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Monday, December 12, 2011

Charlie Weis recruiting to KU already

Kansas football recruit Dayne Crist watches from the stands during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas football recruit Dayne Crist watches from the stands during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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The Charlie Weis Era may be just a couple of days old, but, already, the Kansas University football program has seen a change in how recruiting is handled under its new head coach.

In short, it seems no fish is too big to fry for Weis, who has wasted little time in targeting some big-name talent to join him in Lawrence.

It’s a well-known fact that Weis is in the hunt for former five-star quarterback prospect Dayne Crist, a senior at Notre Dame who visited KU over the weekend and reportedly is down to deciding between Kansas and Wisconsin. Crist, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will graduate this month and has said he plans to transfer for his final season. Because of NCAA rules, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound pro-style QB will be eligible immediately.

Weis also has extended scholarship offers in the last couple of days to South Bend, Ind., wide receiver Gehrig Dieter, 6-3, 200; Bishop Miege running back Tre Parmalee, 5-10, 160; Tampa (Fla.) linebacker Schyler Miles, 6-2, 220; and Butler County CC defensive tackle Chaquil Reed, 6-3, 290.

Reed has interest from K-State and Minnesota, and Miles has offers from Cincinnati, Florida and West Virginia. Crist, whom Weis recruited to Notre Dame, chose the Fighting Irish over Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Stanford and USC.

While Weis made it clear that he would not shy away from going after the best players he can find, a determining factor in how he shapes his first recruiting class at KU likely will be how many scholarships he has available.

“The big question with me is, there aren’t a lot of seniors on the roster,” Weis said. “Therefore, there aren’t a lot of spots for recruits. What you have to figure out is what that number will be, so you can recruit the appropriate number of people.”

Prior to being fired, former KU coach Turner Gill had locked up eight oral commitments from athletes in the Class of 2012. A couple of them have bailed, and a few remain committed to KU. Weis figures at least to visit with each of them, and there already have been rumors circulating about a handful of current Jayhawks ready to transfer. That’s no surprise to Weis.

“Anytime a new coach comes in, I would say the natural attrition is 10 to 15 players,” he said. “This is everywhere. When people say, ‘So-and-so came in, and 12 guys transferred,’ every other coach, when they go in, the same thing happens. The same thing happened my first year at Notre Dame. I think 13 guys left in the first year.”

The departure of some players often is matched by the arrival of others, and Weis said the important part was figuring out quickly who would stay and who would go so he could hit the recruiting trail with a better idea of what he needed.

“I don’t want to undersign,” he said. “I don’t want to go out there and sign 15 guys if I can sign 25 guys. I also don’t want to take people just for numbers. You want to take guys that fit what (we) need.”

When Weis arrived at Notre Dame in 2005, he inherited a recruiting class that was ranked 40th in the country by Rivals.com. Notre Dame’s next four recruiting classes all ranked in the Top 21, including three straight hauls in the top eight, and the 2008 class ranked second.

While those numbers can be explained partly by Notre Dame’s status as a football powerhouse, the head coach’s reputation likely had something to do with it.

Similar results may be tough to duplicate at Kansas, but since taking the job, Weis has seemed determined to try.

“I’ll hire you a top staff. They’ve given me the resources to do that,” Weis told the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during Saturday’s basketball game. “I’ll get on the road and pound it on recruiting to supplement our team.”

Perhaps his biggest advantage in his quest to repeat history?

“I have knowledge that I didn’t have last time,” Weis said, “which makes things a lot easier going forward.”

Comments

tophawk87 2 years, 4 months ago

The only thing that will bring in KU football fans is wins. It is that simple. If Charlie Weiss wins games, he will be a hero in Lawrence. If he loses games, he will be a zero.

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55jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

What is the status of our Red Shirt Freshman from Colorado? Is he staying, is he as good as he thinks he is? Something's going on and has been, I would like to have that slot squared away pretty soon one way or another. Regarding the track, leave it. We need the space for teams, TV and what not. I would add a second tier to the North side like TX A&M's as we really do not have a view to the North anyway. I agree with cleaning up the South end and making it more of a class act when the money is available. Let's get a team together and start winning again then $ will not be the issue.

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Todd 2 years, 4 months ago

Why is it that most everyone only suggests removing the track to add seats? How about finishing the upper portion of the bowl? Or what about adding another deck over on the side opposite the media booth instead of the failed touchdown club thing (you could still put luxury boxes in there too)

Also, the more I think about it, I love the idea of a nice brick wall with an iron gate for the players to go through or the students to enter through during graduation. Statues would be a great touch as well. Hadl, Douglas, Sayers, Riggo. All deserving.

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herk59 2 years, 4 months ago

I would love to see the new coach take a look at a prospect I have been watching in central texas for a few years. Ethan Horton. He was one of the best QB prospects I saw around here a couple years ago. He transfered from 2A Early to 4A Brownwood and switched to LB. I still think he should have stayed with QB, but he likes to hit too much. He didn't flash as much as I would have liked this year, as he was playing with casts on both arms, playing through a broken left arm and broken right hand, but still brought havoc. This kid reminds me of Smith Center boys with his character and drive, but he has been up against bigger competition. Plus, he likes Kansas.

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rockemchalkemrobots 2 years, 4 months ago

Based on the potential cost vs return, it might be better to embrace the track or remove the track without lowering the field. It is clearly keeping us from big time success, though. Ask Boise St. They had to change their field color just to draw attention away from their track. Now when you think of them do you think, "look at those track loving weirdos play football!", or do you think, "look at those smurf loving weirdos play smurfball!"?

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beebe1 2 years, 4 months ago

Why have so few of you read any of the background on lowering the field? The plumbing under the field wold cost a fortune to eliminate or move!

The only good idea in this mess is to enhance access -- either by relocating the stadium or building access freeways from existing super highways. Maybe a sequence -- first access, then a new stadium. What you propose is way short on value compared to the cost.

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JayHok 2 years, 4 months ago

Like the new stadium concept but I still like this one a lot more because it can be done in the offseason and I'd like to see a firm's estimate if it only takes 3 months for instance. Can't see digging a hole and removing the dirt being anywhere close to the cost and time of building a new stadium.

Just a question to any engineers or math people. If the field was lowered, would there really be only seven rows to be placed between the current first row and the new edge of the field? I haven't done the math at all, but I swear my common sense has me walking down a bunch of steps. You would have to walk down enough to finish the horizontal distance all the way across the track. To me that seems like at least fifteen maybe twenty rows at 1,000 people per row. Maybe I'm way off but if just like to see the math if anybody knows how to do it.

Thanks and RJH

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Jason Keller 2 years, 4 months ago

When next season starts, we need to pack that stadium and show Charlie that we too, the fans, are also committed to our football program.

In a heartbeat, I would trade our basketball program for a football program with similar success. That big ol' stadium on the north side of campus will pay the bills.

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martyks 2 years, 4 months ago

Charlie should probably go talk to Brian Kelly about all the improvements Coach Kelly had to make at Notre Dame in order to make the team competitive after Charlie left. If Weis comes in ready to make those changes as well as a few of his own, we might have something. I hope you guys all know that Charlie walked away with 10 million, just to leave ND. Talk about golden (dome) parachutes. We will need a training table, a decent strengths coach, good coaches, not simply Charlie's buddies from the NFL, and Charlie has to recruit defensive players. Manti Te'o was the exception at ND. Weis gets fixated on the offensive side of things. However, do not assume he's got college football offense figured out. ND was woeful the last couple of years, even with a top rated QB. His offensive lines were usually horrible. I'm not assuming it will be any better at KU. I hope it will be. I seriously doubt this coming year will be very much fun. Vince Lombardi probably wouldn't win with the recruits we have at this time. After that, I'm holding out hope we get competitive in the next few years.

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jamill4 2 years, 4 months ago

Friend within the program has indicated Jordan Webb has been cut from the team and Weis plans to cut up to 20 scholarships in the coming weeks.

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texashawk10 2 years, 4 months ago

Keeping fans in the stands for the second half is not nearly as simple as just fielding a competitive team because the student section was still close to half empty pretty early in the second half even when KU was competitive during Mangino's final seasons in Lawrence. Having a competitive team helps with keeping people around, but KU's administration has do more to keep the stadium full throughout the game.

Here's some stuff that other schools do to try help boost football attendance and all of these are non-traditional football schools. At Duke, it's a requirement for students to buy football season tickets as part of their sports pass in order to get basketball tickets as well. KU administration could make it a requirement for WEF members to buy football season tickets in order to purchase basketball season tickets. More than likely anyone who can afford season tickets for KU basketball can afford to buy season tickets for football as well.

Baylor has the freshman line. They are the group of students wearing those gold jerseys that make the line when Baylor's players come out of their tunnel at the beginning of the game and are very easy to spot in the stands. I think it would be wise for KU come up with something to get incoming freshmen involved with the game because this is a way to get students interested in KU football early on and keep them coming back their sophomore, junior, and senior years as well.

A friend of mine that went to North Texas told me that UNT closes all dining halls while games are going on so if students want to eat, it's encouraged that they go to the tailgates at the stadium. This could be helpful for KU because if a student doesn't have a car, it can be a pain in the butt to go get something to eat off-campus and there's enough tailgating at KU to feed the students. If you can get the students down by the stadium while the game is going on, you have a better chance of getting them inside the stadium while the game is going on.

Obviously none of these ideas guarantee any increase in attendance and without at least a competitive team have no chance of working, but these are all ideas that other places have implemented in efforts to increase football attendance to varying degrees of success. I'm also sure there's plenty of other ideas out there to help boost attendance, but these are three that I have heard about and seen used.

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 4 months ago

Any word on Beaty? We need his recruiting. Seems like a good man and coach too.

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I hope that everyone posting on here about removing the track, lowering the field, and filling the stadium is a football season ticket holder and a Williams Fund member. If we can field competitive teams that are in every game and have a chance to win every game going into the 4th quarter I think you'll find that filling the stadium and keeping people in their seats to the end is not a problem

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Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

The stadium is hindering recruiting. The people mentioning the track are not irrational at all. The track isn't the only problem, the entire back drop on the Campanile side is basically a chain link fence. Take out the track, put up a nice brick wall that would both look nice on game day and be a good addition to the graduation ceremony.

  1. Remove the track (essential to a legitimate D1 Stadium)
  2. Put up a better wall on the Campanile side (also essential)
  3. Gridiron Club
  4. With the track removed, add 5,000 seats (depending on ticket sales)
  5. Add a Hall of Fame somewhere at the stadium Maybe on the bowl side?
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martyks 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm from South Bend and have always been a die hard ND football fan. When Charlie came to town there, he talked the talk. He is a great recruiter (I think). He is a pretty good offensive coordinator too (I think). He knows what he's talking about when he coaches QBs. He's a fairly good game day coach. One thing he never did for ND is prepare the players for the season. It was astounding how poorly his teams performed in the fundamentals. If he has learned that you cannot assume college players will prepare themselves, then we might have some good competitive teams in the near future. The teams at ND were in horrible condition. The lack of strength was a glaring problem. Zone blocking simply didn't work and yet, he insisted on using it. The defenses were porous to non existent. Primadonna behavior was seemingly encouraged (e.g. Clausen). All the while, he talked the talk. In the end, it felt like we had been sold a bill of goods. He could sell ice to eskimos. I hope that the pressure of coaching KU will be less than ND and that he will thrive here. I fear it's all smoke and mirrors again, but there is a chance he will turn this program around. Go Jayhawks.

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Mark Lindrud 2 years, 4 months ago

We really do need to get Christ here. A big recruiting battle victory already would be big. I know it wouldn't be the biggest thing in the world, but to get him here would create a lot of momentum for recruiting and give us early recognition. Recruits would have to at least give us a second look.

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LSHawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Not expecting a field house experience is part of the problem. All of us MUST expect the football program to strive for the sucess that the BB program has had, period. We should not tolerate anything less than a total commitment to winning, at football as well as basketball.

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Bruce Rist 2 years, 4 months ago

If fans want to up-grade the quality of recruiting, fill the stadium on game day. If you want top tier recruiting, don't leave after half-time. If you want 4 and 5 star recruits, fill the stadium at the Spring Game.

Recruiting can't be just the coaches. Jayhawk Nation has to get involved. I don't expect an Allen Field House experience, but you get the point.

If you don't go to games and you don't attend the Spring Game, don't complain about the recruits.

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 4 months ago

Saw this morning that Bilal Marshall pulled his KU commitment and is now committed to Purdue. Not surprising given that he is not the type of QB Weis is looking for.

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

Also, what can we do to keep the students in the stands beyond half time? The culture of KU Football must change if KU is to be successful. Those who love and support the bball program to the death surely must understand that without a successful football program the bball program will die if realignment were to occur!

With that said, it's great to learn that SZ got the money to attract HCCW to KU but it's also great to know that the admin will be providing HCCW with the resources to bring in a great staff. Let's hope SZ and HCCW can change the culture and break this vicious circle that is KU Football. RCJHGKU !!!

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superhawk22 2 years, 4 months ago

If players want to leave, let 'em. We went 2-10 with them, we sure as heck can go 2-10 without them. We need players who want to be here and are 100% committed to making this team better.

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 4 months ago

That track is a joke. Zenger must know

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 4 months ago

That track is a joke. Zenger must know

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FSUJHAWK 2 years, 4 months ago

I hate to say this but I hope HCCW convinces the admin and donors to get rid of the track and fund a new home for the relays. Recruits keep laughing at the fact that the track still remains. I know the relays are a big part of KU tradition but something has to be done. SZ, go to work!

RCJHGKU!!!

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Jim Jackson 2 years, 4 months ago

Any news on David Beaty being retained? I sure hope Miller stays, dude was nasty. C'mon Dayne Crist, come join us! Great academic school with smokin' hot girls. What more could you ask for?!!

Apparently him and Weis are real tight. I like our chances

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Steve Yeakel 2 years, 4 months ago

Go get 'em Charlie, we are excited to have you as our new coach.

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eastcoasthawk 2 years, 4 months ago

I, for one, am excited to see our current players with a new coaching staff. You really get tired of seeing the same mistakes over and over again and see little to no improvement from game to game. Time to start sawing wood again!

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 4 months ago

IF any players don't want to be stay, then go. I don't care who you are! There's a new sheriff in town, and a new sheriff means new rules. Either you're with the new sheriff or you're not. That simple.
You can and will be replaced.

Go Charlie!

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bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Good article from the Topeka Capital Journal that fairly describes the KU football situation:

http://cjonline.com/sports/2011-12-11/can-weis-turn-kus-football-program-around

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LogicMan 2 years, 4 months ago

Good luck to our new coach and staff! I look forward to becoming a dedicated fan again. The last two years have been difficult, especially because Gill is a very decent person and was quite a player on the field for NU in his day. Hopefully top notch recruits will flock to KU under the new management.

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gardenjay 2 years, 4 months ago

I sure hope Weis does his best to keep Shepard.

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

Matt Tait - you should start an up to date log over the next week regarding the recruiting moves, transfers, and assistant coaching hires. Kind of like how you did the 11 day log rearding the head coaching hire...and the conference realignment.

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lv_jhwk 2 years, 4 months ago

Had to go back and look up the receiver as I thought his name rang a bell, and it did. Kid set a national record for receiving yards in a game early this past season, over four hundred. Doesn't have many big time offers, so perhaps Weis and his South bend foray can pay dividends here as well as in addition to Crist.

While excited about these guys and who else might be brought in, have to admit I'm almost as curious to know for sure who will be exiting and why. From the stories I've come across, it seems that loyalty to Gill isn't necessarily the case.

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KU_Alumn_2000 2 years, 4 months ago

I love how aggressive and optimistic HCCW is with recruiting...and bringing in a top notch coaching staff. Hopefully he keeps David Beaty.

Does anyone have any inside information on which of the current players are going to transfer ? Hope we keep Bourbon, Pick, Miller, and Pearson. Hopefully Keeston Terry and McDougald stays too.

Red and blue KU red and blue KU !!!

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Hank Cross 2 years, 4 months ago

This all could be sound and fury signifying nothing, but I like the way Weis is trying to get KU into the recruiting game all around the country and keep local talent like Parmalee. I'm tired of the attitude that the only FB players KU can get are 3rd tier talents from TX.

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