Recruiting chatter is picking up steam as Turner Gill and his full compliment of staff members are on the trail and preparing for their first big recruiting weekend as a completed group. At Dagger's request I'll have a list up Thursday or Friday of those recruits I can locate that will be on campus this weekend. It might not be a full list but it will give you some idea of who Coach Gill and staff will be hosting.
So far it appears to be a weekend with several committed players, but one player not committed that has confirmed he will be on campus is Chad Kolumber. Kolumber picked up a Kansas offer recently and is eager to take a closer look at the school and the program.
Kolumber is a mountain of a prospect listed at 6'8" 285 pounds. Currently wrapping up his final semester at Woodbury Forest School in Woodbury Forsest Viriginia, Kolumber's recruitment has gained some momentum following a wrap of his senior season. Chad heads to Lawrence Kansas this weekend and last week I had an opportunity to chat a little bit with Chad about his recruitment, the potential upside he provides and his thoughts on Kansas and the new staff.
Chad thanks for giving us a little bit of your time, first off why don't you catch us up to speed on your senior year. From a football standpoint what did you feel like you wanted to accomplish heading into the season? How has your recruiting progressed during the year and what were you looking at in terms of your future playing career prior to Turner Gill and his staff moving to Kansas.
Well going into this season I just wanted to play as good as I knew I could play because I had talked to a few coaches and they wanted to see some more game tape before doing anything further with me. I just wanted to play my best and do what I needed to do to get more attention from different coaches.
A lot of time went into getting quicker with my feet and using my hands more. As the season progressed that happened, coaches saw that and started showing more interest.
Who were some of the first schools to show interest and also some of the more recent ones?
Well over the summer I has talked with UVA, Clemson, and UNC and then as the season came Buffalo started talking to me. I also heard from Penn State off an on.
More recently Richmond, Rhode Island, Marshall, and Kansas have been in touch.
Tell me about the Buffalo interest. Who was recruiting you there? Did you meet coach Gill or take a visit and am I correct in assuming that familiarity with you played a role in Kansas getting involved later down the line?
Coach Wimberly was the first to call me from Buffalo, and about mid season Coach Wimberly and Coach Stamn came down to my school to visit me. After that we started talking more and I took a visit there the first week of December where I met Coach Gill. Meeting them and getting to know them more at Buffalo and from the players made me think that these coaches really know what they are doing. They seemed reasonable and willing to help you on and off the football field to succeed and from there my interest in them grew. I also believe there interest in me and coaching me did as well. That is definitely why I'm now looking at Kansas as a possible option
So the contact with Kansas was primarily from that staff following the move I assume?
Yes, Coach Stamn was the first to contact me once they got to Kansas.
Makes sense. Ok, so you've got some nice BCS schools on that list with Kansas, Penn State, Clemson, UVA etc. Not too mention Buffalo, Richmond and Marshall are all good programs. Is Kansas to this point the only offer at the BCS level? Are you expecting others to offer? also most of those schools are clearly more "east" coast, how does a midwest school like Kansas stand in your decision making. Is location a factor or are you open to that move?
Well from what I know about the other schools it looks like the big BCS schools have found the players they are looking for. At this point I do not believe I will be getting offers from them, but with Richmond, Marshall and Buffalo I have offers from all of them already
And location doesn't really play a factor into any decisions. My mom told me that I need to find a place that I like and a place where I will fit in and be happy for 4-5 years with that decision so location does not really play a big factor in my decisions
Fair enough. How did Coach Stamn present the Kansas opportunity to you? Do they see you as someone with a big upside that can contribute down the road? Do they see you as an under the radar type recruit? How do you think they see you fitting in at Kansas?
Well when they decided to leave Buffalo he said that when they get out to Kansas they were going to find out what they have available with scholarships and what room they have recruiting wise because he sees me as someone that has a tremendous amount of room to grow and improve my abilities to play football. When they got there obviously there was room to give me the scholarship and they started recruiting me to Kansas.
From what they say as well as a couple other coaches, I have been more of an under the radar type recruit because my biggest improvement was between my junior to senior year. A lot of the other recruits have already gone through that during their junior year
Absolutely, that's kind of what I would guess looking at the situation. You obviously have size that can't be coached. A nice upside and the right situation could definitely allow you to work hard and develop into a contributor for a program. Are you a tackle all the way? or is guard something they've talked about?
With talking to them I'm a tackle all the way. Right now I'm at left tackle and I believe they would want me to play that as well at the next level, but I can play either side without any problems.
Now when is your visit set up for?
Jan 15th to Jan 17th.
and how are you feeling about a timeline on a decision. Do you have other visits to take still after that?
Right now I don't have any set visits, but depending on how the visit goes I should have a decision within a week or so. That also depends on what I hear back from the other schools.
Is it your goal to play at a BCS level?
Yes, since I started playing its been my dream to play big time college football.
So would it be safe to say that Kansas is in a pretty good position right now assuming you enjoy the visit and all looks good with that the school.
Yes, you could say that, but no matter where I choose to go I know I will be happy with my decision.
Absolutely....Are you every bit of the 6'8" 290 pound listing?
Well right now I'm working down to 285 for wrestling but outside of wrestling I am at 290.
And how is wrestling going? do you see that as something that helps you on the football field?
It has, its helped with my conditioning and it has also helped me with my hands and being able to use them more and just being a tougher player in general.
I've always thought that wrestling can be a big help for football players in the ways you describe as well as leverage and strength. Especially for lineman.
Yeah it has been
Well, anything else about Chad Kolumber that Jayhawk fans should know?
umm...well I'm a big city boy, I love philly cheese steaks and God has played a big role in where I am today
Very nice, so are you from Philly originally?
Well I was born in Las Vegas but a few months after I was born my parents moved back home to Philadelphia.
Understood. Well keep us posted on your visit, and thanks again for spending a little bit of time with us today.
Ok, sounds good my friend.
A little pancake action by Chad Kolumber #79