete for playing time. Keep an eye on him next year for sure.

Kevaris Thomas

As a 6'4" and 250 pound true freshman, Thomas comes into the QB room with SEC linebacker size and length, a quarterback’s arm. The highest rated recruit (four-stars with 247 Sports) to ever sign out of high school for the Toppers, he’s got the buzz around him as the next great WKU quarterback. In my experience at WKU football, it was incredibly difficult for a true freshman to come in and steal a job. Kawaun Jakes couldn’t do it. Doughty couldn’t do it. If Kevaris does start, he’s either the clear best option, or there’s no competition. Topper fans, if he starts, let’s hope he’s incredible.

The Horse Trainer

Without doubt, Coach Sanford has recruited and coached some of the better quarterback and running back talents in recent memory. Jay Ajayi, Andrew Luck, Mike White, Brandon Doughty, Kevin Hogan, Deshone Kizer, and Christian McCaffrey provide a sparkling laundry list of great players directly coached and/or recruited by Mike Sanford. He has significant bowl game experience, including last year’s Cure Bowl appearance with WKU.


Mike Sanford knows what he’s doing. I knew him when he was younger (27) than I am currently (28). He had some rough edges and needed to grow up just like I do (just ask my wife about me). But ultimately he’s rounded himself out. He has experience being more than just a position coach. He’s got a learning curve still ahead of him in terms of managing the program, developing a culture, and some other details of head coaching. Without doubt, he’s organized, and to his credit, he really does know how to sell himself. Being a coach’s son, he knows how to play the game and be an upset pick to lead a program a year or two early. Good for him. I’m not going to hold it against him.



The Towel Rack is a place to hang your thoughts when it comes to Western Kentucky sports. Providing fans with a unique view on the Hilltoppers from news, rumors, opinions, previews, game coverage, recaps and more. Welcome to The Towel Rack.

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Matt McCay

L&H agt @safeguardky. Husband to Steph. Daddy to Riley & Hailey. Member @destinychurchbg. @WKUFootball ‘14 #WKU BA ‘14 #WKU MS ‘17 #GOTOPS @TheTowelRackWKU