Friday, January 6, 2012


Recruits reflect faith in Charlie Weis


After the season Russell Wilson had as a one-year, play-right-away transfer for Wisconsin, after leaving North Carolina State, it had to be extremely difficult for Dayne Crist to say no to the Badgers.

Think about it: At Wisconsin, Crist would have been the favorite to win the starting job for a team that can’t be counted out of national-title contention, joining a program that has fresh proof it knows how to incorporate a new leader of an offense seamlessly.

Crist chose to join a program that finished two games out of ninth place in a 10-team Big 12, instead of making the same choice Wilson made, which led to him finishing ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Why did Crist bypass the obvious choice? Two words: Charlie Weis.

The faith Crist showed in Weis in committing to Kansas has a shot at helping KU football for longer than the one year of eligibility Crist has remaining. The fact he made the decision at the age of 22, not 18, and having practiced two years under Weis at Notre Dame makes it a more informed decision than most players make in choosing a college.

Crist obviously believes in Weis’ ability to make him better, believes in Weis’ offense and trusts the coach’s expertise.

After signing with Notre Dame out of Notre Dame High in Southern California, Crist practiced as a redshirt in 2008, played sparingly as a backup in 2009, attempting 20 passes, and suffered his first torn ACL. In 2010, he started the first nine games of coach Brian Kelly’s first season. One day shy of the one-year anniversary of his first ACL injury, Crist suffered another. Kelly benched him in the first game of this season and stubbornly didn’t go back to Crist when things didn’t work out so well at the quarterback position.

Weis recruited Crist because he believed he would fit his pro-style offense ideally. That’s the same reason he recruited him to Kansas. A 6-foot-4, 235-pound pocket passer, Crist had mixed results at Notre Dame (59-percent completion rate, 6.9 yards per attempt, 16 touchdowns, nine interceptions in 338 passes) but no question represents an upgrade at the position for Kansas.

The buzz created with the selection of Weis grew louder with the commitment of Crist, louder still when Brigham Young transfer Jake Heaps, a similarly touted high school sensation, announced his decision to come to Kansas shortly after Crist did. Heaps, a 6-1, 205, pocket passer, must sit out the 2012 season, which gives him time to get acquainted with the offense.

But has the excitement translated to ticket sales? Yes.

“Without sending the (renewal) form out yet, we’ve sold 2,500 season tickets and half of them are people who didn’t have them before,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said. “And we’ve had at least one person just walk into the Williams Fund and hand us a $5,000 check and say, ‘This is for hiring Charlie Weis.’ And the fact that he was able to recruit the players he’s recruited already, I think that’s definitely added to the excitement.”

If Weis’ teams can bring the same football mentality to the gridiron as Bill Self’s teams bring to the hardwood, things could get pretty interesting around here.


Joe Ross 6 years, 4 months ago

How quickly the perspective changes re: football by booting out Gill and bringing in Weis. What a watershed moment in KU football history. Hell, even the fortunes of posters here change. Ahperse, once lampooned by nearly everyone, is enjoying the rewards of holding to a position that Gill should have been fired. Most of us now realize he was right even if his methods were at times, well...hapless. Meanwhile, Jaybate is floundering, mired in pessimism regarding Weis' hire. Somebody's gotta rain on a parade I guess, and with his comments more lengthy than articles themselves, his turns out to be a deluge. So be it. Just keepin' it real. Imagine this. It's January, are we are still talking about KU football. And we are not in a bowl game. Wow!

Carter Patterson 6 years, 4 months ago

How's aholeperse's prediction on the Dr. Z hire going?

Chris Bruning 6 years, 4 months ago

Easy Easy!! We haven't played any games yet, and we still have no "D", you know, the side of the ball that wins championships?!?!

Joe Ross 6 years, 4 months ago

@carterpatterson...ahperse has more or less admitted he was wrong about Zenger in a comment where he posted a video of Fonz from Happy Days having difficulty getting the words "I was wrong" out of his mouth. The real sin is not being wrong, it's being unwilling to change when you know you are. His repentance is good enough for me.

@RCJ...good point, although getting the fans, alumni and boosters back on board is a feat in and of itself considering the dismal last couple of seasons. It's not wrong to be optimistic about the seasons ahead given what Weis has accomplished so far in his offseason moves, especially given the short duration in which he has done it.

jgrobb 6 years, 4 months ago

But it is wrong to be unduly pessimistic about a coach too soon. My thinking is HCCW is going to have a rough go of it for 3-4 seasons. But by then the mob will be back calling for his exit.

lv_jhwk 6 years, 4 months ago

Given the cost of a typical season ticket (and taking in to consideration those packages that are discounted a bit) as well as how many have purchased, that's quite an income windfall this soon. I would expect these numbers to grow even further, and that's before any of these people set foot in the stadium. The hiring of Weis is well on its way to paying for itself and then some.

JayDocMD 6 years, 4 months ago


Kenneth Crawley announced on Twitter he will visit KU next week. He is a rivals 4 star CB from D.C. who was previously commited to Tennessee.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 4 months ago

I saw that on Twitter last night. He would be a HUGE get for KU. If you want to follow him: @SupaStarLo_MMG. Let's show him some KU love. Honestly, I think he would have to be impressed by the facilities when he visits. I think most kids think of KU and Kansas in general as barren prairie in the middle of nowhere. When they arrive on campus, they have to be pleasantly surprised. Take in the facilities, a basketball game, the campus, and I have to think we have a legitimate shot at this kid.

Ted Toulouse 6 years, 4 months ago

Recruits think Kansas is flat and ugly because the visit K-State first :)

Joseph Kuebel 6 years, 4 months ago

That is great! Altho, kstate girls give it up like it is goin out of style... So, we will see.

drnater 6 years, 4 months ago

We just need to make sure that if he doesnt pick KU that fans dont bash him like they did Gehrig. He posted at one point "man KU fans are haters." That makes us look bad in recruits eyes, especially when fans continually bash him after he is respectful in thanking the fans for their support.

FairgroveJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I've personally read more about KU football since Weis was hired than I had the prior 5 years and I'm looking forward to next season. I wonder how traffic to's football link has changed since his hire.

On the lighter side, too bad Missouri will be soiling themselves in the SEC. It would have been fun to watch it happen here.

brgregory 6 years, 4 months ago

OK...anyone with a pulse and any awareness is keen to the buzz around Weiss.

I assumed this article would have some insight into why Christ chose KU over Wisconsin with some interviews and investigations. Specifically, did the Wisconsin OC taking the Pitt job factor in? Keegan is surely assuming the pro-style development angle like the rest of us but offers no supporting information that constitutes "news"

What other recruits is he pursuing that will surprise us? Who is on his short list to get run out of town from the previous regime? What is his pitch to get these high ranked recruits to listen? Are most/any/all of the Gill players on board (privately of course)?

Shame on me for clicking on another fluff piece by Keegan. When will the LJW get rid of this stuff? Keegs, nothing personal to you though...good gig if you can get it. However, I would start making some connections your most convenient Dillons in the bagging department.

Kansashawk 6 years, 4 months ago

If memory serves, and it rarely does, I remember seeing on another thread that the coaching staff had shut down any interviews for current players and new signees. That would make it a little hard to do the investigative type of reporting that would make this a truly good story.

Joseph Kuebel 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Keegan! Memory might serve you correctly about recruits talking and being able to take interviews! Lol. He's like hrm how can I make a comment to defend (myself), and make it sound like it isn't me??? Only took you 45 minutes.

Surely there has to be others in and around the athletic department with news on possibilities and rumors around possible new hires, there has to be someone outside of KU and KU football's current staff that has an idea about who else is on KUs radar, perhaps connect with a rivals recruit guru... If they can cover 120 fbs teams and acknowledge thousands of recruits possible schools, schools offered and general interest level of the recruits SURELY it is possible without "being able to interview current KU football staff"... Such as someone in the athletic department? How about someone from rivals? How about a clown... Maybe you can connect with someone who knows a little about football so you can acquire an Actual News Story, you know...As opposed to using old news that everyone knows with out offering a little bit of insight? I do realize taut does this but he does this with NEW topics and breaking topics, and compiles multiple sources to update and give as unbiased an article as possible. Tait is to steak as Keegan is to a sloppy fat burger (that was previously stuffed as raw fatty ground beef in a mass plastic wrapped tube tube, 70/30 quality) the low grade.

Lastly, if you don't put anything worthwhile out, don't write a book review, or on your case, Keegan, article (book) review... It has the enthusiasm of homework, or a cop trying to fill his article quota... As usual.

(articles are to Keegan as homework is to kids, book reviews are to books as Keegan news stories are to articles aka. article reviews, quota tickets are to a cop as articles are to Keegan)... If I wanted an article review of old topics and one sided opinion I'd do more than skim thru Keegan's article.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch............

middleoftheroader 6 years, 4 months ago

Did you just walk into a strip joint in Columbia Missouri?

Phoghorn 6 years, 4 months ago

I have been trying to let go of MU humor now that the rivalry is ending, but that was pretty funny!

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Agreed BR. While KSHawk does accurately point out the comment from previous Jesses's (Keeg's co-worker) article about KU asking recruits not to make public comments, there is no mention of this newer (than Crist) info, or about the other even newer info like DL commits and visits (Crawley's, McCay's, ?). It is good to be reminded of Crist and Heaps, as well as hear about the tickets, but there really is quite a bit of development in between that is out there, and yet eludes Keeg's.

Robin Smith 6 years, 4 months ago

I think of Keegan more as doing op-ed pieces than reporting news.

The thing about his writing that readers need to understand before criticizing his work is that he sets out with a true and genuine premise leading towards something highly informative, an educated question or hypothesis based on his ample experience as a sports writer, and he launches with a strong voice from that premise into a series of additional points, and ultimately he ends up... :-)

I also regret taking the bait (again) and reading this article. That first sentence hurts badly.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

If "Christ" actually chose KU, we will have even a better season than I thought we would; HOLY amazing.

However, I'm not sure if Crist will be excited about being the backup in his final year of elgibility.

drnater 6 years, 4 months ago

I always imagined "Christ" would be more of a 6'5 260 lb middle linebacker who ran a 4.4 40 and abused RB's all day long! lol

HawkTronic 6 years, 4 months ago


kugrad93 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad people are excited by Weis, but this story ignores the fact that Crist made his decision after Wisconsin's offensive coordinator quit. UW has lost four assistant coaches since the end of the regular season.

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 4 months ago

Just read where K State is about to upgrade it football stadium

Hopefully, we are not far behind!

Phoghorn 6 years, 4 months ago

I have been expecting that for a long time. The west side of their stadium could really use expansion.

I see the commenters on their site also love to complain about money being spent on FB instead of academics. What part of private donations do those commenters not understand? Different money, different pot, different funds...etc.

Bville Hawk 6 years, 4 months ago

If they were ever going to do it they need to go now while Snyder is still coaching and the program is at a relative 'high.'

As soon as Snyder decides to finally hang em up they are going to have a hard time.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 4 months ago

Just read that we snagged Justin McCay!! Great get for KU and Weis!! Man I am getting excited for football. When is that spring game?

JayHok 6 years, 4 months ago

Third 5 star in three weeks!

According to an article by the KC Star a few days ago, in the history of Kansas foitball, the University of Kansas had never signed a five star recruit until Crist.

Makes sense now that 3 star Dieter didn't end up signing with Weis. He wants to play!

Does anyone know if Weis has contacted Dorian Green-Beckham?

Also is 4 star Butler from USC still considering playing for Weis?

JayHawkFanToo 6 years, 4 months ago

...and I guess when you see your program doing a bee line for the crapper, you opt to become a troll on the board of the school you wish you could be, and with a program in the way up to boot. Are you becoming a bandwagon fan? or in tiger-speak terms a single-wide fan?

Phoghorn 6 years, 4 months ago

Exactly! When KSU started building under Coach Snyder in the 1990s, very few KU fans ever thought that KSU would ever overtake KU in Football (not that we were good either, except for the Glen Mason years). Even as a KU fan, I got so disgusted with our own shortsightedness. Gotta admit that our Mizzou fan is correct.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Justin McCay is officially transferring to Kansas.

Rock Chalk.

JayhawkinNE 6 years, 4 months ago

Kind of makes you forget about Dieter...ha!

JayHok 6 years, 4 months ago

Dieter, three stars, good hands, not local.

McCay five stars, local, extremely explosive, extremely strong, extremely fast with great hands.

Sounds like a great trade to me!

Micah Mandy Haase 6 years, 4 months ago

I saw that Jayhawk Slant tweeted that there is alot of smoke around Willie Martinez in the mix for DC?

JayDocMD 6 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like he may be going to Illinois, which would be fine by me. Not excited about Martinez as our DC

JayDocMD 6 years, 4 months ago

my vote: Tom Bradley (Penn St) for D.C.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I still have this weird feeling that with the fact that nothing has been said yet means there is a strong chance it is Leavitt. That would be a homerun, IMO.

Eric Dawson 6 years, 4 months ago

I know McCay has a special release from OU so he won't have to sit the extra year that an inter-conference transfer would normally bear. He was injured last year in April, and from OU 2011 statistics it looks like he didn't play. Any one know if his being injured last year will enable him to get an NCAA waiver that would allow him to play in 2012?

Eric Dawson 6 years, 4 months ago

Further research showed the RS Freshman appeared in 3 games in 2011 without a catch. Since the injury I know of was in April 2011, it would seem that it did not affect his 2011 season.

Therefore, unless someone knows better, the answer is he will have to sit one year. His RS year was 2010, so he has until 2014 to use his remaining 3 years of eligibility. Without a special waiver, he will only get to play for two years at KU, with the third year lost to sitting out.

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

McCay should have 2 years of eligibility for KU unless he gets a medical redshirt for last season in which case he would have 3 years. Intra-conference transfers under normal circumstances have to sit out one year like all transfers, but they also lose a second year of eligibility which is why getting a hardship waiver would be big for McCay because it would give him a second year to play at KU. In McCay's case, he was redshirted his freshman season, played 3 games last year (RS freshman) before getting injured and missing the season. He will miss the 2012 season because of transfer rules which will be his RS sophomore season and be eligible to play in 2013 which will be his RS junior season. If he's not granted a hardship waiver, then he still has to sit out 2012, but essentially loses his redshirt status and 2012 is his junior season and 2013 becomes his senior season. McCay will have to sit out 2012 and be eligible to play in 2013 regardless of the status of his hardship waiver, the only question is will he have one or two seasons of eligibility left prior to the start of the 2013 season.

Kevin Randell 6 years, 4 months ago

Awesome...awesome!!! McCay transferring to KU, and we picked up a highly rated (77 on ESPN's recruiting nation) DT from I think Oregon. I can't help but have a little voice whispering in my ear "Hire him...and they will come". Wonder if SZ heard the same voice? Rock Chalk!!!!

texashawk10 6 years, 4 months ago

The DT that committed to KU is from Sachse, TX which is a suburb on the NE side of Dallas. He is doesn't have a star ranking on Rivals or Scout and doesn't even have a profile on ESPN. His name is Tyler Holmes while the DT you are referring to is Tyrone Holmes from Eagle Point, OR and is a low end 3 star defensive lineman (ESPN has him as a DT and Rivals has him as a DE) that according to ESPN is committed to Portland St. Tyler Holmes (the KU commit) would likely be a 2 star player based on the list of schools that offered him.

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