<
>

Freshman QB Ryan Willis giving Kansas hope for future

Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis made his first career start Saturday against Baylor. That's a tall task for a true freshman, but Willis' performance earned him more than a few new fans on Saturday -- including Art Briles.

“I was really impressed with him,” Briles told the Lawrence Journal-World's Tom Keegan. “I thought he was really good. He made some really, really nice throws and kept his composure. If I was a Kansas Jayhawk, I’d be a little bit excited. I think the guy’s really good, looked real good today.”

Willis threw for 158 yards on 20 of 36 passing with a touchdown. He turned the ball over twice, including a fumble that Baylor returned for a score, but Kansas coach David Beaty was generally pleased by what he saw. The young passer made a couple of throws he'd like back, but his mentality in running the offense is what excites Beaty.

"I loved his approach," Beaty said after the game. "I loved the way he attacked each series. He was never discouraged at all. The guy was excited about going out there and playing. I love that he loves to play football."

Beaty confirmed Monday during the Big 12 teleconference that Willis will get his second start Saturday against Texas Tech. Check out Keegan's column for more insight on Willis from Briles and the Bears. They certainly sounded impressed by KU's new QB.