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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: Kansas’ incoming defensive backs worth hype, hope

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis meets with media reps on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, to talk about his latest recruiting class.

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis meets with media reps on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, to talk about his latest recruiting class.

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Charlie Weis isn’t always on target in his projections for recruits. He twice thought he landed a whopper when he hauled Dayne Crist into the boat. Strikeouts didn’t make Reggie Jackson stop swinging for the fences, and they won’t make Charlie hold the hype.

Besides, Charlie’s overthrow on Crist doesn’t make his encouraging words about his newest recruits any less melodic to his audience. We always want to believe that the next generation will be the greatest generation, especially in sports. And in the case of KU, it’s easy to believe an upgrade from 1-11 has been set in motion.

It was especially nice to hear Weis crow on signing day about the four junior-college defensive backs who signed letters of intent with Kansas.

“The secondary didn’t play great, but how many guys would you have played last year? I mean, would you have had any confidence in them going out there and playing? We already talked about dime (package, six defensive backs),” Weis said. “That word was never even uttered last year. We were trying to get four out there. Yesterday, we talked about dime and we talked about quarter. Quarter is seven DBs.”

Weis said he didn’t have a sixth defensive back in 2012 he trusted.

“You’ve got a linebacker covering a wide receiver, you’ve got a bad deal,” he said.

Not any longer, Weis is convinced.

“You talk about all those guys leaving from last year, well, you’ve got a bunch of really good football players coming in here who aren’t high school kids who are ready to rock ’n’ roll,” Weis said of the secondary.

The four men partially responsible for putting Weis in such a jolly signing-day mood:

Isaiah Johnson, 6-foot-1, 207 pounds: He has three remaining years of eligibility and is coming off an eight-interception season. He brings a thick build and was pursued aggressively by Missouri, Texas Tech and Wisconsin after committing to KU. Born to play safety and isn’t a receiver learning how to tackle.

Dexter McDonald, 6-2, 203: Back at KU after a side trip to Butler, McDonald brings size and speed.

Cassius Sendish, 6-2, 190: Another keeper.

“He’s a natural leader with big character and big intelligence,” Weis said. “Too many times in junior college, you get these guys stereotyped: ‘Well, they all went there because they couldn’t read and write.’ Trust me, with Cassius that’s not the case. He’s a very impressive young man.”

Kevin Short, 6-2, 185: Early last Tuesday, he reneged on his commitment to KU, but it only took Weis and assistant Clint Bowen 30 minutes to talk him out of attending New Mexico. Weis dubbed Bowen, “Five Alarm,” for putting out the fire.

The beauty of Weis’ heartfelt hype: It sells the program, which leads to bigger crowds, which circles back to upgraded recruiting.

Comments

Ashwin Rao 1 year, 7 months ago

So, if Dexter left and came back, does he still have to sit out for a year?

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Jason Keller 1 year, 7 months ago

No, Juco is different I believe.

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Jim Roth 1 year, 7 months ago

El Dorado not Indianapolis? At first I thought he meant Butler U, not Butler CC.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 7 months ago

I think improved pressure from the D-Line will be what really makes our secondary better."It all starts up front"

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Tom Keegan 1 year, 7 months ago

No doubt. That's the biggest factor, but upgrading both was needed.

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KGphoto 1 year, 7 months ago

Combine those four with rs freshman Greg Allen and we have really big secondary. I honestly can't remember having this kind of size across the board. No shrimps here.

On average it looks like we'll be about 3" taller and about 10lbs heavier. Hopefully that means Campo can get up and jam the WR at the line more.

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Boouk 1 year, 7 months ago

We should be able to play a lot more man coverage next season. It seemed like last year we played 90% zone.

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Steve Reigle 1 year, 7 months ago

After reading about Crist's performance post-season I have to believe it was all the hype, the ridiculously high expectations from all of us and the media, that tightened him up at KU. That and not having particularly good coverage nor receivers.

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mahkmood 1 year, 7 months ago

My opinion is that hype was not the problem. The problem was Crist. His passing accuracy was terrible. If a player that has true talent cannot perform under high expectations then that player should join an intramural league, not Big12 football, and certainly not the NFL. Some guys just don't have "it". Kerry Meier was supposed to be a bigshot QB, and on paper he looked to be just that (size, strength, speed), but he struggled with passing accuracy. Reesing looked to be undersized but he made up for it by avoiding the pass rush and getting the ball to the receivers. Unfortunately Weis did not have a Reesing. I think Crist should focus his future on coaching, not playing. I wish him the best if some NFL team picks him up.

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Terry N Tom Denner 1 year, 7 months ago

When will the season tickets go on sell ?? Hope they will still have the Coaches Corner season tickets for 99 bucks a sit. Will definitely buy a pair !!! Smell a winning season. Jay Hawk Dream Team 2013 !!! AWESOME !!!

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Randy Bombardier 1 year, 7 months ago

Still would like to see Collin Spencer in the secondary.

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