Busy week for Beaty produces lengthy list of visitors for big recruiting weekend


Kansas University football recruiting.

Kansas University football recruiting.

Newly hired Kansas University football coach David Beaty has not spent his first week on the job rearranging the office furniture or hanging up his favorite photos by his desk. There will be time for that later.

The past week has been spent tracking talent, visiting coaches and lining up an impressive list of visitors for this weekend, the final big recruiting weekend before the next dead period. With 12 players in the Class of 2015 already committed, KU has room for about 12 more. Many of the visitors who will be in town this weekend are high school prospects, which is in line with what Beaty said would be the foundation upon which the KU program was built during his time in town.

Two of this weekend's visitors — WR Kevin Thomas and QB Ryan Willis — already have committed to Kansas, so, even if KU were to land all of the guys it brings in this weekend, it would leave the new coaching staff room to add at least a couple more players.

This weekend's visit list is heavy on offensive linemen and wide receivers — two areas of great need for the Jayhawks — but it's not just the names of the players or their place in the rankings that is impressive about this group. The more impressive part is that Beaty was able, in such short time, to get so many guys to committ to campus visits so quickly. The state of Kansas is also well represented, with three of the 11 guys coming from Kansas high schools, an area Beaty said would be a top priority moving forward.

Jon Kirby of reported earlier this week that several Texas high school coaches had reached out to Beaty about some of their players who may have been a little overlooked thus far in the recruiting process, and it's that kind of pedigree that had many on the search committee excited about the idea of hiring Beaty in the first place. The fact that it has started to pay off in his first week on the job is merely a bonus.

Of course, just getting them here is only half of the battle. Beaty and company still have to get these guys to commit and, even if they do, the players themselves still have to show up and pan out. There's time for that, though.

Here's a quick look at the guys coming in for a visit this weekend, according to's visit tracker:

• Kyle Ball, 6-2, 231 D-End, Shawnee Mission East
The two-start prospect picked up an offer from KU during Clint Bowen's interim term and helped lead the Lancers to a state title in the process. Big, physical and athletic all over the field, Ball has offers from Air Force and South Dakota State and also recently made an unofficial visit to Kansas State.

• D'Andre Banks — 6-3, 325, OL, Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College
Three-star offensive guard currently has offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, Utah State and Kansas. Also received early interest from Florida State and Illinois.

• Colton Beebe – 6-2, 252, LB, Piper High
Another local kid, Beebe has been closed in the sub-4.8 range in the 40-yard dash and also bench presses 315 pounds and owns a 4.13 grade-point average. The two-star prospect has offers from Air Force, Minnesota and Kansas. He's been looking forward to visiting KU since receiving an offer in September and said throughout the season that he was impressed by what Clint Bowen had done with the team.

• Xavier Castille – 5-11, 195, WR, Rockwall (Texas) High
Two-star receiver with a good build and excellent speed has all kinds of offers from mid-major type programs including Uconn, Illinois State, Memphis, Nevada, Texas State, Tulsa and UTEP along with KU and Washington. Under-the-radar wideout is known for good hands and crisp routes.

• Arico Evans – 6-2, 190, Athlete, Hillcrest High, Dallas
Two-star prospect has offers from KU, Indiana, New Mexico, New Mexico State, TCU, Texas Tech and Troy. This week's contact was the first Evans had received from Kansas, but he said he was very interested because of his high school coach's close bond with Beaty.

• Brandon Martin – 6-3, 185, WR, Prime Prep Academy, Dallas
Another prospect from the Deion Sanders school, this three-star receiver is ranked as the 98th best wideout in the nation and the 100th best player in Texas. He has received offers from Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Temple, Arkansas State and KU and has been named to the Under-Armour All-American roster.

• Emmanuel Moore – 6-0, 190, WR, Northwest High, Justin, Texas
Two-star receiver committed to North Texas back in September, but is visiting KU this weekend, according to KU and UNT are his only offers as of now but he also has received interest from Minnesota and SMU.

• Tyler Moore – 6-4, 300, OL, North Shore High, Galena Park, Texas
Three-star center has multiple offers from some big time programs including BYU, Minnesota, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana Tech and Oregon State. Moore plans to graduate in December and would be free to report to his new school in time for spring practices.

• Jace Sternberger – 6-4, 225, D-End, Kingfisher (Oklahoma) High
Two-star prospect has offers from KU, New Mexico, Sam Houston State and South Dakota and also received interest from Kansas State, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Known as a good all-around athlete. Also plays tight end.

• Kevin Thomas – 6-2, 180, WR, DeSoto (Texas) High
Three-star wide receiver committed to KU in July after receiving a dozen offers from schools including Clemson, Nebraska, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Big, physical wideout remained committed throughout the coaching change and is regarded by some as one of KU's top targets in the current class.

• Ryan Willis – 6-4, 201, QB, Bishop Miege
Three-star pro-style QB committed to Kansas in May and stayed strong throughout another rough season and a change in leadership. After throwing for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs as a junior, Willis followed that up with another 3,000-yard season and 35 TDs in leading the Stags to a state title this season. He completed 64 percent of his passes. Willis met with Beaty earlier this week and came away impressed by the new coach's energy and passion for KU.


Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago


I'm not sure how this all works....if a kid is invited for a visit, is it pretty much guaranteed that he has received or will receive an offer? Or is this still part of the feeling out process?

Reading over the list, I'm assuming that the OL Moore will be hotly pursued as a December grad.

Best part of the article, to me, is that coaches re reaching out to Beaty with their diamonds-in-the-rough. Certainly, the staff has to be cautious, but we just might be able to find the next Aquib Talib in that group of kids who aren't being hotly recruited.

I don't like the new rule that makes this a dead period. This is the time we could make some hay on the recruiting trail.

Matt Tait 3 years, 11 months ago

If you're making an official visit to a school, you have an offer. Only in rare cases is that not true. Obviously just having an offer doesn't mean you'll end up there, but coaches generally don't extend offers if they're not willing to hear you say yes on the spot.

Sounds like a lot of these guys are fired up about their visits and fired up about Beaty coming after them. Could be a busy Sunday and Monday. We'll see.

Jim Jackson 3 years, 11 months ago

Love seeing Beaty's connections pay off. The HS coaches in TX that Beaty's been friends with for years are giving him the heads up on some under the radar guys.

Not sure how many 4 star caliber guys we will be in the hunt for this late in the game but with time and progress, I bet that changes.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 11 months ago

About 80% of the ESPN 300 are already committed.

Of the 60-ish that don't have listed commitments, there are 4 that list KU as an interest, plus 4 more in the JC 50. There might be a few more that are 4* recruits that aren't in one of those categories, but that's close. It would be nice to land a couple/few of those that really fall on the "impressive" list.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

Two & three star recruits sounds like par for the course. Wonder what schools end up with the one stars.

Aaron Paisley 3 years, 11 months ago

1 star kids typically end up at FCS schools.

Michael Maris 3 years, 11 months ago

I like seeing the Twitter posting that's going on on JayhawkSlant. This actually does show' that Beaty & Staff (albeit small right now), are out on the road and working their rear-ends off to get kids to Lawrence to see the campus and community.


Aaron Paisley 3 years, 11 months ago

This late in the game, you basically have to get what you can and hope for a couple of late bloomers in the group. Recruiting in years when there's a coaching change or a lot of turnover on a staff is tough because a lot of kids won't commit when there's such instability on the staff.

Doug Cramer 3 years, 11 months ago

Like seeing a focus on the O-line. That's needs to continue as well as the D-line.

Beaty is exactly what the DR ordered. Kansas is the type of school that needs to find the diamonds in the rough...or overlooked guys from Texas that aren't getting much FBS love.

It will be interesting to see who Beaty brings in to fill the rest of his staff.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

Agree. It all starts in the trenches. If we are to lay a foundation brick by brick those are the guys we need to recruit the most.

Steve Corder 3 years, 11 months ago

Just exactly does "and also received interest from...." mean? The kid got a letter, an in home visit, a phone call or an assistant coach sat in the stands at one of the games?

Jonathan Briles 3 years, 11 months ago

We had 13 commitments. Who was the person we lost? I was looking and the name is just slipping through the cracks.

Jim Stauffer 3 years, 11 months ago

Raeshawn Lee, a WR did not graduate at mid-term. Seems we have set the bar for JC's as mid-term guys or no deal.

Chris Bailey 3 years, 11 months ago

I guess I'm glad he got some visits locked up but not that many are big time recruits. When we list Air Force, Tulsa or North Texas as places they have offers is that really a shock they would take a chance on a scholly to a Big 5 conference school? Just can't get too excited about some of these kids. I know Talib was a 2 star and sure it happens but not very likely. Hopefully next year we see some 4 star kids.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

Would be interesting to go back and review the high school ratings of a college senior class and see how many lived up to their rating, fell short of it or exceeded it. For every Talib there is probably a Jake Heaps.

Chris Bailey 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree Michael. So many of these kids fail. And the 2 star kids many times don't develop and are scout teamers. I will say this the Kansas kids could develop a bit more once they get to college due to the fact they don't play year round.

Kevin Randell 3 years, 11 months ago

Any word on that Wrench kid, who had committed to us, but had to go to juco because of his academics? Did he get his grades up? Will he be honoring his commitment and coming back to KU?

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

Apparently you can win even with 1 stars. North Dakota State has played and beaten a D1 team 5 years in a row 4 of which were from a P5 conference and 3 from the Big 12. We’ve only won 3 conference games in the same timeframe and but have faced 45 conference opponents compared to 3 by NDS. That’s depressing.

Randy Bombardier 3 years, 11 months ago

Nice. We already have two more commits. One oline member not even listed here. Ben Stanton from Wisconsin. Other is Emmanuel Moore.

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