Ron Prince's first recruiting class at Kansas State looks a lot like his predecessor's: relatively heavy on junior-college transfers and adding yet another quarterback to an already crowded depth chart.
The Wildcats' list of signees, announced Wednesday, includes 10 junior-college transfers out of 27 incoming players.
"In some cases, community-college players are like free-agent acquisitions in the NFL," said Prince, who took over the Wildcats in December after Bill Snyder's surprising retirement. "But you can't build a team with free agency. You still have to build it through the draft."
Prince, who said he still had not watched films from Kansas State's 5-6 season in 2005, said he based his recruiting on perceived future roster needs and not on any onfield shortcomings last year.
The main thrust, he said, was to follow up on his stated goal to make the Wildcats fast, strong and tough.
Quarterback Josh Freeman, a December high school graduate from Kansas City, Mo., would seem to fit that description.
Freeman threw for more than 7,000 yards in his career at Grandview High School, including 2,622 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior.
Freeman already has enrolled at Kansas State and will take part in spring drills.
Missouri's stirring Independence Bowl victory came too late to impact this year's recruiting class.
The Tigers got one national-caliber recruit, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin of Kirkwood. But they ended up with only four players on Rivals.com's list of top 20 players in the state and only two of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's list of the city's top 30 prospects.
Thus, on a day when coaches normally are optimistic to the extreme about their latest stack of signed national letters of intent, coach Gary Pinkel tempered his enthusiasm for a 21-player class that includes five junior-college players.
"Our recruiting was almost over by the time we played our bowl game," Pinkel said. "Everything's so much faster now, and it's amazing how quick things go."
National champion Texas signed another stellar crop of top high school talent with perhaps the most important player of the bunch already on campus.
Among the 25 players who signed national letters of intent with the Longhorns, high school All-American quarterback Jevan Snead of Stephenville is among a handful already enrolled in class and set to participate in spring drills.
That means the battle to replace Vince Young begins Feb. 27 with the first spring practice. Snead heads straight into his career competing with red-shirt freshman Colt McCoy.
New University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins is especially enthusiastic about one player among the 21 he signed in a whirlwind recruiting season after taking over the program in December - his 17-year-old son.
Cody Hawkins is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound quarterback who was considering going to Boise State, where his father compiled a 53-11 record before leaving to take over in Boulder following Gary Barnett's ouster in December.
Amazingly, Cody Hawkins' signing came as a complete surprise to his father, who was thrilled when an assistant interrupted a staff meeting Wednesday to let him know Hawkins' paperwork had just come over on the fax machine.
As late as the night before the first day of the NCAA football signing period, Gerald McCoy was torn. Should he play for Oklahoma or Southern California?
A call to USC coaches confirmed for McCoy what he already thought - that Oklahoma was the right place for him. So in front of cheering classmates, McCoy - considered by some to be the nation's best defensive tackle - signed a letter of intent to play for the Sooners.
McCoy, from Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, and tight end Jermaine Gresham of Ardmore topped a 28-player class that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said addressed the Sooners' needs.
When Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy assembled his staff prior to the 2005 season, he searched for coaches with strong ties to Texas high schools.
Those ties appeared to pay off, as 19 of the Cowboys' 28 signees hail from the Lone Star state.
Nebraska coach Bill Callahan says his 2006 recruiting class is heavy on size and skill and will serve as a solid follow-up to an '05 class that was one of the highest-rated in the country.
A total of 21 players from 10 states signed letters of intent with the Cornhuskers. Three other members of the '06 class signed in December out of junior colleges.
Baylor has a new offensive coordinator known for his passing game. Now the Bears have added plenty of players who will get a chance to throw and catch the ball.
Of the 29 players who signed national letters of intent with Baylor, five of them were receivers - the most coach Guy Morriss' team got at any position. Only one of the receivers is under 6-foot-2 tall.