Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Kansas WRs coach Emmett Jones speaks ‘truth’ when recruiting

University of Kansas receivers coach Emmett Jones

University of Kansas receivers coach Emmett Jones


In his brief time as the wide receivers coach at the University of Kansas, Emmett Jones has been active on the recruiting front, telling prospects about the program now being run by head coach Les Miles.

So how does Jones sell players on the idea of joining the Jayhawks?

Let him stop you right there.

“I never call it a sales pitch. I like to just speak the truth,” Jones said recently, during an interview with Brian Hanni, KU director of broadcasting and play-by-play voice of the Jayhawks.

Jones, who has not yet been made available for interviews with local media outlets, explained that when he was a high school head coach in Dallas, he used to be on the other end of such recruiting encounters. Jones, who would go on to become the outside receivers coach at Texas Tech before joining KU, decided back during his days working in the prep ranks how he would handle conversations with a recruit.

“When those guys used to come in and visit me, if they ever gave me the vibe they were trying to sell something, that wasn’t a good vibe that I liked. So I just like to speak the truth,” Jones said of his style as a recruiter.

One of the facts about KU football that Jones won’t run away from is the program’s recent struggles. The team’s new receivers coach points to the future when telling prospects about KU.

“Everybody knows about the University of Kansas and where it’s been the last few years. It’s not always going to stay like that,” Jones predicted. “They know everything about Les Miles and where he comes from, and the success he had at Oklahoma State, the success he had at LSU, the type of players he’s been around. And he’s just a good guy, man. He wants to succeed and he’s going to surround himself with a great staff.”

Of course, one key Miles assistant, Chip Lindsey, will be in charge of catching the Jayhawks’ offense up with the rest of the Big 12.

Jones said he did some research on the former Auburn and Southern Miss offensive coordinator before joining Miles’ staff and Jones found out that his former boss at Texas Tech, Kliff Kingsbury, spoke very highly of Lindsey, who is now KU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

So Jones feels genuine when telling players about the positives of becoming a Jayhawk.

“Being in the Big 12, leaving your legacy here at Kansas, just speaking the truth about those guys and the direction we’re going from an offensive standpoint, and having the chance to play for somebody like coach Miles, it’s all up-and-coming,” Jones said, adding that KU’s facilities “blew me away.”

At Texas Tech, Jones built a reputation as a successful recruiter in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The former Dallas Skyline and South Oak Cliff high school coach said the relationships he developed back then allow him to be viewed as a trustworthy recruiter and college assistant.

Before high school coaches and families of players feel comfortable sending an athlete off somewhere, Jones explained, they need to feel contented with members of a college football staff.

“You want those guys to take care of your players, off the field, especially. So that’s a sense of comfort when they’re dealing with me as a coach,” Jones said, “because they know exactly what I’m about.”


Dane Pratt 5 months, 2 weeks ago

If you are a really good high school football player in Texas you probably want to play for UT or OU. So what is the appeal of playing for KU?

Matthew Roesner 5 months, 2 weeks ago

At this time, there are a few benefits, with the primary one being potential immediate playing time. At other schools, you may have to sit on the depth chart for two or three years. At KU, you have the chance to be in the line-up in your first or second season. Also, at another school, you may be #4 or #5 receiver, where at KU you could slide in to a higher spot/rotation. All about playing time, especially if you believe KU will improve and have an offense that can stay on the field.

Dane Pratt 5 months, 1 week ago

You're probably right but look at it from the other side of the coin. I'm a good high school basketball player from Kansas who could ride the pine at KU on scholarship or go to one of the B12 opponents and see some playing time. We need something more than pt to attract athletes and facilities might be the thing. We know our stadium does not stack up to the competition, how do the living facilities compare?

Jim Stauffer 5 months, 1 week ago

Probably is a big word in your comment. Not every kid wants to be lined up behind 3 4 or 5 stars in front of him, waiting until he is a junior or senior to play. Ever hear of being a big fish in a small pond. It sometimes beats being a small fish in the ocean.

Buck Bukaty 5 months, 1 week ago

I probably wish to win the I'll keep playing.

Like KU, Texas and OU are limited to 25 new scholarship recruits per year. Simple math, between the 2 colleges that's 50 scholar athletes from the pool, or 2.27 high school football teams per Texas and OU, so a total of 4.54 high school football teams between them would be committed. Last I heard there are many more than 4.54 high school football programs in the State of Texas.

Granted, not all 11 players on each side of the ball of a high school football team that adds up to 22 players is going to be college material, but the point is the numbers work in our favor. Lots of Texas scholar athletes need a second home like Kansas. "There's no place like home", a relative term.

Steven Haag 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It also needs to be pointed out that all 5 stars and most 4 star recruits will go to Texas or OU. We “might” in time be able to talk to some 4 star receivers. In the meantime, you find the potential in the 3 stars and you have a decent shot against the other “lower Big XII” programs. A big help would be to land and coach and develop a decent freaking quarterback

Dirk Medema 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Certainly glad Coach Hull hasn't had that attitude.

If I recall some ancient history, yours was the attitude of Terry Allen.

Mike Barnhart 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There are 1700 players in the NFL, five are former Jayhawks. 17% (287) came from schools ranked in this years final top 10 AP poll. Forget about those guys, we ain't gonna' beat Alabama (44) for many recruits but we need to catch our Big 12 rivals like Baylor (9), KSU (10), Tech (13), TCU (13) and WV (14).

35% of current NFL players came from outside the power five conferences and hundreds more signed with also-rans like Oregon. St (12), Illinois (12) and Rutgers (13).

Maybe we shouldn't try so hard to go head-to-head with LSU (40) but we better be able to recruit with Arkansas (13).

Matt Gauntt 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the football article. We've gotten excited about the program and the long gap between football articles was giving me withdraw symptoms.

Steven Haag 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Dirk, please let me know how many 4 and 5 star wide receivers we will get this year? How about next year? Seriously, how many? Make your prediction, here in public. I’m not being a “debbie downer”. Just being realistic. I’m anxiously awaiting your response on how many we are going to get

Jim Stauffer 5 months, 1 week ago

What will be your response if we do sign a 4 star receiver. We have two 4 star running backs and 1 cornerback. It is not impossible, not even improbable. What is more important is this staff is filled with guys who can select kids who can play regardless of the number beside their name.

Greg Ledom 5 months, 1 week ago

Exactly Jim. Some of the posts suggest a) set the bar low, much Les to lose, b) only 4 and 5 star recruits go to OU and Texas out of the lone star state and, c) KU has little to offer than the big schools. I would ask; Do you think having a former National Championship coach gives us an edge? I do. How about facilities (not stadium....yet)? I do. How about a staff that doesn’t blow smoke up your ass? I do. Playing time? Absolutely. There’s plenty of room for all. I’m confident this staff when given time to create relationships with our recruiting base, will deliver not matter the # behind the name. I guess time will tell and I’m super excited to see how it plays out. Purchased 2 tics on the three year plan. LET’S GO!! Rock Chalk!

Steven Haag 5 months, 1 week ago

Jim, that’s my point. The VAST majority of 5 stars will go to big name football programs, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Michigan, etc. throw Texas and OU in there. Many(majority) or 4 stars will do the same. Not dogging KU, it’s just reality. We will land a 4 star here and there, but, if we have a good coaching staff, which I believe we do, time will tell, then we coach these 3 stars into 4 star talent. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I pointed out a while back and it still bears repeating. TCU built a very nice basketball facility and hired former Pitt coach Dixon to coach. A good coach and good facilities, but he will not land any 5 star basketball recruits (most likely won’t) because they will pick big name basketball programs, KU, UK, Puke, NC, etc. doesn’t mean he won’t field a good team, it’s just a reality.

David Kelley-Wood 5 months, 1 week ago

We're "probably" not going to land any 4-star recruits, and we're almost certainly not going to end up with any of the 5-star types. But, it wasn't all that long ago when we went 11-1 and won the Orange Bowl with no higher than 3-star guys. I wonder how many turnaround projects ever do bring in the highly recognized talent at the outset. And yet, programs do turn around. My guess is that success stories are not dependent upon the things that show up on paper before the fact.

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