By Taylor Clayton
Rams quarterback Turner Baty had an incredible ride last season. Baty went from starting the season on the bench, despite being named first string quarterback, to throwing for five touchdowns in the state championship game after which he was honored as the game’s MVP. He has now committed to Kansas to play under former NFL assistant coach Charlie Weiss next semester.
The Guardsman sat down with Baty for a Q&A about his breakout season last year.
So you started last season on the bench, now you’re going on to play football at Kansas, what was last season like for you?
It was crazy, I was actually the starter for all of spring ball and all of summer ball. I had one bad practice in summer camp in August, I threw a couple of interceptions, I wasn’t taking care of the ball and coach Rush was just like, ‘nope!’ Took my job. But I got a lot of good advice from different people to stay focused and be prepared as if you were the starter because they are going to need you. Then, the second game they put me in and I kind of just took over from there. It was a crazy ride and it just taught me to never stop believing in yourself, and it paid off.
In the championship game you were in another zone; you threw for five touchdowns. Was that the best game you have ever played?
The state semi-finals against Fresno, that was probably the best game I ever had. My receivers were just catching everything, my line picked up everyone — I don’t think I got sacked once — and I ended up throwing for seven touchdowns. When we were coming into this game we thought they were going to be really tough; sure enough we were up 42-0 at halftime. That gave us a lot of momentum heading into the state championship game.
So you chose Kansas, any particular reason why?
I heard offers from Auburn and Penn State, I went out to Michigan and visited there. When I went to Kansas I wasn’t really expecting much and I just fell in love with the place — with the coaching staff and playing for Charlie Weiss and his style of offense. It’s just so advanced and he’s won super bowls with it and that was definitely a big plus. Also the quarterbacks coach recruited me when I was at Notre Dame (high school) and we had a really good relationship. I went to the campus, I loved everything about it, loved the guys on the team, it just felt right; and when something feels right you know you were put there for a reason.
What is the quarterback competition going to be like when you get there?
I’m going to be competing for the job with the transfer from Notre Dame University. Hopefully I will see the field this year, they told me it could be a great possibility. So, I’m just going to work my butt off either way and always be ready, always be ready was kind of the lesson that taught me this year. You never know when you are going to get your opportunity, just prepare yourself the right way and when you get it you can take it and run with it.