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Thursday, June 6, 2013

With eye on recruiting, Weis schedules future series with Hawaii

Kansas University coach Charlie Weis hopes his strong reputation in Hawaii, along with the Jayhawks' newly scheduled home-and-home series with the Warriors, will help KU football land recruits from the Islands.

Kansas University coach Charlie Weis hopes his strong reputation in Hawaii, along with the Jayhawks' newly scheduled home-and-home series with the Warriors, will help KU football land recruits from the Islands.

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If Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has his way during the next few years, the second leg of a home-and-home series between KU and Hawaii in 2016 and 2017 will be a homecoming for several players on his roster.

Weis and his staff have been working on setting up the series for some time, and KU officials announced its completion on Wednesday. KU will play host to the Warriors on Sept. 24, 2016, and will play at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium on Sept. 2, 2017.

The reason for Weis’ desire to set up the series goes beyond the appeal of playing in paradise.

“We are very excited to announce this series with Hawaii,” Weis said in a press release. “We recognize Hawaii and the Islands as a fertile recruiting territory.”

As it stands now, the Jayhawks have just one player on the roster who hails from Hawaii. His name is Colton Goeas, he’s a member of the 2013 recruiting class, and he reported to campus last weekend.

Weis’ history recruiting his new linebacker’s home state, however, goes back to his pursuit of former Notre Dame All-American Manti Te’o, whom Weis successfully signed in 2009 and first began recruiting a couple of years earlier. It was through his connection to Te’o that Weis first began to develop a good reputation in that part of the country, and, according to his comments back in February on national signing day, that reputation is still going strong.

“When you’ve done people right, when you follow through exactly with what you say you’re going to do, people notice that,” Weis said. “When you tell people, ‘This is the way it is,’ and that’s exactly the way it turns out, then you go over there and they trust you.”

That trust factor played a key role in landing Goeas, the son of former NFL offensive lineman Leo Goeas, who played eight seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens. Although Leo Goeas had never met Weis until his recent in-home visit, he had heard plenty about him from others on the island.

“I don’t think he’s exaggerating,” said Leo Goeas of Weis’ claim to have a sterling reputation in Hawaii. “I think he does, and I think it all stems from him being able to grab Manti. That kind of started it.”

According to Goeas, there are elements of Weis’ approach that make him “a perfect fit” to recruit the Hawaiian and Samoan communities.

“The culture is built on respect, and what he’s done in his coaching career commands that kind of respect,” said Leo Goeas, noting that it’s customary in Samoan culture for young people to refer to their elders as uncle or auntie even if there is no blood relation. “The way he communicates is very convincing. Even though he’s not telling you your son has to come here, he kind of leaves you with the feeling of, ‘Man, I want my son to be a part of that.’”

Leo Goeas still remembers his first encounter with Weis and talks about it with pride.

“He’s great across the table, man,” Leo Goeas said. “Make no bones about it. He’s not a hard salesman, he’s just very straight-forward, and I think that goes a long way, especially with the parents. Charlie puts the parents at such ease, and he kind of assumes that authoritative role, so it’s an easy baton to pass. He’s an older guy. He’s much more of a father-figure type than some young coach. And I think that really plays well in the culture. I think the way he communicates that really works in his favor.”

Weis said creating the positive vibe had been crucial to his past success in Hawaii, and he plans to continue to grow it at Kansas.

“If they don’t trust you, you really don’t have much of a chance,” he said. “Those kids will go anywhere where they trust you because it’s a very family-oriented mentality and they have to feel that they are part of a family. When we go over there, the door is already open. We don’t have to work our way into the doors, we are already in the door. And it’s just the question of whether we can get them to come or not.”

Leo Goeas also credited KU assistant Jeff Blasko, who has Hawaii as one of his primary recruiting regions, for his role in building a bond with the athletes.

“With the combination of them bringing in Charlie to close the deal and Jeff being the weekly guy who builds the relationships, I expect them to do very well in Hawaii,” Leo Goeas said.

In addition to putting down recruiting roots in the area, KU’s 2017 trip to Honolulu will afford the Jayhawks another luxury — an extra game.

The NCAA recently granted teams willing to play at Hawaii during the regular season the opportunity to play a 13-game schedule to help recover some of the travel costs. It’s known as the Hawaiian Exemption, and several teams have taken advantage of the scheduling quirk during the past few seasons, including USC, Nevada, UNLV and others.

Comments

moonlightschlademan 1 year, 2 months ago

Mahalo to coach Weis for scheduling the Jayhawks vs UH. Nice to see a return of the Jayhawks to Oahu. It's been quite a few years since their last visit to the Aloha Bowl.
Hopefully, they will be able to come back to the mainland with a win, As well as enticing some recruits

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fearthephog512 1 year, 2 months ago

"As it stands now, the Jayhawks have just one player on the roster who hails from Hawaii."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Samson Faifili from the 808 state? His twitter seems to indicate that at least ... Rivals says he moved from Hawaii in junior high: http://kansas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1450368

I suppose he might not technically be on the roster yet.

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

I travel to Nashville frequently for my job. I wonder how I get that changed to Maui ?

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JJHawq 1 year, 2 months ago

Trust me. That's a long crappy work trip. It's no fun to be there and "on the clock" unless you can take some vaca before/after work is done.

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Steven Mathew 1 year, 2 months ago

I think it's kind of weird because USC is probably the closest major university to Hawaii, but they receive the same exemption we do.

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Saguaro_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

It's still a very expensive, at least relative to playing @ Notre Dame, road game for U$C.

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Saguaro_Jayhawk 1 year, 2 months ago

The rule now includes Hawai'i, Alaska and Puerto Rico based institutions. Pretty sure in the past, the road game @ UH had to be played after Thanksgiving and UH could only host one per season.

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LakeShawnee 1 year, 2 months ago

Matt,

How does the Hawaiian Exemption affect calculating bowl eligibility? Is the extra home game permitted to be calculated in such?

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Brad Farha 1 year, 2 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. Would finishing 6-7 not be bowl eligible?

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TxJyHwk 1 year, 2 months ago

The rules actually state "have a winning record", so it might mean you have to win 7

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Dee Shaw 1 year, 2 months ago

Sound like a road trip. A long and expensive road trip. Oh well it will be worth it.

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KGphoto 1 year, 2 months ago

Blasko was also lead recruiter for Fusimaholi and Faifili, and Ianello lead the way for Jordan Tavai last year. While none of them were going to high school or college in Hawaii or Samoa, they do all have Hawaii/Samoan families, and they are still native to those islands. Very cool that Blasko has a great relationship with those families. Not just so we can get some great players to KU, but because it IS all about respect and tradition with them, and that is a perfect fit for Kansas.

I love the Weis hire more everyday. You have likely seen this before but here’s what I imagine are Charlie’s closing statements in those recruit’s homes. Blasko sets ‘em up, and Charlie knocks ‘em down!

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CrystalJones 1 year, 2 months ago

Guys, I don't think there's anything wrong with playing Hawaii. It's a nice trip for the fans (especially if we still aren't making bowl games by that time), and Charlie might be able to use it as a carrot for mainland recruits. But as far as Hawaii emerging as a good recruiting territory for KU, I just don't see it.

Sure, Charlie hit the jackpot once over there, but he was at Notre Dame, not the last place team in the Big 12. And it's not like we're the only mainland team that will play there -- and we're only going to do it once. All the Mountain West teams play there every couple of years. Other non-Mountain West teams will also make the trip. And, of course, the University of Hawaii plays there, too. Add in the Pac 12 teams that are probably more attractive than KU to those recruits, and it seems to me that we're trying to recruit in a crowded area in which we might be the least attractive destination for a very limited supply of D-1 recruits. Why would a kid choose us over Boise, Fresno, Hawaii, UCLA or USC? I don't like those odds very much. Seems a bit desperate and gimmicky to me.

I mean, how many D-1 prospects does that remote state really produce? I guess Charlie thinks it's a lot. If he's right, power to him.

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Bryce Landon 1 year, 2 months ago

The question is, will HCCW still be around as KU coach when we play these games with Hawaii?

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JJHawq 1 year, 2 months ago

Looking forward to the 2017 game! I think I'll go to that one. I'm hoping they make it to the West coast more often too.

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Jim Jackson 1 year, 2 months ago

Still no news on Chris Martin?

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Lance Meier 1 year, 2 months ago

It's nice to hear from anyone outside the football office that says they have trust in CW, I have heard he was so stand-offish at ND that he lost recruits. Arrogance killed him in his re-recruiting at ND thats why he was fired. KU needs CW to B as HUMBLE as a man can B! He can get his foot in the door, but he sells CW and KU at the same time and BOTH look good(great) to parents, as a parent I have no problem telling a coach to get the HECK out of my house if he thinks he can come in and bully us into signing... I think CW has learned from his time at ND, I just love what he's done at KU since he's gotten here... Man, a couple games last year KU had won. Man, I hate saying that, but KU had TX beat. CLOSING games has been a problem at KU even when Magino was here, F I N I S H!!! Should B a word used all summer and all FALL... U want a goal, FINISH!!! I love talking KU football so early, makes FOOTBALL FUN AGAIN!!! GO KU...

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David Leathers 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm pretty sure that finishing games was a huge focus for last years team. However, we lost the Texas game not because we gave up and weren't trying to finish, but because we simply didn't have the talent to stop Texas' late game passing.

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David Leathers 1 year, 2 months ago

Then again, Greg Brown could have "Finished" the game with that dropped interception.

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JacquesMerde 1 year, 2 months ago

Any universities in Samoa? They have lots of good footballers.

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Micky Baker 1 year, 2 months ago

You know those players that came from San Francisco City College that are on this team? One may not be, Chris Martin, but yeah, Weis recruited the west coast. However, you go after players you need, doesn't matter where they're at. You don't just go get a guy to fill a spot on the roster.

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