Monday, April 30, 2018


Tom Keegan: 11 players remain from David Beaty’s first Kansas recruiting class

Kansas junior receiver Steven Sims Jr., center, cracks a smile in pre-game warmups prior to Saturday's game against Central Michigan at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas junior receiver Steven Sims Jr., center, cracks a smile in pre-game warmups prior to Saturday's game against Central Michigan at Memorial Stadium.


Signing day always makes ever-energetic Kansas football coach David Beaty percolate faster and louder than ever. Beaty loves talking about the fruits of the staff’s recruiting. So far, his best two recruits came from his first class.

Back on Feb. 4, 2015, Beaty sounded especially excited about a pair of high school prospects from Houston. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong, chosen in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys, and Steven Sims, KU’s leading receiver the past two seasons, justified Beaty’s optimistic forecasts for them.

Enough time has passed to assess Beaty's first of four classes.

His first recruiting decision centered on whether to build for the future the way Baylor’s current coach, Matt Rhule, did with his first class, or take more of a Charlie Weis approach, upgrading an inadequate roster through all means.

Rather than go all in on high school prospects as Rhule did, which would have guaranteed him taking early lumps, Beaty blended recruits from high school and junior college, which didn't stave off an 0-12 debut season and 3-33 mark to date.

KU’s Class of 2015 featured 16 high school players and eight jucos.

Just 11 of 24 players remain in the program, although in the case of Armstrong, he certainly supplied a career’s worth of production before leaving a year early for the NFL draft.

Junior college recruits D’Andre Banks, Bazie Bates, Jacky Dezir, Ke’aun Kinner, Marnez Ogletree, Jayson Rhodes, Will Smith and Brandon Stewart are out of eligibility.

Five high school recruits transferred out of the program: Shola Ayinde, Aaron Garza, Chase Harrell, Jace Sternberger and Ryan Willis. Four Class of 2015 recruits project as starters: receivers Sims and Jeremiah Booker, linebacker Denzel Feaster and safety Tyrone Miller. Seven project as reserves: offensive linemen Cam Durley and Clyde McCauley, running back Taylor Martin, safeties Emmanuel Moore and Shaq Richmond, linebacker Osaze Ogbebor and quarterback Carter Stanley (still a candidate for starting job).

Four high school recruits from the Class of 2016 project as starters: receiver Evan Fairs, running back Khalil Herbert, right guard Chris Hughes and nickelback Bryce Torneden. Malik Clark has a shot at left guard.

Kyron Johnson, who has switched from linebacker to defensive end, and slot receiver Quan Hampton have the best chances at earning starting spots among 12 recruits from high school in the Class of 2017, and cornerback Corione Harris is the most intriguing freshman.


Joe Norgay 3 years, 9 months ago

Proof is in the pudding as they say.

Thanks Beaty! Thanks Zenger!

Can’t wait for 0-12 or 1-11 next season!

Steve Corder 3 years, 9 months ago

I am legitimately curious how K-State numbers compare.

Tom Keegan 3 years, 9 months ago

Kansas State listed 26 recruits in 2015 and 16 of those names are listed on current roster.

Steve Corder 3 years, 9 months ago

Thank you, Tom.... 50% KU (if you "give 'em Armstrong leaving for the NFL early) or 45% otherwise... vs 61% K-State. Sure would be nice to have the extra scholarship players, as you have pointed out previously.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

Is Mike Lee magically no longer on the team? What about Kyle Mayberry? Good thing Dom Williams isn’t going to be our starting RB. Luckily Hakeem Adeniji isn’t capable of playing football!

The list goes on. Decent article concept, but you’ve steered your army to sit here and think our roster isn’t going to be held down by quite a few legitimate HS players.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm confused about the point of the article. It seems like a bunch of disjointed ideas that aren't particularly valid. Are we seriously going down the road of comparing Ruhl and Beaty? Like they inherited situations that are remotely similar?

Brett McCabe 3 years, 9 months ago

Two decimated programs with new coaches? That's a similarity. Two teams in the same conference? That's a similarity. One team hires a proven, winning head coach. One doesn't. That's where the similarities fall apart.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 9 months ago

Seeing these numbers makes you ask the question: did Beaty seal his fate with his first recruiting class? Knowing where he was with scholarship players, he gambled a third of his scholarships on players who would have to be replaced in two years. He also knew that, he might not have the available scholarships to replace them with an NCAA max. of 25.

This one decision, right out of the gate, put him behind the chains on scholarships and roster development. He'll never catch up, because he doesn't have the discipline, as witnessed by the JUCO U class this year.

When Beaty was hired, I said that the only way he could succeed by was being the best GM in college football. Turns out, he's one of the worst.

Rhule, because he had experience and confidence, didn't panic. He took a largely sophomore and freshman team, came into Lawrence, and issued a beat down. It'll be much worse in Waco this year.

Girod has the summer to come up with a solution on Zenger and Beaty. No excuses this year.

Andy Tweedy 3 years, 9 months ago

You're not going to get any arguments from me about the state of the program, but I think that's unfair criticism of a guy coming in when the recruiting classes at most schools is already in place. I'd say his mistakes have come well after that class was put together.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 9 months ago

As many mistakes as Beaty has made in his first 3 years as HC, and there are plenty. Any first time Coach would admit that. Some were the inability to hire all his first choices. That will happen to anyone. But, as I say, as many as he has made they are probably fewer than Tom made in this article. With a program you cannot go just by the listed signees on the first Wed. in Feb. There have been some excellent pick ups along the way who were ignored because they signed after the signing date. Pick your facts carefully Tom and it will support whatever you choose.

Brad Sherp 3 years, 9 months ago

Is this a joke? People who are supporting Beaty at this point are picking their facts carefully. There is overwhelming evidence that Beaty is not good at his job.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 9 months ago

33 pretty easy-to-find facts, in fact. These include an FCS loss at home, a MAC loss at home and a home loss to a 1-11 Big 12 team.

Always remember the words of Bill Parcels...."you are what your record says you are".

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, Brad, because a reporter should never let facts get in the way once he has decided to blast a Coach regardless. Look, Tom is on a witch hunt. He smells blood in the water. He wants so badly to be able to say, "I told you so", if and when Beaty is fired. Those of us who are labeled as defenders of Beaty are not such at all, we are just people looking for positives among kids who have chosen to play for KU and wishing them well with our encouragement.

Brad Sherp 3 years, 9 months ago

I look forward to the day that KU is simply not the punchline of everyone's jokes. Dreams of a competitive football program are long gone. At this point I just wish it wasn't an embarrassment. No one who is honest with himself thinks Beaty is a good head coach.

Beaty's record already the worst coach in the history of college football. 2018 will only cement his place in history for future generations.

Zenger hasn't fired Beaty because to admit his mistakes would probably cost him his job. But by not firing Beaty, and letting this mediocrity go on and on and on, I think Zenger is destroying his career. What University would want to hire a guy who created this mess, and was too dumb to see it?

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

Your last paragraph is all speculation and clear hatred towards Sheahon Zenger. The choice to fire Beaty or to retain him was over his head and was unanimous to keep him.

I get called a sunshine pumper and I will say that Beaty is not a good head coach. But if you want to start judging coaches by their first head coaching tenures, we can go along and do that... I will be the first to say that Beaty should not have been hired but this was the best Zenger could do with the resources the BMD and AD would give him. You'll never see Tom Keegan write about that though. Over the past 3 now going on 4 years, there have been times when I was ready to move on from Beaty, dont get me wrong.. but for you to sit here and think that good coaches wanted to come here when he did, you're wrong. That stuff is purely speculation. Beaty has hired a pretty damn decent staff going into year 4 and doing so could honestly turn the corner for him and get him what he has needed which is wins.

There is a time during Beaty's tenure that all of you fell for the bait and thought that we were going to be good because of the recruiting classes we have brought in, those recruits were coming into a 0 win program. If beaty can get 4 wins, he'll get over another hump with those top tier athletes who just aren't convinced enough. Beaty has the ability with his recruiting to take this program to unseen heights (winning an orange bowl and then being subpar the next year is not unchartered territory for anyone). We went 1-11 and Beaty is 3-33 and you all never forget that, but you seem to have forgotten we have brought in the best recruit in program history and have a top QB in the country ready for next year.

Brad Sherp 3 years, 9 months ago

"I will say that Beaty is not a good head coach" - Bryson Stricker

Just so I understand your argument... you think he is not a good coach, but KU should keep him anyway? Are you a K-State fan?

Next, Beaty's recruits in 2015 were coming into a program that had won three games the previous year, not 0. Beaty owns the 0-12 record.

Finally, if you think Beaty is winning 4 games this year, when he doesn't even have the depth to compete against ourselves in a spring game, then you might have "fell for the bait" yourself.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

The fact you would even joke about calling me a kstate fan is a joke.

Beaty's recruits in 2015 were built off 60 days of recruiting, if you think thats fair, you don't understand CFB. Plenty and multiple of them have contributed. It's also asinine to sit here and say he should have gotten all HS'ers and also expected him to field a product. No freshman ever really should be playing if you are building your program right. None of the freshman we brought in were ready to play but many had to. Don't complain about the roster situation and then complain about how we do on the field and the injuries.

We are going to have 20+ OL on the roster in one month. You just read too much TK to know the truth. There's nothing Beaty can do about kids needing surgery and recovery time. Nothing he can do that a few got banged up and shouldn't risk further injury for spring football. We have 8ish coming in in june. We are more than fine in terms of depth.

Dennis Strick 3 years, 9 months ago

The entire country would agree that what we have been doing for the past 11 years is not working at all. We need a radical approach that will never happen, but by not doing it we will remain a bottom feeding catfish forever. After this next debacle of a season we need to shut the program down for competition (technically we do that every year anyway) for two years. Put in a new AD and Head Coach and rebuild properly without band aids and MAS*H surgery. Rebuild the stadium while we are rebuilding the program with high school recruits that allow us to get to 85 real scholarship athletes 5 years from now. If the athletic department continues to allow this program to flounder year-after-year then the only people who should waste their time sitting for 5 hours in the stands 6 times a year is parents of athletes, band members, cheerleaders, and the few students who get out of bed in time for our permanent 11am kickoff time. If we support this with our ticket purchases we are as lazy and uncaring, and comfortable, as the athletic department.

Brad Sherp 3 years, 9 months ago

The nuclear option!!!

To support your argument, look at UAB. They shut the program down for two years, and their first year back they won twice as many games in their first year back than Beaty has had in the last three years. So there is actually a case study of this working successfully elsewhere.

I would not be opposed to it, but I think KU would get kicked out of the Big 12 if it killed the football program for two years. I think KU is contractually obligated have a football team for programming with the TV contracts. If KU were to get kicked out of the Big 12, I don't think KU is getting back into a major conference.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, lets compare a Big 12 team to a C-USA team.. great idea..


John Fitzgerald 3 years, 9 months ago

This option scares me. Also even though KU Football sucks they still pull in a big dose of revenue.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 9 months ago

How would shutting down the program help? Would only set us back even further.

Dennis Strick 3 years, 9 months ago

I agree there would be hurdles and we would need assurances from the Big XII that they would hold our place while we forego any shared football revenue from TV or bowl appearances. We would also need to have the blessing of Adidas that it would in no way damage our agreement with them. It would actually be in the long term best interest of all parties to come out the other side with a much stronger, marketable product.

Crazy concept I know but as we all know the definition of "pure crazy" is to keep doing the very same thing year-after-year and really believing you will get a different outcome if you keep doing it long enough.

[''] 3 years, 9 months ago

Great coaching, roster management & recruiting. If Beaty was a great football coach he could actually overcome the other two and win 4 or 5 games each year. It turns out that he is below average at all 3. Hence, 3-33.

Jeff Coffman 3 years, 9 months ago

Beaty can't identify talent...players or coaches.

I believe retaining Bowen is his worse mistake.

Marcia Parsons 3 years, 9 months ago

I never thought he had a choice in whether Bowen was retained. The chancellor and AD had been bombarded by alums, former players and other fans wanting Bowen to be head coach. Didn't they originally settle on a co-coach plan? At any rate, I was convinced it was a condition for the job.

John Brazelton 3 years, 9 months ago

Comparing the Baylor and KU football programs is like comparing apples to oranges. Baylor went from almost winning the Big 12 title several years in a row and regularly taking 4-star athletes away from Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma to having three sub-par recruiting classes. Ruhle still had a base of 4-star athletes when he took over and a winning tradition of about 10 years. Beaty took over a downtrodden football program that had a two-year tradition of glory and a roster with big holes in it's make-up. Beaty's biggest failure as a recruiter is getting almost zero recruits from the Kansas City area while other college programs like Missouri, K-State, Iowa State, Minnesota and Northwestern regularly walk off with the best talent. A coach's first year recruiting class is almost always a fire-sale recruiting class. Eleven out of a less than 25 man recruiting class is par for a senior recruiting class at most football programs. Most senior classes lose a third or more recruits due to transfers, injuries or the recruit dropping football from his life.

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

Shut up John, stop telling people real things.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 9 months ago

Baylor's program was on the verge of getting a death penalty. Almost an entire recruiting class fled after the Briles news broke. Baylor's team that beat us handily in Lawrence last year was younger than ours. Somehow, Matt Rhule figured it out, but the recruiting guru from Texas, who can't get Texas commits, is now relying on the recruiting guru from Louisiana, who can't get Louisiana commits. You must be on the AD payroll to keep slinging this stuff.

John Fitzgerald 3 years, 9 months ago

I think it's very difficult to find a school to compare to KU's situation. In 2015 our scholarships were that of a school that had been darn near given the death penalty. Granted it was a self imposed tag team by Perkins and Zenger, but it's been catastrophic nonetheless.

Having said that Beaty should have never been hired to fix it. It was an unfair position to put an inexperienced coach in. And the proof is in the rankings. >> There just hasn't been hardly any improvement from his first year to his most recent. Even with all the talent he's brought in.

Anyways, I know it may not seem like it but I honestly do like Beaty and really hope he succeeds. He's just in over his head just as any inexperienced coach would be.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 9 months ago

He campaigned for the job, took the job, collected the checks and collected the raise and extension. Doesn't sound like anyone was treated unfairly. By committing to 8 JUCO players in his first-class, he panicked and shot himself in the foot.

You are right though, an experienced coach like Matt Rhule, Willie Fritz, or many, many, many other choices would have taken a more thoughtful approach.

Shafqat Mallah 3 years, 9 months ago

My Uncle Brayden just got a new cream Chevrolet Camaro Convertible by working part time off of a macbook air... view


3 years, 9 months ago

Bryson: what do you suggest the o/u is for our wins this year? 1.5? and, how many would be deemed (for us) a success? 3?

Bryson Stricker 3 years, 9 months ago

I believe O/U is 1.5 per Vegas.

To consider it a success? Nothing less than a bowl game. I believe a bowl game would show Beaty has improved drastically in terms of Gameday prep and coaching as well as the players he has brought in can execute.

4 wins will keep his job and show that it is at least making progress and that either 1) he can recruit his way to winning or 2) he has improved at coaching like previously mentioned.

Dane Pratt 3 years, 9 months ago

As much as Beaty deserves to be fired I don’t think it would be in our best interest to do so unless we have our sights on a coach we actually want and would be willing to take over this train wreck. The process of firing a coach and hiring what is currently available has resulted in a coach who was worse than his predecessor. If Girod wants to retain Zenger that is okay by me but no AD alone should be making a decision as important as hiring a head football coach. Surely there has to be knowledgeable KU people to assist in this process. Just off the top of my head Gale Sayers, John Hadl and Nolan Cromwell come to mind. These guys played at a high level and are loyal alums, the latter having actual coaching experience.

Yekrut Mot 3 years, 9 months ago

Math is hard?!

"KU’s Class of 2015 featured 16 high school players" and eight jucos (and none of the jucos are among the remaining).

"Just 11 ... players remain." 16 - 11 = 5. So KU has only lost 5 high school players from that class, right?

But those 11 do not include [Dorance] Armstrong, right? 16 - 1 (DA) = 15.

And they do not include any transfers out, right? "Five high school recruits transferred out of the program." 16 - 1 (DA) - 5 (transfers) = 11(?!?). This does not compute. This does not compute. This does not compute.

The LJW articles about KU football hurt my eyes almost as much as the KU football team's product on the field hurt them over the past several seasons.

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