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December 19, 2012
Kansas exceeding expectations
Charlie Weis was finishing up his press conference on October 23 after a loss to Oklahoma and the Jayhawks fell to 1-6. He was asked about recruiting and how his staff would handle it.
His response may have caught some off guard.
"Everyone goes, 'what's going to happen in recruiting?" Weis answered. "We'll get a bunch of good players. That's what is going to happen. It's going to happen like that every year."
At the time many people probably thought it was coach-speak or a first year coach just trying to be positive. Almost two months after the fact one can see Weis wasn't kidding.
As the early signing period for junior players finishes up today Weis and his staff were a perfect 10-for-10 on players they expected to sign. They will have 10 new recruits in Lawrence for spring football.
The Jayhawks are currently ranked 32nd the nation in recruiting ahead of programs like Nebraska, Michigan State, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, and Stanford. In the last week Kansas has moved between fourth and sixth in the Big 12 rankings jockeying with Oklahoma State and Baylor. They are ranked ahead of Iowa State, TCU, Kansas State, and Texas Tech.
There is still a lot of time left and rankings will change. But the fact the Jayhawks are even in this spot may be one of the biggest football recruiting stories in the country.
Weis said from the beginning they would target junior college players who would be able to help the program right away. On Wednesday they inked four-star prospects Marquel Combs and Chris Martin along with eight other players.
"It's incredible, really," said Rob Cassidy, a west region analyst for Rivals.com. "Recruiting anyone to a one-win team is impressive, so the juco haul Weis has assembled in truly remarkable. That said, I don't think it's any shock that he's capable of this. It's not a secret that the guy can recruit. Never has been. So when you give him ammo like the immediate playing time Kansas can offer, He's formable to say the least."
If Kansas can hang on to some of the other players committed it could be the nation's best junior college class. Several of the recruits committed hold multiple offers from other BCS programs.
"For a 1-11 football team to be fighting in the top half of the Big 12 in recruiting at this stage is very impressive," said Mike Farrell, the national analyst for Rivals.com. "And the schools Charlie Weis has beaten, teams like Kansas State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and others shows how well he can recruit. Many of these junior college players will have an instant impact and I think they will make the team more competitive next season and possibly help a bowl push the year after."
There will be a quick impact this spring with the arrival of several new players including three-star high school prospect Colin Spencer from Dallas. Spencer will graduate early from high school and enroll at Kansas.
In February several other recruits are expected to sign with the Jayhawks. Many of them could have a quick impact on the program.
"These players will certainly make KU more competitive next year, but the true payoff for this class will come in 2014," Cassidy said. "Not until the bulk of these junior college players are seniors will we be able to truly measure the worth of this class. It's a gamble to sign so many of them, sure. But the Jayhawks have nothing to lose right now. The upside of this class far outweighs the risk in this instance."
[Current KU 2013 Commitment List]
Looking back with Weis
Back in October Weis was asked about recruiting when his team was 1-6. See what his response was two months ago.