Thursday, May 10, 2012


Turner Gill left recruiting abyss

Kansas head coach Turner Gill leaves the field after KU's loss to Missouri in the Border War on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas head coach Turner Gill leaves the field after KU's loss to Missouri in the Border War on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium.


The inevitable roster upheaval that occurs when coaching changes take place in college football makes it particularly difficult to try to forecast starters, just shy of four months from the season-opener.

But for the purpose of looking at Turner Gill’s impact on the Kansas University football program during his two-year stay, let’s give it a try.

Since it’s probably as common as any of the many personnel groupings head coach/offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will deploy, let’s go with one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers.

Here’s a guess at the 11 offensive starters: Quarterback Dayne Crist, running back Tony Pierson, receivers D.J. Beshears, Daymond Patterson and Kale Pick, tight end Jimmay Mundine, left tackle Tanner Hawkinson, left guard Duane Zlatnik, center Trevor Marrongelli, right guard Gavin Howard, right tackle Riley Spencer.

That’s nine Mark Mangino recruits, one Charlie Weis recruit (Crist) and one Turner Gill recruit (Pierson, one of three impressive Gill running back recruits).

Two possible forecast crashers would be receiver Josh Ford and tight end Charles Brooks, junior-college transfers recruited by Weis. Ford’s a 6-foot-4, 195-pound burner who could make a long deep target for Crist. Brooks, 6-4, 245, has played more basketball than football, which doesn’t make him the next Antonio Gates, but does make him intriguing.

Guessing the 11 defensive starters presents a stiffer challenge, not just because coming up with 11 non-stiffs requires digging deep into the roster.

The forecast: hybrid defensive ends/linebackers Toben Opurum and Michael Reynolds; defensive end Josh Williams, a 6-4, 260-pound high-ceiling athlete who ran out of his welcome in four years at Nebraska and gets a fresh chance to prove to NFL scouts he has matured, learned his lessons, isn’t a knucklehead, etc.; junior-college defensive tackles Jordan Tavai and Ty McKinney; linebackers Anthony McDonald, a Notre Dame transfer, and Schyler Miles, a freshman block of granite from Florida; safeties Lubbock Smith and Bradley McDougald; cornerbacks Greg Brown and Tyler Patmon.

That’s five Mangino recruits, five Weis recruits (McDonald, McKinney, Miles, Tavai and Williams) and one Gill recruit (Reynolds).

Gill and his staff did draw kudos for recruiting quarterback Brock Berglund (never played a down), running back Darrian Miller (sent packing for multiple team-rules violations) and safety Keeston Terry (transferred to a less-demanding program).

Lew Perkins hired Gill largely because he thought he would ensure the student-athletes would have a “positive” college football experience and because he thought Gill would upgrade recruiting. Two of the 22 projected starters are Gill recruits. Oh well, at least they were the offensive and defensive MVPs of the spring game.


jgrobb 1 year, 11 months ago

Gill's positive impact on this U will be seen in 10 years..


machinegun 1 year, 11 months ago

The Preacher thought his job was to lead a Boy Scout troop.


Linejudgemick 1 year, 11 months ago

Before I begin, I don't want anyone to think I believe Mangino didn't have issues, but many here are blaming the wrong guy. KUHawkhead said it earlier when he pointed out that Lew Perkins' witch hunt probably had a great deal to do with Mangino's final "losing streak". Mangino didn't like public appearances - and didn't fit Lew's fund raising ideal. Lew was fixated on the club section and wanted a coach that "fit the mold" and could help him raise funds. It was no secret that Mangino's temper was legendary and probably easy to "find" players willing to "expose" his behavior. It worked, right, wrong, or indifferently, but Mangino was out.

Now Mr. Perkins, if rumors are true, wouldn't let Harbaugh coach the bowl game and went to his second option. A coach who had a 20 - 30 record at a sub-division school and had won a single conference title, but in no small measure to incredible fortune. He wasn't ready for a major conference, but... He was a former player/hero at a big time program, he enjoyed public appearances, and he had a tendency to say all the right things (however I always thought he really said very little). Now Lew makes him the Jayhawk's "up and coming" coach with a salary that in no way matched his accomplishments.

Soon however, Lew was busy covering his own arse because of the gym equipment and ticket scandals and then he was gone almost as soon as TG was in. It became very obvious in a very short time that he wasn't ready, his players often looked confused, we had many organizational penalties, special team errors, and a very bland offensive and defensive philosophy. The second half lapses and blowouts finally forced Z to do the only thing that made sense and make the coaching change - 10 mil or not.

Some of the TG gill recruits given time and coaching could well become solid players, either with KU or elsewhere - only time will tell. But in this case I believe it’s a case of the Xs and Os, instead of the Jimmy's and Joe's (well - some Jimmy and Joe's). But in the end Lew dismantled football at WSU, and then he tried to do the same thing in Lawrence, but through different means. I always felt Lew had Lew's best interest at heart instead of the University.


97jhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Keegan is finally drinking the Ahperse Kool-Aid!! Only took TG getting fired and hype of a new coach to bring out the revelation. Or, he figured out you just add a little bit of water and sugar and Voilà!

Apherse is probably rolling his eyes after reading this article while saying, "About time and welcome to the darkside Keegs!!"


ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 11 months ago

I know you are all i have prepared a video release with an official comment towards Gill and those who hated on me for the past 3 years.


wildjayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

A lot of people new that gill wasn't a coach and tried to tell abunch of the bloggers that , but they didn't listen, you can tell just who they were. Now, what about Self, the questions are sill out.


Randy Bombardier 1 year, 11 months ago

As pointed out by some of the posts I think the article implies that Gill was not much of a recruiter. I don't agree. It seems he didn't do well at developing what he had or developing and making use of what he inherited. The analysis is flawed and so is the conclusion. Gill is not a D1 head coach. His recruiting prowess may really help Liberty and his style and philosophy a better fit there. We gave him a shot and who can deny that it just wasn't working. Last year I was arguing not enough time but by the time that Zenger pulled the trigger I was reluctantly in agreement. Weiss seems to be doing some good things. Let's focus on that.


kenshinU 1 year, 11 months ago

Another interesting tidbit, apparently Liberty University just had its spring game. And the score was a whopping 7-3. I think that shoes you right there the plateau of Turner Gill's inability to coach.


Ryan Shelton 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm curious why aperse hasn't commented on this article yet. Oh, I forgot that Keegan doesn't comment on his own articles.


Hail_To_Thee 1 year, 11 months ago

The one thing that sticks out to me in this article is this.

No matter how much people grew to dislike Coach Mangino, He still was one of the best coaches we've had in a long time. Goin on 3 years removed and his players are still the ones at the top of the list. Granted, Coach Weis has not had a full year to recruit yet, but I think that says alot about Coach Mangino


Joe Baker 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm happy to have Weis and this NFL coaching staff. I also believe Gill was part of some NFL teams too, GB? Anyway, that's why you bring in the big names to clean up a program. My expectations and fairness are the same with Weis. In fact, I expect a bit more, a bit sooner than Gill. Weis has brought in some nice talent. I give him this year to fix the team. I expect a winning season next season. I hope to have a winning season this year, which would be nice.

We all know the facts, let's move on and let this Gill deadhorse alone. It's been beat enough.

Rock Chalk


Tony Bandle 1 year, 11 months ago

Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.

Gill's tenure is very topical for many reasons, even if almost all are negative.

Charlie is in the process of slowing down and stopping a runaway freight train. Once he accomplishes this, he can then start the long, slow climb back up to competitive respectibility.

We Jayhawks must recognize that we may not see a winning season for maybe three years but what we must see is increased competitiveness and escalating excitement.

That is the challenge of the Charlie Weis era.


Sayers44 1 year, 11 months ago

34th-best class in the country, according to

Just a little over a year ago the KU papers were writing about the fantastic future and what a great recruiting class.... Now the same paper wants to lamblast Gill over recruiting.

You cannot pass judgement on Gill's recruiting class of 2011. They are all too young, as freshman and sophmores should not be ready to play in the Big 12.

Fantastic future? KU football coach Turner Gill ecstatic with No. 34 recruiting class in country

Kansas football coach Turner Gill discusses the recruiting class of 2011, which was labeled the 34th-best class in the country, according to

Gill announced the class in a news conference on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 at Mrkonic Auditorium.


Hawkword369 1 year, 11 months ago

I feel ol Keegs has every right to write this article. Yes we all know that Gill sucked and didn't leave us with much but if he would of coached better and recruited better we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. Plus I think Keegs is just documenting the facts as he sees it. Hopefully some of Gill's recruits will come around with the help of a way way better coaching staff. I think we are going in the right direction. It only gets better from here. Finally I think Keegon is just giving us articles that he knows will draw some attention and according to all of us that write comments on here he is doing his job.


Terran Woolley 1 year, 11 months ago

+1000000. The Derp Disaster as I will now refer to Derp's tenure at KU nearly spun us into a nonBCS conference had the Big XII not landed the sweet TV contract that now ensures stability. We should NEVER NEVER forget the football IS the most important sport at ANY BCS school.



bville_hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Those who are saying to forget about Turner Gill and move on are wrong. We need be reminded of that horrible mistake on a frequent basis. The adage about those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it is so true.

Turner Gill lacked the management and organizational skills needed to run a big time program. We should never, ever, ever make that mistake again! I don't think AtlJaybird is making too much of a reach when he (she?) says that Gill was a fraud and a con. The facts speak for themselves.


Jim Jackson 1 year, 11 months ago

Has there been any concrete talk about Clemson & FSU joining the Big 12? I think Louisville & BYU are more likely.


Jim Jackson 1 year, 11 months ago

It is a bit unfair to bash GIll's recruiting right now as Weis has kicked off quite a few and, they were to be RS Frosh and Soph's. That being said, Gill was very unorganized and just too soft to be a BIg 12 coach. Additionally, his in game adjustments were embarrassing. The loss to ND St a 1 AA team, was just pathetic. I can't believe Turner is getting 6 million in compensation; astonishing.


cg1029 1 year, 11 months ago

While the numbers are dwindling I find it beyond belief that anyone is still defending Gill at this point. He was a great person but as a FB coach he may be the worst thing to ever happen to KU FB. We still have no clue what CW will do but my guess is he won't embarrass KU on a weekly basis.

Anyone that states Gills recruits still need time to mature is either an idiot or a moron. Unless they made the field played and showed ability it is time to move on. Last year WAS THE WORST KU FOOTBALL TEAM I HAVE EVER SEEN and if you were not good enough to play on that train wreck your not good enough to help the program move on.


Ben Kane 1 year, 11 months ago

I find it most amazing that this article has about twice as many comments as the basketball article...


nuleafjhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

There was (actually) a pretty good article about HCCW in the Salina Journal this morning, if anyone's interested. Better than any Gill article, in my opinion.

Here's a little tidbit for you:

Charlie Weis didn't waste a lot of time after arriving as Kansas' new football coach trying to win the hearts and minds of his Jayhawk players.

There were two choices: get on board, or hit the road.

"It's not tricky," Weis said of dealing with the nonbelievers. "You just get rid of 'em, which I did.


Janet Scott 1 year, 11 months ago

This article is investigative journalism as its very best, and would make the journalistic legends of our time extremely jealous. Yep, this article is worthy of a Pulizter.


pizzashuttle 1 year, 11 months ago

Gill was here like 2 seasons and he got a late start recruiting his first season and did way better than expected. Mangino left Gill in a world of hurt at LB and DL so to pin this on Gill is a bunch of BS. This is a bogus article and as usual I wish Keegan was better informed.


kujayhox 1 year, 11 months ago

I kind of like Evidence that the editor reads the message boards.


Michael Sillman 1 year, 11 months ago

Still way too early to pass final judgment on Gill's recruits (or on Weiss' guys for that matter).


Dirk Medema 1 year, 11 months ago

Are we really expecting 3* F/S's to start in place of Jr's & Sr's? Will the article say the same thing next year when Gill's recruits aren't F/S's? When the entire OL are Gill recruits? Losing 30+ players is not a good sign, but expecting underclassmen to start in place of upper classmen just lacks common sense.


BC5 1 year, 11 months ago

awesome breakdown. gill got paid a lot of money and it is part of the job to be scrutinized. a lot of people whining about the free articles they get to read on here.


ukanjhox 1 year, 11 months ago

There's no need to have the front page of the site to be Gill's picture. Let's move on.


jhawkrulz 1 year, 11 months ago

Love this article...we always ask the reports/analyst to tell the hard stories...this is an example of it.

I think there are a lot of people that question Gill, but this really starts to put it in perspective. Granted, most of TG's recruits would be red-shirt freshmen or sophmores, but lets be honest. This does help explain some of the issues.

If he wanted to bash TG, he would of talked about the Grade Point Averages and not the 4 wins against Div 1 (or whatever they are called) teams. Or the 1-16 record in the Big XII. No wins against KSU, MU, or ISU.

Thanks Keagan for this article...write some more like it.


Doug Cramer 1 year, 11 months ago

And what does that make you to bash a guy through a chat board.

Tom - I thought it was a good article.


Bryan Summers 1 year, 11 months ago

Seriously! An entire article just to bash on Gill? Let's move on.


Joe Satterwhite 1 year, 11 months ago

Pretty low to bash a guy that no longer should even need to be talked about. But hey, that's Keegan for ya.


hometownhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Mr. Keegan, I see you're still stealing your article ideas from the message boards. Very professional of you.


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