Saturday, April 14, 2012

Notre Dame linebacker to transfer to KU


The multi-week speculation surrounding whether Notre Dame linebacker Anthony McDonald would transfer to Kansas University turned official Friday.

McDonald, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound middle linebacker becomes the latest graduate to pledge his services to the Jayhawks, joining former Notre Dame teammates Dayne Crist and Mike Ragone and former Nebraska defensive lineman Josh Williams.

On signing day, back in February, KU coach Charlie Weis said he expected more fifth-year transfers to join his team. He also discussed why he was so keen on adding them.

“I’m going to be open to that every year and I’m going to tell you why,” Weis said. “For every one of these fifth-years I bring in, they’re also going out. So they don’t cost me a potential recruit because you have a guy who has some experience coming to play without affecting your numbers in recruiting at all.”

McDonald, who was a high school teammate of Crist’s in California, will graduate from Notre Dame in May and will join Weis’ new program in June.

During his four years at Notre Dame, McDonald played in 28 games, including all 12 games in 2009 and 11 more during 2010.

The addition of McDonald brings the total number of commitments in KU’s most recent recruiting class to 25. The Jayhawks have added five Div. I transfers, nine junior college transfers and 11 prep players.

McDonald is the third linebacker in the class, joining Schyler Miles, of Berkley Prep in Tampa, Fla., and Courtney Arnick, of Carter High in Dallas.


Jonathan Briles 10 years, 3 months ago

Former rivals 250 and four star prospect. I'll take it! He didn't quite live up to his hype, but is no slouch either. He has never started a game for ND, but they have some top notch LB's.

Its a fresh start for a great player.

Edward Daub 10 years, 3 months ago

I trust that McDonald will grind the opposition to hamburger. Sounds like another solid addition!

Seth Nesmith 10 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully McDonald hits the opponents so hard that they see golden arches!

Cameron Cederlind 10 years, 3 months ago

Now if only we could get a player named McDowell for the golden arcs

Brad Morford 10 years, 3 months ago

A linebacker named McDonald? That is quite a nugget of information!!

JJHAWK 10 years, 3 months ago

And after a big hit I can see it now - "Would you like that doublesized?"

kellerman411 10 years, 3 months ago

At 230 lbs., I believe this Mcdonald is super-sized!

Mike Barnhart 10 years, 3 months ago

Former!... Used to start!... At one time!... Played in a few games!...

I hope Charlie doesn't really think adding backups from Notre Dame is how you build a Big 12 roster? If so, he's in for a rude awakening come October!

Actually, judging from his comments, I think spring practice has opened his eyes to the LACK of disparity between the new 5th year transfers and the returning Kansas roster! I'll be a lot happier when our 4 star recruits come from high schools!

JHawk74 10 years, 3 months ago

Give Weiss a chance to build the team his way. I'm sure he would rather have 4 to 5 star high school athletes but they aren't choosing KU right now. We need to take what we can get at this point. Turner Gill put KU in a huge hole and Weiss is bringing in players that can contribute right away.

Jeremy Bolinger 10 years, 3 months ago

Was thinking the same thing. There's a major difference between getting used up transfers who couldn't see pt at their former schools and actually getting good football players. I've seen Crist play, and he didn't look too special. Heaps > Crist. But hey, guess it couldn't be worse than what we had.

Clarence Haynes 10 years, 3 months ago

During the 4th qtr (particularly Iowa St and Baylor), our Dee ran out of gas in part due to the lack of depth (and talent). At least we will have more experienced players to throw at opponents.Welcome Mac!

Bville Hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Wow, 7 exclamation marks in six lines of post. You might want to switch to decaf after the first pot is gone.

Jim Jackson 10 years, 3 months ago

We needa respectable record before we can even start thinking about 4 star HS players. At 2-10, I wouldn't even pick up the phone if I was a 4 star HS player if KU called.

This should help improve our record. Rock Chalk!!

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 3 months ago

Crist had to deal with a coach that didn't recruit him and didn't really want him, and had some injuries to deal with. McDonald had a string of injuries that cut his playing time. To say that we are picking up scraps doesn't do these guys justice, especially considering most backups on major teams could start and dominate on our current roster.

Gotta have faith in the process and goals Weis has. He is using experienced players to improve weak spots immediately while recruits develop and get experience in the scheme, while also increasing our national presence to get in the doors of top recruits in the coming years.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

What's silly about this post is that even if McDonald stinks when he gets to KU it does absolutely no harm to the program. If he can't make it, he won't play. It's not like he's taking up a roster spot of some big time recruit that we now can't land. We have the spot, he's only available for a year, he has experience......

What exactly is wrong with that? Best case scenario, he's a monster for us and has a ton of tackles. Worst case, he doesn't see the field and it's exactly the same as if he never transferred to KU.

I, honestly, don't see the point in complaining about this transfer.... really makes no sense.

bradh 10 years, 3 months ago

Odds are good that they will have better work habits than have been taught at KU the last couple of years. Even if they don't play, and I think they will, they can help instill the work habits of a big time program and the culture Charlie wants.

AaronHawk19 10 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I believe he said Crist was slicing up our defense, so I don't know what lack of disparity you are talking about. Additionally, I really like bringing in JUCOs and 5th years the first couple of seasons. Freshman don't have the size and the muscle of some of these transfers. You also can't really judge this recruiting class for not having freshman 4 star guys, because Charlie got in too late for a shot at them.

texashawk10 10 years, 3 months ago

Crist is the only 5th year transfer on campus at KU right now. Ragone, Williams, and McDonald won't be at KU until after they graduate in May, so it's not really fair to say what KU has returning is better, equal, or worse than those other 3 guys because they aren't on campus yet. As for the 3 transfers (regardless of class) that are on campus, two of them are at the top of the depth chart at their position and the other one will be at the top of the depth chart next year when he's eligible to play so I would say they are providing a significant upgrade to KU's current roster.

Cmill1221 10 years, 3 months ago

Are you kidding me!?!? This is great!! Did you actually watch our defense last year? If this was basketball This would be like getting Travis Releford as a transfer at another school. Solid player just behind a bunch of great talent. This guy will help BIG TIME! Remember a guy named Gabe Toomey? He only played a year but he had a big impact getting things turned around back in 2003.

rodriguez33 10 years, 3 months ago

It will be pretty interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. I don't remember the last time there was this much buzz surrounding the football team, especially this time of year. It almost feels like a slap in the face what Coach Weis is doing bringing in all these former 'this/that' but the truth of the matter is that we were 2-10 last year so obviously things weren't getting done the right way.

The only thing I know is that Coach Weis knows the game, has developed players at various levels, and obviously sees something in these guys he's bringing in so, just like the team, we have to buy into the system. Crist maybe didn't live up to the hype at Notre Dame but he also had to battle an ACL tear, and Coach Weis's departure. That being said, he hasn't really had a chance to prove himself. Hopefully he takes advantage of this opportunity for both himself and football team!

All this buzz has everybody excited for football again, the players included, and hopefully that leads to on-field success. If nothing else, Coach Weis has at least given us hope again. At 2-10 there's really only one way to go. Whether that be from the coaches, players, or whatever I don't really care. I'm just glad I get to be a part of it. Rock Chalk!!

okiedave 10 years, 3 months ago

Just in case any football staff reads these blogs, Tulsa East Central cornerback, Stanvon Taylor, 5' 11", 165 lb., 4 star U. of Arkansas commitment, is reconsidering his commitment to Arkansas due to Coach Petrino's indiscretions with one of his staff and resulted in his firing. He says he is keeping his options open to anyone and simply trying to decide where he wants to go. HCCW may want to check it out.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Regarding Petrino's "indiscretion." I'm really surprised that lead to his firing. Arkansas must not be quite far enough south. I wonder if the same thing happened at Alabama, LSU, Auburn if a firing would have ensued?

texashawk10 10 years, 3 months ago

That $20,000 payment is why Petrino was fired. It was never disclosed why Petrino gave her that money and I have some suspicions it was for an abortion, but obviously I could be wrong and there's no way to prove that right now.

rockchalk_dpu 10 years, 3 months ago

Actually, it was disclosed. He gave her the money so she could buy an Acura.

Cameron Cederlind 10 years, 3 months ago

A $20,000 abortion? Were they removing it with diamond encrusted instruments?

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

Go read about Quid Pro Quo...he would have been fine, if it wasn't for the lady was an put the university in a horrible position when you cross those lines.

number1jayhawker 10 years, 3 months ago

Most of the transfers are for backups. You need depth at all positions and the past few years, even under Mangino, we have not had it at several positions.

Bville Hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

"Most of the transfers are for backups"

Don't know where you pulled that out of. I've never heard of seen a similar statement come out of Weis' mouth.

april28 10 years, 3 months ago

Apparently, many of these posters have never heard of a football injury before. Depth, maturity, leadership and competition are why these players are being brought in. If you get a starter or a major contributor, then even better.

One good thing about the ND transfers is that they've faced top competition in practice and in games. They will be mentally ready to play from day one. One of our top recruits is a linebacker, bringing in an experienced senior to set the tone, help develop kids and provide stability seems like a pretty smart move.

Jayhawk2016 10 years, 3 months ago

Six transfers right? Crist, Heaps, McCay, Ragone, McDonald and Williams from Nebraska?

Matt Tait 10 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, that's correct. Not sure if Ragone is official yet or not, but he has at least committed.

Interesting stuff either way. Should be fun to see how/if these guys all pan out.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

I saw a stat at one point in time that Belichek from New England had the highest percentage of college graduates on his team (I think it was in the 90%, whereas the avg in the NFL was around 45-50%). I didn't relook the numbers but i remember being astounded about this number. This is when Charlie Weis was there and they were winning Championships.

I know skill comes into play, but I wonder if Charlie Weis learned something about the smarts of NFL players when he was in the NFL?

I love the bringing in college graduates, I love making kids go to class, I love getting the kids to represent the University without Fs on their report cards.

Not too mention I do think he is making adjustments in the short term and developing a plan longterm.

I like it a lot.

Ross Cargo 10 years, 3 months ago

I think it goes to show how bad we were/are at certain positions. The transfers are QB, Dline and LB. In my opinion this is where we were badly lacking talent, and Weiss seems to agree. He wants help that can step in immediately.

These guys are from major programs and, as pointed out, have the intelligence to come in, learn quickly and improve the team. Had they been starting or projected to start, they probably wouldn't be leaving .

mjhawkchalk 10 years, 3 months ago

It's so funny how people keep blaming Turner Gill for all of our term oil. People still don't realize that he played Mangino's recruits because he only got about two years of recruiting in. Even the best coaches out there weren't going to have success with the talent we had the last two years. Once we start winning games, Weis will get all of the credit (which he should get a majority of it) and people will ignore the fact that a lot of the players out there were TG's. I'm sure my comment will get deleted for saying this, but stop blaming the black man and start blaming the fat man!

Ross Hartley 10 years, 3 months ago

Maybe TG had some great recruits, but it did not look like it. But, even if you concede that, TG's teams were not ready to play smash mouth and got whipped.

DarthJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Mangino won the Orange Bowl. Gill essentially won the lottery, getting a large sum of cash for doing nothing. I will blame Turner Gill for everything I possibly can.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Gill's problem was that he ran a terrible program. It has become more clear after he got fired that he had little control over his players and let them do whatever they wanted. That included a lackluster attitude toward strength and conditioning. Plus, it was clear -- especially on the defensive end -- that most of these guys had no idea what they were doing on the field. Guys looked lost at most positions, and that can only be blamed on coaching.

You can recruit the best guys in the country, but if you don't properly coach them, you still lose by 50 every game.

So, yes, TG does deserve some credit for bringing in some quality guys. But he also deserves all the blame for not coaching them. At all.

LAJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Also, I don't like pointing out grammatical errors on a comment board where people are just typing their thoughts. It just seems silly, condescending and ridiculous to me.

However, "term oil" has to be the funniest mistake I've seen in a long time. Just awesome.

Al Martin 10 years, 3 months ago

You beat me to it. I spent a good couple of minutes thinking about various potential meanings for "term oil".

Redlandsjhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

I actually did a double take when I saw "term oil."

Instant Classic

Bville Hawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Black man, white man, fat man - the adjective is irrelevant. The facts are that TG, the man, did not run a tight ship. Players weren't held accountable for academics. He did not have the organizational or leadership skills to run a D1 program.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

How many recruits did Turner Gill recruit that we were competing against other BCS universities? I wouldn't include the first year...those were Mangino's recruits. So second year, I'm think Brock Brugland from Colorado, I'm sure there were one or two others, but I don't think there were many.

texashawk10 10 years, 3 months ago

That would be the 2011 class, so here's the guys that had offers from other BCS programs.

Dylan Admire: Nebraska Tunde Bakare: Minnesota Brock Berglund: Boise St., Colorado, Duke, KSU, Minnesota, UCLA, Utah, Washington St. Javonte Daniel: Arkansas, Kentucky, Miss. St. Phil Ford: Minnesota Collin Garrett: Ole Miss Ben Goodman: Cal Marquis Jackson: Arkansas, Baylor, KSU, Minnesota, Nebraska Luke Luhrsen: Louisville Damon Martin: Arizona, Utah Darrian Miller: Iowa, KSU, Minnesota, Wisconsin Bryan Peters: BC, Florida St. Tony Pierson: Arkansas, Illinois, KSU, Minnesota Michael Reynolds: KSU, Okie St., TCU Chris Robinson: UConn Adonis Saunders: ISU JaCorey Shepherd: Iowa

That's 17 guys with offers from other BCS progams and 10 that had offers from schools that have been in a BCS bowl in the past few years. Not all made it to campus or survived the coaching change, but there are some pretty good players that are still around and should start making significant impacts on the field in the next couple of seasons.

JayHawkFanToo 10 years, 3 months ago

Results speak louder than words. A good coach makes his team greater than the sum of the parts, i.e. KU basketball under Self. HC Self took a group of role players with little starting experience and a couple of studs and molded it into the second best team in the country. A poor coach makes his team less than the sum of it parts; i,e, KU football under Gill. Gill took a team with talent comparable to that of other teams in the conference, such as KSU, and made it considerably less than the sum of its parts. Gill took a program 2 years removed from the Orange Bowl and made it into the worst team in the conference.

Kay Jensen 10 years, 3 months ago

I almost peed myself over "term oil" cute!

LAJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Weis is absolutely right: as long as you have a roster spot after signing day, you never turn down a graduate transfer. They have 4 years of D-1 experience, in the cases of the ones we've accepted, they have a ridiculous amount of athletic ability, and they can only play for a year, so it has zero effect on recruiting. It makes absolutely perfect sense for a program like Kansas that at it's current position isn't going to win recruiting battles for 5-star HS kids. It's a perfect stepping stone to build up to that level.

As I said above, best case scenario, these transfers have an immediate and huge impact for us. Worst case scenario, they never play and it's the same as if they never transferred. Taking these guys is a can't-lose no-brainer.

april28 10 years, 3 months ago

It's also why Juco recruits can be good choices. Most incoming high school players aren't going to hesitate too much if there is a Juco recruit in front of them.

Brian Skelly 10 years, 3 months ago

Im with much of the peanut gallery here in the fact that we'd all love to bring in these 4/5 star guys outta high school, but thats just not going to happen. Lets be realistic about this folks.

Quite frankly ANY transfers to KU strikes me as a plus, assuming the reason for them transferring from their original school to KU doesnt have to do with crime and punishment. Experienced players, starters, backups, or backups to backups will almost always have a head start on in coming freshman regardless of skill level. And if its these one year guys -- maybe we're redefining "One and done" here -- it wont blow holes in your numbers for the following season recruiting-wise.

Beyond all this we're talking about KU football in April. Something is happening here!!!

rockchalknation 10 years, 3 months ago

A little late on the follow up comment here but ND69 nailed it. Crist, Ragone, and McDonald are studs; All three have great physicality, can immediately play at a high level, and should all provide leadership. They have played on a big stage since their high school careers. Having Heeps in this year to red-shirt and learn the system from both Crist and Coach Weis is huge. Willams should help immediatley on the D-Line. Not sure how much more room we have to add players in this class but if we can fill one or two more holes with 5th year guys then we should be much improved this year and it allows us to red-shirt young guys who are not quite ready to play helping us to build for the future. Fall camp starts in roughly 3 1/2 months; lots of work to do to be ready for that, but love the improvement and change in attitude alredy.


JJHAWK 10 years, 3 months ago

I do believe that coach Weis's graduate recruiting goals are our version of Nebraska's redshirt program - only we don't have to wait as long and ( I almost hate myself for the next - but not really) we don't have to use as much "term oil" (@copyrighted ?) on ours!

And I'd like to finish this terrific clump of artifice with 'malice toward none' - if I could spell it. LOL

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

I'm term oil the ability for a President to try to manipulate oil during their first term in order to get re-elected for a second term?

I'm still not sure if I understand how that associates with football.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 3 months ago

Your really confused. This is a site dedicated to sports , particularly those that The University of Kansas participate in.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 3 months ago

Pointing out..."You're or You are".

I was just having a little fun with the term oil comment above.

ejlumus 10 years, 3 months ago

Charlie's "one and dones". Mature, fifth year, transfers from big time winning programs, graduated, and will fill gaps on two deep depth chart. It is a can't lose situation.

There is a video i watched, briefly shows #9 playing catch with #10, if anyone disputes the arm strenths of the transfer QBs they do not know anything about football. The ball explodes when released.

Looking forward to great things for the program.

Gruden will be interviewing Crist next year at this time.

april28 10 years, 3 months ago

+1 Can't wait for April 28. Countdown has officially begun. Anyone within a couple of hours drive of Lawrence who doesn't have a kid playing baseball or soccer on April 28 needs to be in the stadium.

As the fat bastard said: Get in my stadium!

Wisconsin2Kansas 10 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of stadium, does anyone know if Memorial Stadium is getting any sort of renovations or additions?

Mike Kendall 10 years, 3 months ago

6-2, 230 lbs. Great size for a linebacker. If I was an opposing running back or wide receiver, I would be very wary of where this guy is on the field, if Old McDonald can hit!

OtisCriblecoblis 10 years, 3 months ago

McDonald, Ragone and Crist will flourish under the guy who recruited them - Charlie Weis. Take it from a Golden Domer.

I'll be rooting for you guys.

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