New Faces & Bigger Expectations
By Brennan Keller
Charlie Weis accepted the head coaching position at the University of Kansas fully aware that he had a major rebuilding project ahead of him. Weis, who has been around the game of football since 1979, has the coaching ability to rejuvenate a program that won the BCS Orange Bowl only five years ago. When Weis came to Lawrence, many college football analysts disliked the hire. After finishing last season 1-11, many still do. That being said, Weis has continued to hit the recruiting trail along with his talented coaching staff and their efforts have paid off.
With the 2013 signing day in the books, coach Weis could not be happier with the recruits he has signed–especially recruits who play on defense. In Weis’ press conference last week, he asserted, “personnel-wise, the overhaul on defense is going to be dramatic … and the best part is, I think it’s going to be solid for years.”
This year’s recruiting class is made up largely of community college players. In other words, these are players that have the talent and ability to come in right away and contribute as early as this spring. Perhaps no player from this year’s recruiting class has a chance to make a bigger impact on the field than defensive lineman Marquel Combs. Combs had received offers from several powerhouse programs including Nebraska, Penn State, Ole Miss, and Arkansas before giving his commitment to the Jayhawks. Many Kansas fans are perplexed as to why a player with those kinds of offers would commit to a school that has not played in a bowl game since 2008? The answer to that question is very straightforward. With Weis in town, some of the nation’s best recruits are now starting to take an interest in the Kansas football program. Weis has also assembled an incredible coaching staff to help him each step of the way.
Two of the more experienced coaches on the KU staff include running backs coach Reggie Mitchell (who has turned Kansas into one of the best rushing teams in the Big 12 Conference) and defensive coordinator Dave Campo. Campo brings to the table years of experience with the Dallas Cowboys and the energy needed to help turn around a defense that has been below average the past few seasons. With all this in place, Weis has made it obvious to his players, KU fans, and his critics that he has no plans to leave Kansas anytime soon. With a highly-regarded recruiting class coming in, a supportive fan base, players that have something to prove, and beautiful athletic facilities, the timing could not be any better for Kansas football to turn the corner and earn a postseason bowl bid next season.
Notes: Other notable recruits in the 2013 signing class:
- Marcus Jenkins-Moore LB (Woodland Hills, CA)
- Isaiah Johnson DB (Council Bluffs, IA)
- Jordan Darling QB (Prairie Village, KS)
- Rodriguez Coleman WR (Garden City, KS)
- Samson Faifili LB (Sacramento, CA)
- Chris Martin DE (San Francisco, CA)
- Ben Johnson TE (Basehor, KS)
- Cassius Sendish DB (Yuma, AZ