So, Jeff Long gets named athletic director at Kansas and fires the head football coach. You may remember the heavy lifting that man had to do because of Charlie Weis’ spectacularly inept job of roster management ($$).
In the recruiting classes of 2012 and 2013, Weis and his staff brought in a combined 27 junior college transfers. Only two were academic qualifiers coming out of high school. Fourteen did not graduate, and 10 — including touted signees Marquel Combs, Chris Martin and Kevin Short — never saw the field. And then, by the end of 2014, they were all gone. So was Weis. Going into 2015, only 12 of Weis’ first 56 signees were still on the roster.
Jeff proceeds to bring in Les Miles as the new man. And guess what?
… Miles ended up signing 11 players during the early signing period. Kansas went from having the fewest commitments of any FBS team to tied for the fourth fewest with Maryland and UMass.
Junior college prospects were a big part of Miles’ plan and class. He added ESPN JC 50 defensive end Malcolm Lee, juco defensive tackle Caleb Sampson, juco wide receivers Andrew Parchment and Ezra Naylor, junior college safety Justin Ford and juno quarterback Thomas MacVittie, who originally signed with Pitt in the 2016 class.
Miles inherited an uphill battle to say the least, so being able to sign 11 prospects in a little over four weeks after being out of coaching completely has to be commended. But if Miles wants to turn this program around quickly, 11 commitments is not going to give him enough help.
Having a weak first recruiting class isn’t an impossible obstacle to overcome, but the small class could put a big dent in the roster a few years down the road. The staff will have a chance to fix that in the 2020 class, but as of right now, Kansas does not have any 2020 commitments.
Over half his first signing class comes from the juco ranks. What’s that old definition of insanity again?