Nobody likes it. Going back to work is the worst part of being off of work. But with the majority of the world finding their way back into work after what was a nice long weekend or perhaps even an extended vacation, it's time to turn our attention back to Kansas Athletics here at RCT.
If you are a Kansas fan most of the final two weeks of the year were spent doing a lot of waiting, catching the occasional basketball game and little in the way of any real news. It almost felt a bit like Summer vacation. But that should all begin to change starting this week and that's a good thing.
While we do of course have a little basketball game that we'll be getting to over the next 24-48 hours, there are just a few questions and some 'sort of' answers in the football department that are worth checking in on as we make our return to normalcy.
Coaching staffs, recruiting news and what to make of the current roster. Just a few things to keep an eye on as we kick off 2012 and begin to move forward.
Much to the chagrin of Kansas football fans, not much has changed on this front. As of this moment we know that Charlie Weis is our head coach, Tim Grunhard is handling the offensive line, Ron Powlus will take charge of the quarterbacks and Reggie Mitchell will remain on board as well.
We think we know that Buddy Wyatt will stay on as the defensive line coach. Recruit comments and the fact that he made a late in home visit with Weis suggests that he will likely stick around. We also think that we know David Beaty is not going to return. Many Kansas fans are fond of Beaty, his ties to Texas and the results that he produced under Mangino, but all indications are that he will be moving on.
So where are we today? First and foremost everyone is anxiously awaiting word on a defensive coordinator. That's the big one. We've gone round and round on this one and never landed anywhere despite rumors ranging from Al Groh to Mike Nolan. This would seem to be a domino that will fall in the near future with recruiting kicking back into gear very soon and just a month remaining before signing day. With a defensive coordinator, we'll also likely learn the remainder of the defensive staff. Linebackers, secondary, etc.
On the offensive side of the ball we have the oft rumored Rob Ianello still floating out there. Ianello coached the wide receivers under Weis at Notre Dame and has been known as a strong recruiter. With that you'd have most of the offensive staff rounded out pending any decision from Weis to add something like an offensive coordinator or perhaps a tight end or special teams coach.
Then of course there is the strength staff. Funny how things change in such a short amount of time. Just a few years ago this seemed like a given with Chris Dawson. Then Turner Gill came in with John Williams and this is suddenly one of the most watched hired outside of the head coach and defensive coordinator spots.
All in all that's a pretty big list of unknowns and a list that should shrink in the near future. The big question here is how big of a splash Weis and the Jayhawks make with those remaining hires.
Gehrig Dieter is set to announce today at the Semper Fidelis All American game. The game is televised this afternoon on CBS Sports if you're interested in taking it in. Dieter is a 6'3" 210 pound wideout prospect from Indiana and he lists Kansas and SMU as his finalists. This is a player that Weis immediately offered and one that has been garnering quite a bit of recognition after a big senior season.
Elsewhere in recruiting things are likely to heat up quickly with just a month left until signing day. The class was initially expected to be a small one, but that could change depending on who returns following break and how many defections the Jayhawks are looking at with the coaching change.
Defensive tackle will be a spot where Kansas could still add one more player for the sake of competition and improvement. The Jayhawks will likely need to round out with another offensive lineman or two as well. From there it is really going to depend on where Weis feels his needs are now that he's had some time to settle in.
It's still hard to believe that both Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps will be at Kansas this Spring, but those initial additions certainly provide some confidence as to the type of player that Weis can attract. This year might not give us a full indication, but so far so good.
This might be one of the less talked about subjects because no one really knows just yet what is going to shake out, but the make up of the current Jayhawks will be a hot topic in the coming weeks as players return to campus.
What players make that return trip and what players decide to pursue opportunities elsewhere seems to be the question. Matt Tait reported some positive news yesterday in saying that more and more he believes Darrian Miller WILL return to Kansas and play for Weis. There have also been rumblings that Keeston Terry was departing and now some rumors counter to that stating that he might stay.
The writing would seem to be on the wall for a Jordan Webb transfer and there has been some talk to that effect. One would think we'll know for sure in the near future. Then of course we have the enigma, Brock Berglund. Will he enroll, stay and practice with Kansas this Spring?
Those are the hot topics of note early on following the Weis hire, but more will surely surface as students and players return for the Spring semester.
A whole lot of questions, not a lot of answers, but for the most part there is optimism. The Weis hire was controversial initially, but it appears softened a bit after the addition of Crist and Heaps and now we're on to the next stage. What's next Charlie?