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A look at the state of Kansas football recruiting

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Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull watches over his players during practice on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Kansas running backs coach Tony Hull watches over his players during practice on Thursday, April 6, 2017. by Nick Krug

Recruiting continues to progress at a sluggish pace for a Kansas football program that needs the remaining Louisiana high school prospects to stay committed to salvage the class.

Kansas and Kansas State rank tied for last in the Big 12 with 10 verbal commitments so far in this the first year of the early December signing period, according to Rivals.

The recruiting website lists 20 verbals for Oklahoma State and TCU, 19 for Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas Tech, 18 for Texas and West Virginia and 16 for Iowa State.

The state of Texas remains the main source for Big 12 recruits, even though the SEC has done a nice job in recent years of invading the state for some of its best talent.

So far, 86 of the 169 verbal pledges from Big 12 schools are from Texas. Kansas and West Virginia are the only schools without a Texas commitment listed. Two Texas high school players had made verbal pledges to KU but decided to reopen their recruiting, including quarterback Clayton Tune, who backed out Saturday night after attending a game at Baylor.

As the losing seasons mount, it’s growing tougher and tougher for Kansas to land Texas recruits because it’s picking behind so many Big 12 schools, plus other in-state schools such as Texas A&M of the SEC, Houston and SMU of the American Athletic.

Head coach David Beaty’s hiring of running backs coach Tony Hull has resulted in several prospects from the Bayou considering Kansas. Four Louisiana recruits remain committed to Kansas, per Rivals, and three have backed out.

A look at Big 12 football recruiting, ranked in order of verbal pledges:

School Verbal Commitments
Texas recruits
Other states
Oklahoma State
20 12 Oklahoma (6), Illinois, Louisiana
TCU 20 12
Louisiana (5), California, Iowa, Washington
Baylor 19
18 Colorado
Oklahoma 19 8 Oklahoma (5), Florida (2), Ohio (2), Kansas, Tennessee
Texas Tech
19 16 Louisiana (2), Kansas
Texas 18 14 California, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma
West Virginia
18 0 Georgia (3), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (3), Tennessee (2), Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, West Virginia
Iowa State
16 2 California (4), Iowa (2), Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigian, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin
Kansas 10 0 Louisiana (4), Kansas (3), Missouri (2), New York
Kansas State
10 4 Georgia (2), Oklahoma (2), Kansas, Louisiana
Source of verbal pledges: Rivals.com
169 86 Oklahoma (15), Louisiana (13), Kansas (7), Georgia (6), Ohio (6), California (6), Florida (4), Illinois (3), Iowa (3), Pennsylvania (3), Tennessee (3), Kentucky (2), Missouri (2), Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Comments

John Fitzgerald 1 month ago

Tom,

Do you think it puts KU in any danger of losing out on a quality AD and HC if we let Zenger and Beaty go before the end of the year? Or even waiting until the end of the year?

Also, what do you think is the number one reason Beaty has earned, or maybe not so much earned, but gets another year to coach? From what I see this is the lowest KU has been in production and recruiting even taking into consideration the 0-12 season.

Tom Keegan 1 month ago

I think the No. 1 reason for Beaty getting a fourth season would have to come in the remaining games of the season. The No. 2 reason would be money, but even that's not compelling considering he would get a $3.2 buyout after next season if that were his final season as well. It would trim the amount owed to assistants by more than $1 million, but next coach might keep some assistants. Tony Hull, I would think, would be back under any circumstances, especially if his recruits remain committed through end of season and sign in December period.

John Fitzgerald 1 month ago

Meacham could be a guy to possibly keep, too. I also wouldn't be upset if everyone was let go and we just started over. But as it stands, if Beaty doesn't at least beat KSU and Baylor to make up for this disastrous year, I'm thinking he's gone. So needless to say if we lose to KSU, which is a darn near certainty, I think we get rid of Zenger and Beaty and let Hull take over as HC. See if he can put a spark in the team and beat Baylor, and compete against OU and Ok State. If so, maybe he's a HC candidate.

Gerry Butler 1 month ago

I guess Hull couldn't do any worse then Beaty , and I've been backing Beaty for some time- -but this has got to stop. Hull has no College Coaching experience, but the thing is or better yet question is - how long do you think Hull is going to stay here anyways? - -I think he is gone & gone on his own , he won't stick around this train wreck.

Matthew Gaylor 1 month ago

I know it has been discussed on the podcast, but do you feel like you are in the minority that believes Beaty would be let go if he didn't win any other games, or do other writers feel the same?

Tom Keegan 4 weeks, 1 day ago

I'm not sure what other writers think. I try not to find that out because group think is a dangerous thing.

Barry Weiss 1 month ago

Tom, I thought we brought in Beaty to get Texas recruits? According to this chart, that plan is not going very well.

Dirk Medema 4 weeks, 1 day ago

I thought we brought in Beaty to recruit and restore a roster that was 30 scholarship players short of other D1 rosters. The fact that we now are close a full roster would indicate the plan is a success, though the fact that we have only 6 seniors would indicate we're still 1 year short. If we take a look at the number of scholarships that have been given to players that have worked hard to support the program, it would probably indicate we're still a couple more years away from completing the process. When the process began, most were glad we weren't going the quick fix route that got us in trouble.

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

As Keegan has pointed out two times, the primary reason Beaty was hired was to land Texas and we have zero committed. To get the last-place recruiting class in the conference, we had to give a Louisiana assistant coach a $300,000 raise. And no amount of Tony Hull love is going to keep those kids committed if we continue to get obliterated each week.

One argument for Willie Fritz as the next coach is that he's been recruiting Louisiana the past two years and would likely keep Hull on board, and likely keep the LA recruits. His A.D. worked at UNI, so he's got midwest roots. He's young and would probably bring the energy needed to keep the stadium moving forward, if you are looking for a tandem hire.

To me, the other likely path is Air Force. The A.D. is a West Point grad with tour experience in Iraq. With Girod's military background, I could see this as an easy hire, as long as Girod isn't hung up on the optics of brining in a triple-option coach, which I don't think he'd have a problem with. Though this option would probably cost you some recruits, it wouldn't matter because the offensive system would allow you to quickly change gears and go after some different athletes. In net, I don't think you really get hurt.

Either of these hiring choices would move Kansas football forward. It's time to get serious.

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

Also, make sure to email the chancellor that it's time for change. And I don't mean to lecture, but be respectful.

Tom Keegan 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Brett, Excellent post. I like your tandem thinking.

Suzi Marshall 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Tom...I bet your in bed watching the World Series with you lap top replying to post. Go 'Stros!!!!

Dirk Medema 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Were you one of the people that said Coach would never keep the recruits during the winless first year?

He did.

Tandem thinking is reasonable, but the comment looses credibility when it starts with a fallacy.

Chandler Accipiter 1 month ago

KSU isn't sweating their 10 verbals, because that class will be filled out by walk-ons, who in turn will become All Big 12 performers down the road.

Gerry Butler 1 month ago

We are caught in a vicious right now. - -Everything that is anything is going against us.. - - We want - - -we need better recruits. - -Question is how do we attain that?- - One part is we need have to upgrade our facilities to keep up with others , Stadium wise , Training wise, everything that goes with the upgrade. - -we bring kids in on recruiting visits show them what we have to offer - -locker rooms - -the stadium - -weight rooms and such , then these same recruits go and check out Oklahoma - TCU - -LSU - -Alabama - lol - -ya ok - there is no comparision, so we have that against us - -these kids were trying to recruit, they see the condition this program is in, they see , hear, read about the results -the blow outs time after time, so in order to try and keep up we need to improve the facilities. That's where the money comes in from Donations - Alum and such. - -These people say Ok , so you want me to invest a ton of money to upgrade the program - -they say what am I getting for my money? - -my investment? - -let me see the proof on the field - -better players, better competition - which in turn takes better recruits , they go hand in hand. Do you seriously believe we are going to hang onto the LA recruits we have this year? - -You tell me - - look at these kids, the caliber of these recruits from LA - -almost every major College coming after them if you were them where you wanna go? - - LSU - -Alabama - -Georgia -- Clemson - -Oklahoma - - OR KU ? - I don't see any way in hell we keep these two - - three recruits. - -I don't think we have to worry about letting Tony Hull go - -I think he leaves on his own, has that LA connection - -wouldn't surprise me one bit if he doesn't return to Louisiana area and land on his feet hell maybe even with LSU in some regard somewhere in that area. -We are an absolute train wreck right now and I don't see ANY Coach that would want this job We had one that at least gave us some sort of resemblance of a football team but we ran him out - -what have we done since? - - NOTHING not a damn thing. - -people better choose what they want - -a Coach or someone who babysits golden spoon don't touch me, don't touch my child pamper me coach

John Brazelton 1 month ago

After looking at all these negative posts and Tom Keegan's negative sports articles that continuously TRASH the football program, why would any self-respecting recruit from any state want to come to KU and play football? I would like to remind everyone that Keegan spent all spring and summer writing glowing articles about Bender as QB and Meacham as OC, now he trashes everybody. If the Lawrence Journal World management had any balls, they would fire Tom Keegan as Sports Director for lack of journalistic principles.

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

He's just doing his job, John - and thank goodness. Facts are facts and the fact is this: this program has gone nowhere under Weis/Beaty. Zenger hired both of them, they both failed, and it's time to move on to a real coach.

Dirk Medema 4 weeks, 1 day ago

They've rebuilt a roster from 55 to close to 80 players. That's a fact.

55 players is an FCS level roster. That's a fact too.

6 seniors is one of the smallest senior classes making us one of the youngest programs in the country. Yep, another fact.

Drew Matthews 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Yeah and yet we have managed to go backward in performance on the field. Quality over quantity.

David Kemp 1 month ago

A recruit would want to come if they thought you had a coach serious about winning! And negative? I guess you have to put ESPN in that category because they ripped us up one side and down the other.

Barry Weiss 1 month ago

KU football and by default the University, has become the butt of jokes on national TV, not because of Tom Keegan, but because our football program is getting worse instead of better. That is why recruits are already pulling out of verbal commitments. Face reality.

Gerry Butler 1 month ago

So true Barry - -& you know what I didn't think it would be possible but I think our Defense has actually taken a step back -our WHOLE program has stepped back - -how is that possible. I mean enough is enough. The problem is I just don't think your going to find ANY kind of a Coach that is going to be willing to take this job on. - A new guy starting out - he is not going to want this , cause let's face it he is starting out and this would normally be a stepping stone. - -Only if your taking this - -your digging your own grave,.

Dirk Medema 4 weeks, 1 day ago

We lost almost our entire defensive backfield after last year. Anybody that didn't think that would impact us this year isn't paying attention much.

The problem with using this as a stepping stone is because we've become so microwaved as to pull the stones out from under the coaches after less than 3 years. That's essentially 1 recruiting class. Good luck finding anyone with that kind of pattern of expectation.

Gerry Butler 1 month ago

If Bender was half the QB that you say Keegan tried to make him out to be - this conversation wouldn't be here. - -If we had a team that put out some kind of production a team that played competitive games these conversations wouldn't be here. - -So you tell me you tell me with the kind of production you have seen this year on the field PLEASE tell me out of our 5 remaining games do you see this team keeping the difference under 35 pts. - -You can only try and cover up - -& protect someone for so long - you say Negative - -Sorry bub it's in reality called to the truth. - -The truth hurts sometimes , it can be a cold cruel world. - - If you can't see what the majority is seeing - -then I'm not really sure what game your watching or listening to on Saturdays but it sure the hell isn't KU football. We have no O-Line - -we have no QB - -& a defense that is not a defense, this defense couldn't cover anybody if we were in a closet. - -You wanted to remind us now let me remind you do you always believe everything you read? - - He is just reporting what he see what he feels, - -I REALLY don't think Tom is the base of our problems on the football field

Brett McCabe 1 month ago

What some forget, too, is that Beaty went out and recruited Stanley when he had Willis committed. Because Willis wasn't Beaty's "guy", he chased him out of the program with lame excuses about how they needed QB's who fit the offense better.

So, after letting Willis sacrifice his body for the team, Beaty plays QB Mind Games for a year, finally gives the job to Stanley and promptly recruits another kid to replace him. Bender, as you know from Beaty's statements, is an Air Raid expert.

Beaty is a mess. The team is a mess. They've officially quit on the coaches and this thing could have been made better by an active Chancellor. So, the new guy is flubbing from the get go.

Dirk Medema 4 weeks, 1 day ago

There were no mind games breaking Willis' wrist in the off-season or throwing interception after interception. What was it? 7 in the 2 games he started?

This program is a mess, but you have an amazing altered sense of reality.

Austin Lopez 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Wasn't Willis a freshman that year??? And I wonder what you have to say about Beaty running Cozart out? Yeah the same guy just scored 3 TDs last game. All Beaty does is play mind games at the QB spot. Bender should be benched since he say's you have to earn it, what has Bender earned the last 2 games? If you ask me a spot of the bench!

Gerry Butler 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Refresh our memories please HOW MANY INT'S - -the mighty Bender has this season - plus about the same amount of oh so close INT'S - -go ahead I'll wait

Barry Weiss 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Beaty has appeared to mis=manage the QB position. He talks about the QB is only as good as his last series of downs, but then never really gives Stanley a shot. I thought some of the other QB's that have left our program were legit too. So I don't know what Beaty is doing at that position, but the results are not there and his plan is not working. Again, in year 3 there has to be progress somewhere, we have none, and in fact are going backwards. Saturday's game will tell a lot. If our team cannot get up for K-State, then it will be apparent to all the team has quit on Beaty.

Layne Pierce 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Problem is we are not consistently competitive. Forget about wins and losses, we are just not competitive. Second what is up with Bender and Stanley, recruiting another qb who was slow with our offensive line, what was the point? We are what we are, and that is a team with a leader, Stanley, some decent running backs, decent wide receivers, a below average offensive line. A good defensive line, average linebackers, and below average secondary. Still after 3 years below average special teams.

Special teams is tough, because we don't have the depth to play starters on kickoff and punt teams, so as we get more bodies, this potentially could improve.

If we were really more competitive then our record would not bother me, but actually we are in some ways less competitive after three years, and that raises a red flag.

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