The University of Kansas is a basketball school, nobody is ever going to argue that. A program like no other, that plays in an arena like none other, with fans like none other. The football team, on the other hand, has frankly been disappointing at best for much of the last several seasons. It makes perfect sense why by this point in the year, very few people act as though they care about the football team (around campus, anyway). This year though, there is a reason to stay a little excited about the football team; or, at the least, reason to remember that the team exists.
There were a lot of differing opinions when it came to the hiring of David Beaty as the new head coach for the program . Many people wanted the job to be offered to Ed Warinner of Ohio State. There was a solid group of people who wanted Clint Bowen to get the job. It may not be fair to say that the reaction to the Beaty hire was generally negative, but it wasn't overly positive by any stretch of the imagination. You have to ask yourself then, why should I be excited about a team that has been perpetually at the bottom of the Big 12, that just made a coaching hire which was clearly very polarizing?
David Beaty has not coached a single game for Kansas yet. He hasn't coached a practice. It's understandable to be skeptical of what he brings to the table. He is a coach that doesn't have head coaching experience, and is not taking over a job for a P5 conference team. He is going straight from being a position coach to a head coach, a very rare occurrence. It seems curious on paper, there is no doubt about that. But Beaty has proven already that he has some great skills, namely recruiting.
The Jayhawks aren't bring in blue chip, 5-star recruits and we probably won't see that happen for quite some time. That being said, it has been a great last week or more for Kansas football when it comes to recruiting. There have been a few low-star signings, but there have been some solid prospects as well, both from the high school and JUCO ranks. You've a JUCO All-American in Ke'aun Kinner, a solid wide receiver in Chase Harrell, and a late signing in cornerback Brandon Stewart, a player that had interest from several schools and until deciding on KU, was thought to be a lock to head to Cal to be a Golden Bear. This is just a sampling of some of the recruits that Beaty has already brought in.
This isn't like signing Jadeveon Clowney or Leonard Fournette or some other big-name prospect, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Beaty has immediately proven that he can recruit in Texas, something that KU has always been able to do fairly well, however it is essentially crucial to any team in the region to have success. These new signings may not be stars, they may not be NFL-level talent, but if they are players who want to come to Lawrence and want to play for Beaty, that sounds like a good combination. This isn't going to be a program contending for the College Football Playoff any time soon, but it is nice to have some positive things to say about the program this late in the calendar year. This year, after the fast start on the recruiting trail by David Beaty, it certainly feels like there is reason to be at least a little excited about Jayhawks football next season. Or maybe I'm being overly optimistic, writing out positive thoughts in a literal response to my prayers for a somewhat decent football team.