After the Jayhawks took to the field for their spring game this past Saturday, the Kansas State Wildcats to the west would do the same a few hours later. More than a few of the recruits in town to see the Jayhawks would make the trip to Manhattan shortly after to check out Bill Snyder's squad.
With that in mind, it's certainly interesting to get a little comparison of the two. After the jump Jordon McCallister joins Rock Chalk Talk for a little Q&A comparing the two programs and his spring game experiences. It's short, too the point, but also fairly candid. After the interview, a quick sidebar on "sealing the borders" and the local recruiting philosophy.
A quick background on Jordon. McCallister is a 6'3" 300 pound offensive guard prospect out of Junction City. At this point McCallister is receiving interest from a handful of schools but will likely need solid performances on the summer camp circuit to land an offer. That said, we certainly appreciate his time here at Rock Chalk Talk and look forward to keeping in touch with him as his recruitment continues.
Jordon thanks for your time, to start off how'd the spring game visit go?
It was a really good visit, I enjoyed myself this whole weekend and I'd like to come back up sometime before the OL-DL camp in June to take another look.
Now you attended both the KU and K-State games correct.
I did. We were up at the Kansas game until about halftime and then we left shortly after to go to Manhattan and get there in time for their scrimmage.
How would you compare the two experiences. Kansas vs. K-State?
Overall KSU was a little more in sync with their offense and defense as a whole. KU looked good too, but there didn't seem to be as much intensity from what I saw
what about the overall program. Facilities, coaches, fans, atmosphere? What did you think in those areas when comparing the two?
The atmosphere was great for both programs. I'd say KU's facilities beat out K-States with the weight room and overall facilities.
Coach Gill has KU going in the right direction and I do like what I see with the coaches.
At the same time K-state's program is up and coming again for sure and both look tough for this upcoming season
So in terms of your recruitment. Any offers yet, schools you are most interested in at thsi point?
No offers yet, I just got done with my first ACT so that will help. Schools I'm interested in and have heard from are KU, KSU, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan State, Alabama and UCLA.
Who's your lead recruiter for Kansas
Coach Mitchell is.
Any feeling in terms of who might offer?
I'm feeling K-State alot in general right now.
Think Kansas could offer after you camp this summer?
Yes it sounds like they will decide on an offer based on how I perform at the O-line/D-line camp.
Well thanks for your time, keep in touch and let us know how things are going and how the camp goes this summer.
I will, thank you for your time.
Moving on from the interview I have a few thoughts and questions related to the Jayhawks early recruiting philosophy.
At this point the Jayhawk staff seems to have made it clear that they want to recruit on a national level. It's an interesting goal and one that's hard to argue with as it provides more opportunity to find a higher level of overall talent and you aren't going to build a program entirely of Kansas kids anyway. But does the philosophy risk missing out on the home-front? Especially when your program is still in the infant stages of relevancy?
When Bill Snyder resurrected the Kansas State program he did so with two types of players. One was JUCO talent, the other was hard working talent from around the state of Kansas. I'm not big on JUCO talent, but I'll take the Nick Reid's of the world any day of the week.
Turner Gill's own mentor Tom Osborne consistently brought in state talent to Nebraska, often as willing walk-ons and turned them into contributors. Cory Schlesinger, Joel Mackovicka anyone? Sign me up. At this point, I'm not certain Kansas has the reputation around the state to command an in state player come in, pay his way and walk on.
Even to the east in Columbia, Gary Pinkel started his program out with a clearly defined goal of sealing the borders. He did that fairly well, he's also targeted Texas and now he has a little more ability to get out on a national level and make some noise.
Sure the ultimate goal is to go national, but don't you have to start by focusing on your own back yard? In talking with recruits around the Kansas City area, and the state of Kansas as a whole it's tough to say if some of these guys are getting the attention they probably should.
Maybe a prospect isn't necessarily offer worthy at this point, but certainly if a prospect is being invited to the Nebraska spring game, he should be invited to the Kansas one right? Even in an instance where a player is receiving token interest in the form of a letter a week from K-State, Missouri and Nebraska, shouldn't Kansas be doing the same?
This group has been touted as a recruiting machine. With that in mind I'm excited, optimistic and willing to see how things play out and perhaps my concerns will be proven completely wrong. I just hope we don't abandon altogether the relationships and players in the area that are important.
Even if we ultimately don't plan on making the offer, keep the line of communication open because you never know what type of player might be in the pipeline. Recruiting is sales, it's about relationships. Kansas and this staff have some GREAT ones locally, but I also think they need to work on a few as well.