David Beaty shaping up as Charlie Light on recruiting front


Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season.

Kansas head coach David Beaty runs off the field following the Jayhawks' 38-9 loss to Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. Before Saturday's game, Baylor was winless on the season. by Nick Krug

Never let it be said that there isn’t anyone in Lawrence who thinks Charlie Weis took the right recruiting approach during his three signing seasons as head coach of the Kansas football program.

If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, then count current Kansas head coach David Beaty as a Weis fan.

Call him Charlie Light.

In his first three recruiting classes for Kansas, Beaty gave scholarships to 29 transfers, nearly 10 a year. He’s well on his way to maintaining that average in this, his fourth recruiting class.

At the moment, two days before the early three-day signing period begins, Kansas has received 13 verbal commitments. Six high school prospects, six junior-college recruits and one graduate transfer make up the class so far.

Beaty’s failure to load up on high school prospects is similar to Weis’ approach, although Beaty is recruiting more players who went to junior colleges after qualifying academically out of high school. He also is recruiting more players with three remaining years of eligibility.

Still, the continued fascination with transfers shows Beaty isn’t making inroads with high schools in Texas, Kansas, including the Kansas City area, and Oklahoma, traditional fertile recruiting grounds for KU football.

What’s interesting about that is that when explaining on a late-season conference call why he deserved to come back to Kansas for a fourth season, Beaty invoked the high school-recruiting defense.

“When I came here, I said, 'You’re going to have to give me my contract to get things taken care of here,' because that’s how you build it,” Beaty said, referencing his original five-year deal. “You build it with high school players that have been in your program for four to five years. And right now I look at our roster of scholarship guys who are playing, basically that are fourth- or fifth-year guys and there are eight of them. We have eight.”

The Kansas football coach in 2021 will be lucky to have eight fourth-and-fifth year players.

Athletic director Sheahon Zenger issued a statement the day that Beaty said, “You build it with high school players.” In part, it read: “I have faith, as I did the day we hired him, that he will rebuild this program the right way.”

In an interview with the Journal-World after the season, Zenger said that he and Beaty would keep an eye on how recruiting impacts classes down the road, but that he would not put any specific limit on the number of transfers Beaty recruits.

Beaty’s comments about building it the right way with high school recruits served as a nice reminder that’s always best to pay more attention to what coaches do than to what they say.

The six junior-college transfers giving verbal pledges to Kansas in this recruiting period: defensive backs Davon Ferguson, Elmore Hempstead and Jeremiah McCullough, defensive ends Foster Dixon and Najee Stevens-McKenzie, wide receiver Stephon Robinson. Graduate transfer Marvin Saunders, a tight end from Florida State, makes seven transfers so far this season.

Saunders was recruited to replace Ben Johnson, a need that arose once Johnson heir apparent Jace Sternberger transferred to a junior college after spending two seasons in the Kansas. Sternberger redshirted in 2015 and was limited to mostly special-teams duty in 2016, when he caught one pass for five yards. Sternberger averaged 16 yards on his 21 receptions and caught six touchdown passes for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M. He recently accepted a scholarship offer from new Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.

Verbal commitments are non-binding and in football, much more than basketball, coaches at all schools nervously stare at the fax machine because recruits have been known to make last-minute switches known as signing-day surprises, so it will be interesting to see if Kansas can keep all six of its high school pledges, including cornerback Coe Harris and running back Pooka Williams, a pair of prospects from Louisiana receiving a lot of attention from national powerhouses.


Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

Beaty should never reference what Weis did to the program after what Beaty doing at the program now, this is shameful. A carbon copy on how to build a horrible roster and go 3-33 in 3 years and then tell everybody you're doing it the "right way"once again the Carnival Barker speaks. The high school recruits in Texas just must hang up when they say his number on their phones. Nobody on this site should defend Beaty for what he inherited from Weis if Beaty doing the same thing. Hello 4-44!!! Come play for KU football, breaking NCAA Records!!

Jacob Zutterman 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sold we will get a win next year, but I do appreciate your optimism in your "4"

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

If they lose to Nichols State, they fire Beaty immediately then then the interm coach finds a win somewhere lol. Have to be positive lol.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Beaty should have been terminated after a 1-11 game, Zenger has no incentive to terminate him. All the people that think that he will be terminated after an 0-12 or 1-11 season, thought that this year. I don't know what it will take to terminate Beaty, but it should have already been done.

David Friend 4 years, 6 months ago

This article may be somewhat redundant but Keegan is laying out the facts and it just shows the administration and coaching staff are trying to bamboozle us. Keep it up Tom.. More people need to be doing what you are doing.

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

Somewhat redundant? Here's the scenario: Ben Johnson graduated. Jace Steinberger transferred. He would have been the de facto TE. So we don't really HAVE an experienced TE going into 2018. Question: What do you do about it? Roll the dice with what you have... or try to make your team better? Clearly, Steinberger's scholarship is available to offer someone. Why not fill a need? Unlike Charlie Weiss... who went the Juco route by CHOICE... we are in late Dec 2017... and you can grab a transfer who can come in and start. Verbal commits reneging and existing players transferring ties the coaches' hands a bit in recruiting at this point... don't you think. Absolutely 100% unfair comparison to Charlie Weiss. Ridiculous...

Meanwhile, I am still waiting on the first Keegan article ... or anyone... to criticize in any way... the BS that Self and Co are throwing our way regarding the Billy Preston Debacle. Worthless commentary after worthless commentary from Self on his lack of knowledge on the specifics... but yet: "Optimistic decision is near". Hasn't even been turned over to the NCAA and it is Dec 18th. This was Bill Self over a month ago: "Our administration and our compliance people … they’ve got to get some information. We were hoping we could get it today,” Self said Tuesday. “Obviously that didn’t happen." Again, 33 days ago, folks... and not one word written by KU staff questioning this farce. Instead, it is more fun apparently to compare Beaty to Charlie Weiss. LUDICROUS.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

You have a red-shirt sophomore (3 years in the highly prolific system of Beaty), so you would have to concede that Beaty can't develop the players.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 4 years, 6 months ago

What a roller coaster ride the past 12 months has been with the football team. I really thought things were looking up (way up even) prior to the start of this past season. Optimism that the team would be competitive and win a pair of (or more) league games. A start to the recruiting season that had KU in the top 10 in the nation for a while.

Now it looks like a flaming ball of (insert an interesting noun here) again.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

Not going to comment on the article itself.

What I am interested to see is which team would have more success, both short term, long term and in between.

A team that recruits SOLELY 3 year to play 4 juco players or a team that recruits SOLELY HS players and then a team that does a solid mixture of both. 15 HS/10 juco.

I personally would be inclined to believe that 3 to play 4 players are actually much more beneficial to a program than a HS player but that could just be me.

Interested to see how it turns out, sharing your opinions on our recruiting class now is just asking for drama. Can't wait to reconvene with you all wednesday night for our weekly main card of John Brazelton & Jack Hoff v John Fitzgerald & McCabe with an underlying event of the whole messaging board calling each other retarded.

See yall then.


John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

Are you saying 10 JUCO recruits a year is an acceptable form of recruiting? Most JUCO guys come in with 2-3 years left. HS recruits come in with 4, 5 if red-shirted. I would much rather have ALL my recruits coming from HS so I can red-shirt the ones that need it, giving them 5 years to develop. And keep in mind that's 4-5 years in YOUR system. It makes a difference when you have a HS guy that you've been developing since they came in. The problem is Beaty isn't giving himself that chance and those JUCO recruits haven't done anything to get us immediate results in the form of wins. Had he been recruiting only true freshmen, and got 25 guys each year, I don't think he'd be near where he's at right now. And if he was, then our roster would still be in a much better place than it is now. It's not just about next year, it's about the years that follow. Not saying recruiting JUCO's is all bad, but recruiting more than 5 a year is a problem.

Bryson Stricker 4 years, 6 months ago

I am not saying 10 JUCO recruits a year is an acceptable form of recruiting.

What I will say is we would have only won less not more games games than we currently have under his tenure. But that has nothing to do with his ability to recruit, but more with his ability to coach on Saturdays and Thursdays.

Dillon Davis 4 years, 6 months ago

Just another example of how not getting rid of Beaty this year sets us back even further...

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Girod should be the one in trouble now.

Dillon Davis 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah this is 100% on him. You know Zenger couldn't fire Beaty because he would basically be handing in his own keys because he will not get a chance to hire a 3rd coach. So this is on Girod for not making the executive decision to either fire Beaty and then figure out what to do with Sheahon or to fire them both.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 6 months ago

Gee, Keegan, you don't suppose all the heavy media pressure forces a "win now" attitude towards recruiting, huh?

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 6 months ago

So you're saying that averaging only 1 win a year has nothing to do with it? They did it to themselves. Keegan is only pointing out how hypocritical they are.

Dale Rogers 4 years, 6 months ago

I didn't say anything of the kind. I simply said the media attention has sure added to any pressure to win now instead of building over time. I'm not happy with the results so far but think media pressure like Keegan has been applying over and over recently just makes it far worse because it drums up fan pressure and who on earth can hold the line on any plan when fan/donor pressure may cost your job? I am NOT saying he's doing well, I simply said this kind of pressure doesn't help.

Kevin Studer 4 years, 6 months ago

So, either the KU sports media should write nothing or write how awesome the football team is? Some of us don't need the propaganda.

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

No sh*t, on. 3 negative articles at least a week.. and they wonder why Beaty is trying to make 2018 the best team he can make it. He knows damn well after all the criticism.. that 2018 is his last chance. These inane articles certainly don't help recruiting... just beats a dead drum.

Adam Engelbrecht 4 years, 6 months ago

Yes, God forbid he try to make every year the best team he can get. That'd just be too logical.

This is just how it works, Mike. You can't get WORSE year after year and expect to keep your job. Don't act like Tom writing articles literally telling facts and expressing his opinion about Beaty's job performance is why he has struggled, mightily, thus far to even do what HE SAID he would do.

You and Dale can keep drinking the kool-aid and follow Beaty to whatever high school team he's gonna coach next if you'd like.

Kevin Studer 4 years, 6 months ago

Mike, are you suggesting the media's job is to sell this mess as something awesome? Seems like you want to be manipulated.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah because fans of the program we're not supposed to complain that even after 3 years there's no signs of progress and we should just shut up and sit on her hands and let it take time. Building over time should show some wins right? If you think this is pressure you're crazy think of the pressure some of the coaches are under at Ohio State Alabama USC Washington Florida State Texas A&M, this is a drizzle compared to a typhoon that these coaches go through everyday after every game win or lose. Show me a stat please that these articles hurts our recruiting.

John Fitzgerald 4 years, 6 months ago

It’s the media’s fault his recruiting sucks? Lol

Joe Norgay 4 years, 6 months ago

This is an absolute disaster. Beaty is mortgaging our future because he knows he'll get fired next year if we win 0-1-2-3 games that is very likely to happen. And Zenger can't stop him because he knows he'll get fired if Beaty is fired. We are making the SAME EXACT DAMN MISTAKE WE DID WITH WEIS. And we have the history in front of us and we're allowing it to happen.

Scratch that, GIROD AND THE BIG MONEY DONORS ARE ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN. For the love of god, if Girod or Anderson or Booth or Illig or whoever the hell else is reading this that contributes funds at a level that matters, PLEASE. ACT. NOW. You are damaging our program for years to come by sitting idly by and hoping that something miraculously changes.

Someone needs to put on their big boy pants and take responsibility for this disaster. The incompetence that's being allowed to happen at the KUAD w/ Zenger and Baty on down the list is going to screw over the university for years. This hurts us in EVERY aspect of our university which yes, includes basketball.

DO THE RIGHT THING. PUT AN END TO THE MADNESS. It's so bad you have to wonder if something illegal or unethical is taking place w/ the athletic department and football team. Because it makes absolutely ZERO sense to continue this. Putting a stake in the ground and trying to be consistent? Well you don't do that with a position coach with no experience and an admin that has shown complete failure. It's the hiring, not the firing.

Someone wake us up from this nightmare.

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

Nice drama, Joe. So.... we don't have a starting TE due to Steinberger transferring. So... you are saying we shouldn't do anything about it. A guy wants to come to KU with 3 years of grooming in the Florida State program... and we should pass on him. Forget the metrics. This is our situation in 2018. We can improve the TE position... and we need to... so we shouldn't act? Ridiculous...

Kevin Studer 4 years, 6 months ago

Half the class is JUCO kids, Mike. This one scholarship is the tip of the iceberg as to why KU football is embarrassing.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

I can't wait for signing day to hear what a load of BS he'll try to feed us this year when half the class is JUCOs or Transfers.

Frederick Heckel 4 years, 6 months ago

Half is being very generous. It will be much closer to 80-90% transfers.

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

80-90%. Let's extend the exaggeration. Let's just go ahead and say Beaty is solely interested in 100% juco transfers. He never wanted any of these high school kids. He purposely got verbal commitments from HS studs..and they reneged. Beaty did this on purpose just to screw the program. He asked Steinberger to transfer... so we could go get another transfer. This is laughable stuff, guys... Love it! (not really)

Kevin Studer 4 years, 6 months ago

Nobody said he did it on purpose. They are, however, suggesting that these are the desperate acts of an incompetent coach. Pretty obvious, really.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

Oh boy "/

So the new coach will inherit a decidedly worse situation than Beaty did. Hello 3-33 in another 3 years. We need to readjust our non-conference schedule since Kansas is so ripe to pick junior college players why don't we just play some junior college teams that way we can scout them personally.

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

New coach will inherit a "decidedly worse situation than Beaty did". That is the most idiotic thing I have read. Congratulations on that astute analysis, Kev. I applaud your efforts. Now go sit in the corner and put your dunce cap back on.

Kevin Studer 4 years, 6 months ago

Nice analysis, Mike. No substance, but a lot of insult. I'm sure you just convinced everyone that you are a deep and thoughtful person. DO you have any reason to suspect the new coach will be inheriting a better situation, or are weak insults all you have?

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

Right now Beaty will take anything with a pulse. High Schooler, Juco, transfer, he just needs bodies to fill out a class. Most of these kids won't have the talent to play in the Big 12 or a power 5 conference school but he has to take them because anybody with half a brain wouldn't touch this place with a hundred foot pole. So that's the problem he's created, now he hasn't no way to get out of it

Mike Hart 4 years, 6 months ago

.. and you guys will rip on him for making any effort from here on out. No matter what he tries to do guys will rip on him for it. We don't have a starting TE for 2018... so you prefer he sit on his hands and do nothing. Who's the idiot?

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

Lol whatever Mike. Im sorry that the obvious hurts your ittle feelweens.

Mike Hart 4 years, 5 months ago

You didn't answer the question. The starting TE graduated. The backup TE and projected 2018 starter transferred. For that reason, we do not have an experienced TE to start. So should Beaty accept a senior transfer from Florida State, or take a chance on a 2 star TE from High school and plug him in the lineup in 2018? So Beaty took the transfer to fill the void by Steinberger's transfer out... what would you recommend he do for 2018 instead at the TE position?

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

I thought that the new locker room, football facilities, practice field etc was supposed to get the recruits excited about Kansas football. That money would have been more well spent if you just purchased some crickets. Not one recruit from Texas. We are not paying Beaty enough. Lol

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Girod is our problem. In his annual announcement, he is talking about volleyball and tennis and nothing about our flagship basketball program, nor our failing football program.

I might think that Beaty is not good, and I might think that Zenger is not good at hiring coaches, but Girod is now the problem.

[''] 4 years, 6 months ago

Zenger was hired to fix football & he is 10-72. Beaty was hired because of his recruiting prowess & TX ties & he won't even get 2 TX HS kids in this class. This dumpster fire has no end in sight. Wait til they lose to Nuchols St.

Layne Pierce 4 years, 6 months ago

Mike Why do you insist on supporting mediocrity? We are not even competitive after 3 years. I have searched for something to feel good about in the whole damn football program, as a program, and there is very little. Recruiting means nothing if you don't develop the young players, and come up with a scheme that works for the skills of the players have. If you're going to recruit a tight end ok, but will you design some of the offense for what that tight end will do, or will he just be another tombstone in this football cemetery?

What's going to be your excuse next year when we don't win any games? Are you going to blame Tom Keegan for that? Go sit down Mike and put your rose colored glasses on.

Rock chalk

Lawrence McGlinn 4 years, 6 months ago

He has said he knows members of the staff. Not objective. I'm sure the staff works hard. They just aren't getting the job done.

Mike Hart 4 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence, what the heck are you talking about? You are confusing me with Brazelton. I live in Chicago and have no ties to the coaching staff. SMH

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Dec 20 should give the Girod the double Mulligan. Zenger said the last thing that looked good was the recruiting class. On Dec 20, it will allow Zenger to re-evaluate his last string he is holding onto. After that date, I'm hoping that Girod re-evaluates the process.

I must say I'm more surprised we aren't celebrating a hiring, and instead we are listening to people defend a 3-33 coach, an athletic director that doesn't have a clue, and a chancellor that doesn't care.

Kevin Robert Fest 4 years, 6 months ago

What a bunch of Hypocrites we have on this message board. All I hear is that it takes time to develop these players, these players need years to develop in the program to be able to play Big 12 Football. If you take a recruit out of high school and you Redshirt him that gives him at least 4 years maybe 5 if they stay till his senior season, how is a kid going to develop if he's only in the program 2 years or 3 years? Like I said according to this website it takes time for these players to develop and they need to be in the program a number of years in order to be effective. But now everyone is defending Beaty on taking jucos who most of them only have two years of eligibility it just seems like no matter what this guy does there's somebody standing around the corner waiting to defend him regardless of how it looks regardless of how it affects the program.Stop puckering up and open your eyes.

Jeff Coffman 4 years, 6 months ago

Beaty has said he was going to build it the right way with HS recruits. He is not doing that, he has not been able to build the talent pool and now is relying on JUCOs as his first choice, Transfers to fill gaps, and lastly HS recruits. The majority of his HS recruits are not getting any type of reps or development opportunities, and when an unexpectant departure (i.e., TE) the HS players have not been developed, so a flyer has to be taken on a patch. I'm not saying that this shouldn't happen, I'm saying it is very frequent.

I'm also in the boat that thinks not one player has improved steadily in all three years under Beaty, more of up and downs, and overall down with the majority of the players. We should be able to see players that have improved, and we have not.

Mike Hart 4 years, 5 months ago

Again... follow the timeline. Beaty hired in December 2014, after the majority of the 2015 recruiting season was over. 2016 was his first full recruiting class. You are talking about developing players in the program via redshirting so that you have 4-5 years guys in the program. Those 4-5 year guys in the program that you are talking about... are ON THE FIELD NOW in 2017. They comprise our entire offensive line and 4-5 members of our starting secondary. You wanted the Coach fired after 3 seasons, with only 2 full years to recruit. Who's the hypocrite? You're asking that he draft HS players and develop them for 4-5 years... and then want to fire him before they develop. Look how many sophomores started for us in 2017. That's because he inherited no 4-5 year "program" guys to build off of, because Charlie Weiss was all about Jucos, remember?

DiscGolfer Jason 4 years, 6 months ago

Here's an idea: this coach just received a 6 year extension. His buyout if less than $500K. This team produces some very good coaches. The conference has some very good teams. His name is Jason Candle, University of Toledo Rockets. He was the OC under Matt Campbell, now ISU's coach.

Me thinks this would be the guy to hire. UT is going for its 12th win in a bowl game. Something to ponder. Hire him for 2M. Won't break the donor bank and would be a steal for KU. And the guy would take the job.

Jackson Wallace 4 years, 6 months ago

I'd be interested to know how much he was involved in recruiting/developing a guy by the name of Kareem Hunt.

Lynn Stuart 4 years, 6 months ago

honestly the one coach being overlooked to replace this train wreck is the coach from north dakota state, 5 championships in 6 years, throw him some money and let him do his thing.

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