With star quarterback Jalon Daniels inactive today, and Jason Bean knocked out with an injury, freshman quarterback Cole Ballard made his debut for the Jayhawks as they attempt to make a comeback and stave off an upset bid from Texas Tech. If Ballard's name sounds familiar, especially to Colts fans, that's because it is.
Ballard's father Chris is the general manager for the Indianapolis Colts.
Cole Ballard, the son of Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard, is in the game at QB for Kansas.
No. 16 Jayhawks trail Texas Tech 10-0 in the third quarter.
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) November 11, 2023
The younger Ballard has not seen much playing time in his first season of college football, but he'll be tasked with steering the Jayhawks high-powered offense for the foreseeable future. This time last year, Ballard was playing at Westfield High School in Indiana, where he was an All-State honoree, and was also an All-Academic player.
His father played his college football for the University of Wisconsin, although he did not have a particularly prolific career as a Badger. Ballard got his coaching career kicked off after he graduated, as a positional coach for the wide receivers at Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he rose through the ranks, as he held the position of defensive coordinator when he left.
Ballard departed for the NFL, as he accepted a scouting position with the Chicago Bears. He also ended up becoming the director of Chicago's pro scouting department, before taking a higher-ranking position with Kansas City and eventually becoming the Colts' general manager in 2017.
As for Cole, he wasn't an exceptionally highly-recruited prospect but secured a solid destination with Kansas. He impressed Kansas coach Lance Leipold with his preseason work before even making his college debut, and his coach clearly trusted him enough to entrust him with the offense in one of the biggest spots of the year for the Jayhawks. We'll have to keep an eye on Ballard and the Jayhawks as his career progresses- perhaps he'll even make it to the NFL just like his dad.
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