Say something nice about Kansas football: On Cajun Country recruiting


Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull encourages his players as they warm up during practice on Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull encourages his players as they warm up during practice on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. by Nick Krug

Only five schools from the state of Louisiana compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision: LSU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech and Tulane.

Only one of those five schools, LSU, is a member of one of college football’s Power Five conferences. The SEC is recruiting the state of Texas harder than ever, a benefit of enticing Texas A&M into the conference. More Texas recruits means fewer from Louisiana, which translates to opportunity for other schools.

The state has far more Div. I prospects than LSU can recruit and Kansas head coach David Beaty has made an aggressive play to become a place for Cajun Country recruits to visit. Beaty hired Tony Hull, former head coach of Warren Easton High in New Orleans, as his running backs coach.

Kansas gained a commitment from dual-threat QB Class of 2016 recruit Tyriek Starks, who played for Hull, before Hull joined the staff. Travis Jordan, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound, three-star athlete from Louisiana, committed to KU in early April. Nebraska reportedly wanted him and Kansas landed him. Take a bow, coach Hull.

Just last weekend, Hull brought in two more Louisiana prospects for a visit. Wide receiver L’Dontrae Davis is being recruited by LSU, Ole Miss, etc. And he visited Kansas and was quoted as saying he loved it. That doesn’t mean Kansas will land him. It does mean he will spread the word in Louisiana about a Big 12 school that otherwise might not have been on their radar. His cousin, defensive end prospect Justin Harris, joined him on the visit.

Because Kansas lacks a winning tradition, convincing prospects to visit campus always has been the toughest challenge for football coaches throughout the decades. Once they make the visit, most are pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the campus, the family feel, and in recent years, the Anderson Family Football Complex.

Developing talent, putting it in the right place on the field, and playing smart football with a nasty edge still rank as the biggest keys to establishing a winning culture, but upgrading recruiting certainly plays a big role as well. I believe starting from scratch in Louisiana is well worth the gamble.

There, I just said something nice about Kansas football, which is coming off an 0-12 season. Now it’s your turn. Say something nice about Kansas football.


Michael Maris 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Coach Hull has been a NICE addition to the Coaching Staff (for sure). Keep bringing them in Coach Beaty & Staff.

Matt Tait 2 years, 11 months ago

Say what you will about David Beaty's coaching chops or even his decision making on Saturdays or with the depth chart, but you can never question the man's willingness and desire to give everything he's got to try to get this program turned around. And a lot of the time that means taking his show to the people. Just last week Beaty was in Denver sharing his thoughts about the upcoming season and answering questions from Jayhawk fans in the Mile High City and soon he'll be doing the same in Tulsa. That's to say nothing of the cities across Kansas that he visits. After each of these events, fans come away with more faith, enthusiasm and excitement about Kansas football than they had going in.

Michael Maris 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I seen the Denver video of him talking to the crowd. Every since the 1st day of the announcement of his hiring. My thoughts automatically went to ''How in the heck can people NOT get pumped up by listening to Coach Beaty''? The short amount of time I spent talking to Coach Beaty (in St. Charles in June 2015) and the staff that accompanied him. They all seem very genuine. And, the play calling issues. They can only get better with time. The energy that Coach Beaty brings to the Podium / Microphone is infectious. I'm sure that the Alumni (Donor) Base truly enjoy listening and communicating with Coach Beaty more than any coach since Coach Fambrough's coaching days.

Jeff Coffman 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm confused...five schools are listed: 1) LSU - SEC 2) Tulane - American 3) Louisiana Lafayette - Sun Belt 4) Louisiana Monroe - Sun Belt 5) Louisiana Tech - Conference USA

All five are part of FBS Conference, of which 1 is part of the Power 5 Conference.

Might be a rounding issue 4 versus 5.

Matt Tait 2 years, 11 months ago

Got it fixed. Thanks. I think Tulane was left out initially and later added, hence four instead of five.

Got a contribution for this week's "Say something nice"?

Scott Stanford 2 years, 11 months ago

In 2014, Louisiana had more NFL players per capita than any other state. In 2015, Louisiana was second to Alabama. One of every 78,000 residents of Louisiana plays in the NFL ... Only Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston have produced more current NFL players than New Orleans. So, yeah, build that pipeline coach. Laissez le bon temps rouler!

Brett McCabe 2 years, 11 months ago

Recently a statement came out of the football offices stating that they were going to develop the most advanced recruiting system in college football (or something like that). Doing the math is a good place to start.

I've long held to the idea that you could identify - say 150 - large high schools and simply recruit those high schools year-in and year-out. The numbers would average out to where that base of schools was consistently generating the same number of prospects each year. By recruiting the same schools, you develop relationships with the coaches, you are more effective in your marketing and you are more likely to identify the diamonds in the rough - because you aren't distracted.

If you take the KC metro area, the Houston metro area add the states of Kansas and Louisiana, plus pass-through towns on the way, there is probably a big enough recruiting base to never have to go anywhere else.

Tom Keegan 2 years, 11 months ago

Not a bad system. The key then becomes stability in coaching staff so that those relationships can grow every year and coaches aren't starting from scratch. Staff stability was an underrated key to Gary Pinkel's success. Generally, by the third year, a staff should be in place and defections should be at a minimum from that point.

Mike Gant 2 years, 11 months ago

Kansas: Compared to Lousiana, We're Downright Enlightened.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 11 months ago

Tony Hull should be able to speed up the development of the linemen by a year with some Cajun recipes. Cajun food and Tex-Mex are by far the two biggest things I misses while I was at KU.

Brett McCabe 2 years, 11 months ago

We have a Jazz Louisiana Kitchen on Mass now - that might help. Though I've heard from some that it barely resembles true Cajun.

Aaron Paisley 2 years, 11 months ago

Hard to do true Cajun that far from the Gulf of Mexico.

Is this what went in where Buffalo Wild Wings used to be?

Tom Keegan 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, it's where Buffalo Wild Wings used to be.

Gary Bedore 2 years, 11 months ago

My say something nice about KU football: It brought Mike Gottfried and Bob Valesente to town, two of the most media accessible coaches ever. Gottfried did a fine job as head coach and Val had his back against the wall trying to get the academics going. Val, of course, had a fine career as an assistant, in the NFL as well as college.

Larry Jackson 2 years, 11 months ago

Tom, D-1, Northwestern State University in LA, of the Southland conference (KC Chiefs Joe Delaney's school). Beaty has re-created the same TX high school pipeline Baylor has ridden to success on. Yes Beaty's live enthusiasm is infectiousness. I got the opportunity to see him in Dallas last year.

Tom Keegan 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, the Southland Conference is in the FCS (formerly known as Div. 1-AA, not the FBS). Athletes prefer competing in the FBS as evidenced by safety Bryce Torneden switching to KU from FCS power North Dakota State once KU offered.

Matt Tait 2 years, 11 months ago

He's there tonight (Wednesday, May 18) and believe he's in Wichita after that.

David Robinett 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't give a dann about Coach Beaty's play calling. That is the least important skill he brings to our program. He has exceptional leadership and people skills, and the tenacity to accept this monumental challenge and see it through to success.

Any jackass can second guess play calling when it doesn't work.

Our success on the field is TBD, but I think we are fortunate to,have found the guy with the exact right skill set AND the willingness to commit the prime of his coaching life to KU.

Mike Pressgrove 2 years, 11 months ago

I like that Coach Beaty's staff is looking everywhere for players that want to be part of the turn around at KU. If we give him time, I am convinced he will get it done.

Bob Bailey 2 years, 11 months ago

The drills, the play calling, and the Defense etc on the Michigan State board, seem to be far better than KU's recent experience. Same sort of stuff Ore uses, and they whipped KState from the first play of the bowl game.

Haven't poured over it lately, but an interesting read if you care about the game. They maybe didn't go back far enough. Some of the philosophy of Defense ca 1932 (yes 32) has some bearing on todays Defense. Shows my age a bit. Nobody knew about the Four Horsemen, the ND coach killed in an airplane(Knute Rockne), etc. But some of it works.

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