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Friday, January 6, 2012

Keegan

Recruits reflect faith in Charlie Weis

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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.

Comments

Kevin Randell 2 years, 3 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!!!!

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Eric Dawson 2 years, 3 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?

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Micah Mandy Haase 2 years, 3 months ago

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

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JayhawkinNE 2 years, 3 months ago

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

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vmwskywalk 2 years, 3 months ago

And we picked up another DT commit.

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JayhawkinNE 2 years, 3 months ago

Rivals reports McCay coming to KU!!!

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LAJayhawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Justin McCay is officially transferring to Kansas.

Rock Chalk.

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missouricat 2 years, 3 months ago

I guess when you have a successful program in football like they do and now going to the Cotton bowl, that the money starts to roll in.

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Ron Prichard 2 years, 3 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?

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Clarence Haynes 2 years, 3 months ago

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

http://cjonline.com/sports/2012-01-05/k-state-unveils-stadium-expansion

Hopefully, we are not far behind!

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kugrad93 2 years, 3 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.

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Bizzy0712 2 years, 3 months ago

Jayhawk Family, I need your help. For academic requirements I had to begin a blog. I will truly apreciate if you can coment on it a little bit. Here is the link http://kuhoops2011.blogspot.com. Thanks for the support. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! F.O.E.

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brgregory 2 years, 3 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.

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FairgroveJayhawk 2 years, 3 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 KUsports.com'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.

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JayDocMD 2 years, 3 months ago

(repost)

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.

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lv_jhwk 2 years, 3 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.

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Joe Ross 2 years, 3 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!

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 3 months ago

Somebody just waltzed into the WIlliams Fund and handed them 5000 bucks? I want to be adopted into that guy's family.

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