Former Big 12 Coach Not Surprised by Brock Purdy: ‘Always Been Impressed’

Brock Purdy

Getty Brock Purdy looks for a receiver on January 1, 2023 in Las Vegas.

Brock Purdy was “unreal” even before he threw his first pass with the San Francisco 49ers — and before he completed his first collegiate season from what one former Big 12 head coach recalled on January 2.

That head coach once in the same conference as the Ex-Iowa State quarterback happens to be preparing for him one more time: Arizona Cardinals head man Kliff Kingsbury.

“I watched him at Texas Tech too, obviously we played against him,” Kingsbury told reporters on Monday. “I think he was 3-0 against us.”

Even then, Kingsbury had a great deal of respect for the former Cyclones quarterback as the NFL world has begun to respect his late season rise.

“I’ve always been impressed,” Kingsbury said. “As a true freshman, I was like ‘This is unreal for a true freshman.’ It’s the same way he looks as a rookie quarterback — just the poise, the pocket presence, getting through his reads and going to the right spot with the ball. Coach [Kyle] Shanahan and coach [Brian] Griese, can’t give them enough credit for the job they’ve done with a rookie quarterback to step in like they’ve done and not skip a beat.”

Kingsbury included how he felt Purdy “his junior year was one of the better players in the country” and added “if you look at his junior year, he was playing as good as anybody.”

Brock Purdy Versus Kliff Kingsbury-Led Teams

Back in October 2018, the then-Texas Tech head coach had only gotten a couple of games on film of Purdy when he was in his first college season. But even then Kingsbury was in awe.

“He’s a really dynamic player,” Kingsbury said in that October 23 press conference in Lubbock, Texas. “He can run, he can throw, very poised, he’s really given them a spark. The poise he plays with and the way he protects the football, he’s a big-time talent and a big-time player. Couldn’t be more impressed from what I’ve seen from him so far.”

Purdy’s first game versus TTU saw him throw for 250 passing yards while adding 47 through the ground game in the 40-31 shootout win at Ames, Iowa. Purdy and Iowa State also had to overcome an early 10-0 deficit to beat Kingsbury’s Red Raiders — which eventually became the only time the two met in the Big 12.

The following year with Kingsbury off to the NFL, Purdy and the Cyclones jumped in front with a 20-0 lead. They held off a late TTU rally to win 34-24 in Lubbock on October 19, 2019. Purdy threw the first two touchdowns of the game and finished with 378 passing yards and three touchdowns. He additionally completed 71.9% of his throws.

Purdy went on to finish 3-1 overall versus the Red Raiders, with his only loss coming in his final college season of 2021 which was a 41-38 high-scoring affair against TTU. Purdy completed 76.2% of his throws and shredded the Red Raiders with 356 passing yards and three touchdowns. But was picked off twice in the defeat.

Purdy was the backup when Kingsbury last coached against the 49ers on November 21, 2022 in Mexico City — which saw Jimmy Garoppolo throw for four touchdown passes in the 38-10 trouncing.

‘Maybe the QB Position Is Well Coached in San Fran’

Meanwhile, Purdy continues to leave NFL Network analyst and former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger in amazement.

In his newest “Baldy Breakdowns” released on January 4, Baldinger mentioned how Purdy has stats almost identical to Garoppolo already: 10 touchdown throws in the last five games with the 49ers.

“Maybe the QB position is well coached in San Fran!!!” Baldinger tweeted in his breakdown as he compartmentalized Purdy’s touchdown throws.

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