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Posts tagged with Ku Football Recruiting

Wild world of recruiting strikes again as KU commitment Josh Moore backs out

Late Tuesday night, Kansas University football commitment Josh Moore took to Twitter to announce that he no longer was headed to KU.

Moore, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end who many believed could easily develop into a defensive end or offensive tackle, played for new KU on-campus recruiting coordinator Gene Wier at Olathe North and committed to the Jayhawks in late October.

The three-star prospect who had offers from a bunch of impressive schools, including Auburn, Florida State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU, among others, picked Kansas largely because of his fondness for then-interim head coach Clint Bowen.

Even though Bowen remained on staff when KU hired David Beaty, something inspired a change of heart for Moore, who initially was committed to Ohio State before picking Kansas. It's possible that the change in leadership was enough to change his mind, but, according to a few people I've talked to about his recruitment, it's more likely that Moore may not wind up qualifying academically and may have to go the junior-college route.

It's still too early to know exactly what happened or even what will happen, but we'll definitely know a lot more next Wednesday, when the members of KU's Class of 2015 sign their national letters of intent. At this point, it looks unlikely that Moore will be one of them.

If Moore winds up elsewhere, he will have been the third significant prospect to fall off of KU's recruiting list in the past few days, as three-star wide receiver Kevin Thomas de-committed from KU and chose SMU and three-star Dallas athlete Arico Evans backed out of his pledge to Kansas to commit to TCU.

Regardless of what happened here, you can bet the KU coaches are working around the clock and will continue to do so up until signing day. And it's likely they already had a couple back-up plans in place to help offset these losses.

Here's a quick look at the Twitter messages Moore fired off on Tuesday night. The strong words against Wier should be taken with a grain of salt given that we don't yet know exactly what's going on with Moore or where he will wind up. I should also point out that I've heard nothing but good things about Wier's hiring and the job he's done since joining the KU football program.

A lot of people don't get it, and it's not always fun, but this kind of thing is not all that uncommon in the recruiting world. And the whole thing only seems to be getting crazier and crazier by the class.

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Bringing perspective to Beaty’s big weekend

Newly named Kansas University football coach David Beaty made up for lost time in the recruiting grind last weekend by not only getting 11 members of the Class of 2015 to visit campus and but also by picking up seven oral commitments since Saturday night.

The first future Jayhawk to commit came Saturday evening, four more prospects joined him on Sunday and the latest to pledge their services to Kansas delivered the good news bright and early Monday morning and again early Monday afternoon.

The news of these commitments spread like wildfire on KU message boards and Twitter and added even more shine to Beaty's reputation as a solid recruiter.

But it's not necessarily the players who Beaty picked up that made his weekend haul impressive. It was the fact that he was able to pull it all together so quickly in the first place and without much of his coaching staff on board that caught my eye.

Beaty had prior relationships with a couple of the guys who committed, but he had had no contact whatsoever with a couple of the others. The fact that those guys were not only willing to visit Kansas, but, in some cases, also visited despite already having committed elsewhere speaks to the strength of Beaty's relationships in Texas.

At least a couple of these prospects said the bond between Beaty and their high school coach carried enough weight for them to give KU a look. After that, the ball was in Beaty's court, and, Beaty, like so many coaches who came before him in his current job, has said he believed KU's chances of landing a guy increase dramatically if he can just get guys to visit campus.

That proved to be true with half a dozen guys in the past few days, and, although they might not all pan out, they seem to be the kinds of players KU needs to sign to get the rebuilding project off the ground.

Most of them are good athletes with impressive resumes, and many of them were overlooked by the “big schools” because those places fill their commitment lists with four- and five-star guys each year, not the two- and three-star guys who came to campus last weekend.

If nothing else, that idea should offer a little perspective for the furious weekend of recruiting that was. These guys all appear to be worthy prospects. And a couple of them have some impressive size, skills and stats. But they're far from a guarantee and they still need to be coached and developed and put through the grind of college football before we really have any idea what kind of players they can be — especially in the Big 12 Conference.

Beaty knows that. And he's willing to put the time in to make it happen. He's also planning to hire a coaching staff that thinks the same way.

Recruiting is a contagious business. Year after year, with program after program, fans often get caught up in the hype and promise of what a prospect looks like on paper or what his high school statistics might lead them to dream he could become in college. It's understandable. But at a place like KU, it's important to remember both sides of the coin. Given the fact that so many recent recruits have failed to pan out, that should not be too hard to remember for Jayhawk football fans.

That's not to diminish what Beaty and company accomplished this weekend, though. What they did was impressive. And it's important mostly because it shows — with actions rather than words — what Beaty is all about when it comes to recruiting. Substance over style.

See, two years ago at this time, the Kansas football program was in the middle of building what was dubbed the #DreamTeam2013. It was made up mostly of highly ranked junior-college prospects and featured some incredibly outgoing personalities, many of whom now appear to have something to fall back on in terms of a marketing and promotions career since the whole big-time football thing did not work out.

To be fair, a few of the guys in that “Dream Team” class did make a significant impact on the KU program. Dexter McDonald and Cassius Sendish were two-year starters in the secondary, Ngalu Fusimalohi and Mike Smithburg started both of their seasons on the O-Line and Trevor Pardula single-handedly fixed KU's punting woes.

But those were not the guys who were talking the most during the recruiting period. Guys like Marquel Combs, Marcus Jenkins-Moore, Chris Martin and others were the names that wowed people — as much for their excitement and enthusiasm as their rankings — but those guys never played a down for the Jayhawks. And their failure to pan out and eventual departures from the program left a hole in KU's roster that Beaty is now trying to fill.

He'll have to be creative to do it, and he'll have to work twice as hard as he would at an established program. But, again, he appears to be ready and willing to do just that and what he got done last weekend was definitely a good start.

MORE FROM THE RECRUITING TRAIL...

• KU adds 5 players during busy weekend

• Texas WR becomes 6th commitment in 3 days

• Juco RB Ke'aun Kinner picks Kansas

• Quick look at KU's Class of 2015 recruiting haul thus far

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