Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weis’ candor draws star wideout to KU

Charlie Weis laughs with media members during a news conference on Friday.

Charlie Weis laughs with media members during a news conference on Friday.


Since arriving in town nearly six months ago, Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has earned a reputation for being honest.

At times, Weis’ tell-it-like-it-is mentality came as a surprise and encouraged players to leave KU or at least consider transferring. Other times, Weis’ approach was met with open arms, just the kind of words guys needed to hear to inspire them to dig deeper and work harder than they ever had.

Before either took place, though, Weis’ brunt honesty landed him a couple of recruits in the Class of 2012. Nowhere is there a better example of this than nearby Bishop Miege High in Roeland Park, where Weis plucked wide receiver Tre Parmalee away from a commitment to Northern Illinois.

Throughout high school, Parmalee was one of the top offensive players in the Kansas City area and won several awards and honors to prove it. But as the recruiting process played out, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound wideout began to hear more talk about him playing defensive back and less talk about him catching passes.

“Here’s a guy who was the Otis Taylor Award winner and he was told by other Division I schools that, ‘Yeah, you gotta play defense. You’re a corner. You’re not big enough to play wide receiver,’” said KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard, who coached Parmalee at Miege. “Coach (Weis) said, ‘Absolutely not. Here’s the guy who’s the best wide receiver in the KC Metro area; what kind of idiot would put you at defensive back? You’re a wide receiver, you’re the best in the area, so that’s what you’re playing.’”

Not long after Weis’ sales pitch, Parmalee committed to the Jayhawks.

“I think Tre wanted to hear that,” Grunhard said. “But I think his canned answer was that he was gonna be a defensive back.”

Grunhard said he tried to allow Parmalee to discover things on his own during the recruiting process and wanted his star receiver to make his own decisions. But once he signed on at Kansas, Grunhard’s excitement came across loud and clear.

“He does everything so good fundamentally,” Grunhard said. “He’s not the fastest guy, but he’s got great hands. He’s got great ball skills and he also runs routes as well as anybody. So he’s gonna have a lot of success.”

Asked if Parmalee reminded him of any recent Big 12 receivers, Grunhard pointed to one of the league’s all-time bests, former Oklahoma Sooner Ryan Broyles.

“He’s not that big, he’s not that fast, the guy just makes plays,” Grunhard said of Broyles. “And that’s what we’re hoping Tre turns into.”

Weis’ vision for his new receiver hits a little closer to home.

“Other people were talking to him about playing defense because of his size,” Weis said. “However, his dad, Bernie Parmalee, played in the NFL for 11 years and was the same size as Tre in high school.”

Like many in the Class of 2012, Parmalee was set to arrive on campus this weekend. He will room with lifelong friend and son of the head coach, Charlie Weis, Jr., who is a student at KU and also serves as a team manager.

McKinney delayed

Incoming defensive lineman Ty McKinney, a defensive tackle from Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas, recently hit a snag in his trek to KU.

One of McKinney’s online classes that he took during the past year was not accepted by KU. Instead of arriving on campus this week with most of the rest of the Class of 2012, McKinney will spend the month of June back in Texas, taking one more class to reach the proper number of credits necessary to transfer.

“I’m disappointed because I was really looking forward to getting up there,” said McKinney, noting that his grades always had been good and that the issue was about an acceptable class and not a poor grade. “The way I look at it is it’s just a minor setback.”

Since January, McKinney said his goal was to come to KU and start on the defensive line. That’s still the goal, he said, and he believes that getting to campus in July will still give him plenty of time to achieve his goal.

“I’m about to up my workouts now just to make up for the time that I’ll miss,” he said.

As of Friday, McKinney weighed in at 297 pounds, the lightest he had been in a few years. He said his ideal playing weight at KU was right around 300.

KSU offers Cozart

Montell Cozart, the 2011 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year who committed to KU back in March, has continued to receive serious interest and even scholarship offers from other schools. Along with an offer from Illinois, nearby Kansas State recently became the latest program to offer a scholarship to the Bishop Miege High quarterback.’s Jon Kirby caught up with Cozart a couple of days ago, and Cozart painted a picture that he remained happy with his oral commitment to KU.

“I’ve been building a strong relationship with the coaches there,” Cozart told Kirby. “I’m still solid with KU. It is a great feeling to get offers because it shows a lot of the hard work I put in has paid off. It shows coaches have taken the time to evaluate my film and then offer.”

Some believe Cozart, 6-2, 180, may be waiting to see what happens with fellow-Class of 2013 quarterback Jordan Darling, 6-4, 226, who hails from Shawnee Mission East High. The Jayhawks, should they choose to go this route, certainly would have room for both Kansas City-area QBs in Weis’ second recruiting class.

Jayhawks offer Newell

Hiawatha High defensive end Peyton Newell, 6-3, 270, received an official offer from Kansas last Friday, according to

Newell, who currently has offers from Baylor, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, TCU and UCLA, is one of the top players in the state and is receiving interest from more than a dozen other BCS-level programs. Despite all of the early interest, the defensive lineman told Rivals that he was thrilled to get the offer from KU.

“In the back of my mind I was wondering,” Newell said, admitting that he was not sure that the Jayhawks would want him. “This offer makes me feel good. I know KU’s process is to get a lot of information before they offer. ... It’s a good feeling knowing they want me to play there.”

Newell has a busy summer ahead, with visits to some of the top schools in college football as well as multiple elite camps.

Robinson to TSU

Former KU cornerback Chris Robinson, who red-shirted the 2011 season and was dismissed from the team by Weis in April for violating team rules, has landed at Tennessee State, the school announced Friday.

Robinson, a native of Sanford, Fla., ranked as one of the top 100 players in the state of Florida during his senior season at Lake Mary High.

Capital One Cup ranking

With time running out to make a move in the annual Capital One Cup Standings, the KU men and women both are looking to jump a few spots with their showing at next week’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

As of today, the KU men are tied for 16th overall and the women are tied for 39th overall, with KU’s men ranking second among all Big 12 schools — Oklahoma State is 10th — and the women ranking fourth behind Baylor (7th), Texas (17th), Oklahoma State (28th) and Iowa State (37th).

There are six men’s Big 12 schools and seven women’s Big 12 schools ranked in the top 100. They are: Men — OSU (10), KU (16), OU (36), UT (41), BU (55) and A&M; (75). Women — BU (7), UT (17), OSU (28), ISU (37), KU (39), A&M; (44), OU (61).


ukanjhox 8 years, 3 months ago

"Some believe Cozart, 6-2, 180, may be waiting to see what happens with fellow-Class of 2013 quarterback Jordan Darling, 6-4, 226, who hails from Shawnee Mission East High. The Jayhawks, should they choose to go this route, certainly would have room for both Kansas City-area QBs in Weis’ second recruiting class."

Can someone explain what he'd be "waiting" for? Cozart has already committed.

lv_jhwk 8 years, 3 months ago

Just alluding to the fact that he could change his mind if Darling would commit to KU, given the continued interest he receives from other schools.

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

Committed and signed are different levels of commitment. A lot of things can happen in a year, regardless of what the SME qb ends up doing. No reason to think Cozart would want to avoid competing with him, anyway. Miege and SME know each other real well, and these guys may want to duke it out more than once a year. KU might even go 8-4 and find themselves in the market for a lot of promising qbs, although that isn't real likely.

Tim Orel 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice to see KU's standing for the Capital One cup, considering how lousy their football was (thanks, BB!). Goes to show KU hasn't ignored the rest of the teams, even though golf apparently was also a big disappointment. I hope the track teams help both sides.

JHawk241 8 years, 3 months ago

Not to rain on the parade, but we have 36 points all from our second place finish in basketball. In other words, we have not received any points from any other sport. That will hopefully change with track, but as of now, the others still need to improve. Still better than Mizery though.

madamhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Re: Capital One Cup - A&M is now SEC.

Also, I chuckled when I DIDN'T see Mizery anywhere on that list, since, you know, according to them, they have an "elite" althletic program. We might have lost the rivalry but we will NEVER miss an opportunity to laugh AT them!

truefan 8 years, 3 months ago

He just meant that the rivalry is gone because they are in the SEC now.

JayHok 8 years, 3 months ago

They lost the rivalry by leaving. To their credit most MU fans are regretting it already but how were they supposed to know the big 12 would be back in business so quickly with leadership every bit as solid as the SEC. 99% of their fans feel stupid for the move and feel they were lied to by their president and board about the need to make the decision immediately before Neinas got a word in. Also as for the rivalry numbers I believe it's Kansas 190, Slavers 95 give or take a few victories by the Jayhawks.

Benjamin Piehler 8 years, 3 months ago

I find the Capital One cup ridiculous, personally.

Cmill1221 8 years, 3 months ago

Any way to prove our superiority over MU I'll take. Numbers don't lie.

Doug Cramer 8 years, 3 months ago

We need to get that defensive end from Hiawatha.

truefan 8 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to see him in a KU uniform as well.

Andy Hess 8 years, 3 months ago

Just to be clear, you guys are calling Tre Parmalee a "star wideout?" Wow...hyperbole much?

Dirk Medema 8 years, 3 months ago

I was surprised to find that the article was about Parmalee, but just to be clear, he is an award winning WR - in HS. That probably qualifies as being a star receiver - in HS.

The big question is whether that translates into being a star WR in college. Not many stars to show for it, but there are always a few guys without many stars in recruiting that become stars in college and beyond.

79ictjhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

+1 And the "candor" was telling him what he wanted to hear - that he could play offense.

hawk316 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey! Parmalee strikes me as one of those players who won't necessarily impress you with his size or speed, but somehow finds a way to beat you. There have been numerous examples of such players in various sports, and if he turns out to be one (and he does have the genes, after all), we may be thanking the Lord that he chose to catch passes at KU.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years, 3 months ago

Whether Kansas high school players pan out or not, you have to win the recruiting battles and lock down those kids who can produce. Without naming them, we've had great college football players from Kansas who helped us during the successful years.

dylans 8 years, 3 months ago

WTF? The banner ad reads Missouri fans ... Talk about misplaced ads. Or are there really that many MU trolls on here?

Robert Brown 8 years, 3 months ago

If KU is able to recruit guys like Newell and convince him to choose the Hawks over NU, Iowa, TCU and Illinois, we will know the recruiting has improved to the point it is competitive with the rest of the conference. Not to be disrespectful to Tre Parmalee who could thrive as a receiver in Coach Weis's system, but he only get another scholarship offer from NIU. According to Rivals, K-State did not offer him a scholarship. I'm not sure having him follow his high school coach to KU is that much of a recruiting coup.

vd 8 years, 3 months ago

The coaches from Pittsburg State and Washburn both told him that he would have to play cornerback, cause he wasn't big enough to play Div II receiver.

kureader 8 years, 3 months ago

... not to "pile on", cause Matt Tait is my favorite LJW sportswriter, but Parmalee's decision had nothing to do with Weis's candor. Any offer from KU is better than an offer from Northern Illinois. Where's Northern Illinois? (I guess it's in the northern part of Illinois). So what? Additionally, Weis told the kid he could be a receiver ... that's what he wanted to hear! Besides that, his high school coach is now at KU. What a bonus! How could the kid go to Northern Illinois?

I don't quibble with the notion that Weis is honest ... I'm starting to really like the guy ... but Parmelee had a "no brainer" choice, and he picked KU.

Incidentally, though I realize it's LJW's style to group all kinds of unrelated articles together ... I wish they wouldn't. There are newsworthy items that get buried under unrelated headings ... this article is another example. Unless there's a "limit" to the number of articles that can be posted on this site, why not give each newsworthy article it's own heading, so we can find it?

Rock Chalk! Matt Tait, you're doing a great job! I really enjoy your stuff!

vd 8 years, 3 months ago

Weis tells the truth, while all the other coaches that recruited Tre, are liars.

KUFAN02 8 years, 3 months ago

After sitting out a year with his miege alum, I think Tre has the confidence to be a successful reciever.

Billy Derringer 8 years, 3 months ago

life long friend of Charlie Weis Jr, where's he gonna go, he was praying for the offer. an he can be a receiver, should be a decent slot guy.

woodmeister46 8 years, 3 months ago

If Charlie is so honest, why are the Jayhawks practicing game winning FGs that they won't actually be within 10 pts of?

Patrickulating 8 years, 3 months ago

Is it ethical to offer a scholarship to a kid who has already committed somewhere else?

kellerman411 8 years, 3 months ago

It's funny how all of the players Gill coached who wanted to transferr had to go to D2s or low-level D1s. How embarassing.

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