Big 12 News

Lance Leipold Expects Jalon Daniels to ‘Be Ready This Season’

NCAA Football: Illinois at Kansas

LAS VEGAS — For the Kansas Jayhawks to contend in the Big 12 Conference, coach Lance Leipold knows his quarterback, Jalon Daniels, has to stay healthy.

With fall practices set to start in a month, Leipold said that Daniels is doing everything possible to ensure he’s ready to go for the regular season.

“Our expectation is that he’s able to play every snap he can play,” Leipold said.


Daniels threw for only 705 yards last season and missed several games due to injuries, including his back. Some weekends, his availability was a game-time decision.

That put Jason Bean in a position to help the Jayhawks win nine games, as he threw for 2,130 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Bean is done with college. So it’s imperative that Daniels stay as healthy as possible. To that end, he’s worked with team doctors and trainers to make sure he’s in the best shape possible once fall workouts begin.

“Jalon is doing everything,” Leipold said. “We’ve gotten a lot of opinions. He’s making the throws he’s supposed to be making. I know this — I try not to ask Jalon Daniels more than once a week how he’s doing. Everyone asks him that. You can wear a young man out with that question. I’ll be told if anything is going on. Mentally, it gives him a chance to go about his business. He wouldn’t be here today if we didn’t think he would be ready this season.”

Keeping Daniels healthy is imperative. When he’s on the field, Leipold knows what the quarterback can do.

“It’s well documented that when he’s on the field, we are a lot better football team,” he said. “We can be pretty explosive.”

Kansas is coming off a 9-4 season, with a 5-4 record in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks beat UNLV in Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Kansas will play its home games in Kansas City this year due to construction at David Booth Memorial Stadium.


Kansas has six returning starters, including running back Devin Neal, who rushed for 1,280 yards last season.

Defensively there are five returning starters, but there are a wealth of Jayhawks that were rotational players last season who could emerge as starters. The concentration of talent is in the secondary, led by a quartet of seniors headlined by Cobee Bryant, who had four interceptions in 2023.

The schedule starts with Lindenwood at home on Aug. 29. After Kansas travels to Illinois on Sept. 7, the Jayhawks host UNLV on Sept. 14.

Big 12 play starts with Kansas traveling to West Virginia on Sept. 21, followed by a home game against TCU on Sept. 28.

Then Kansas travels to Arizona State on Oct. 5, hosts Houston on Oct. 19 and travels to Kansas State on Oct. 26.

The Jayhawks host Iowa State on Nov. 9, followed by a trip to BYU on Nov. 16 and a home game on Nov. 23 against Colorado. The regular season ends at Baylor on Nov. 30.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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