Junior Coffman to start for Wildcats

Junior Carson Coffman will be Kansas State's starting quarterback when the Wildcats open their season Saturday night against Massachusetts.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder announced his decision on Tuesday as Coffman beat out South Florida transfer Grant Gregory for the starting job.

"I think you could speak to his consistency, you could speak to his calmness and his presence involved," Snyder said in explaining why Coffman was picked. "It's his ability to manage the game as much as anything else, his command of the huddle.

"That's not to downplay other aspects of his game. He's thrown the ball well. I've been pleased with how he's throwing it and his working with receivers has been good. It's all been a plus."

Coffman was the backup quarterback to Josh Freeman over the last two seasons for the Wildcats. He has completed 28 of 46 passes in his career for one touchdown and two interceptions.

Gregory, the former backup to South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe, transferred into the KSU program earlier this summer. Snyder indicated the quarterback competition will remain open.

Coffman is the younger brother of former Missouri All-American tight end Chase Coffman and the son of former Kansas State and NFL standout Paul Coffman. Carson Coffman has said that earning the starting job fulfills a lifetime dream that was boosted by his father and his former KSU teammates.

Snyder also announced that junior-college transfer Daniel Thomas has earned the starting position at running back for Saturday's opener.

Thomas was a heralded quarterback at Northwest Mississippi Community College last season who was expected to challenge Coffman and Gregory for playing time. Instead, the 6-foot-2, 227-pounder has claimed the running back position with a strong finish at preseason camp, Snyder said.

Tim Griffin covers college football for ESPN.com. You may contact him at espntimgriff@yahoo.com.