Recruiting never stops. That’s what they say, and for good reason. Less than a week after National Signing Day, David Beaty and staff are hosting 18 recruits for the class of 2018, calling the weekend “KU Junior Day.” These kids are all current high school juniors who will be seniors in the fall, most of whom will sign letters of intent to their school of choice in February of 2018.
Since the construction of the Anderson Football Complex next to Memorial Stadium (and the recent renovations), it’s been said that the hardest part of recruiting to Kansas is simply getting kids to take a visit. And, that once they do, they see that Kansas has as much to offer as any Big 12 or even SEC school.
Once the renovations were complete a week before the 2016 season opener against Rhode Island, David Beaty commented:
“We just went from the bottom of Power Five to the top of Power Five when it comes to what our locker room looks like.”
One of the nation’s top junior college transfers, three-star RB Octavius Matthews, had this to say upon choosing Kansas over Auburn:
“I went on three visits this year and KU’s was the best facility wise. In my opinion they were better than Auburn and Purdue.”
And class of 2018 DE Cartez Crooks-Jones, a three-star recruit out of Grandview, MO, had this to say after he picked up his first D1 college offer from KU last fall during a recruiting visit:
“It was mind-blowing. I’ve been to K-State and Arkansas. All of them blew me away, but the one thing about KU, that new locker room, that was something nice. That was something special. I didn’t know that there could be so much money invested into a locker room. I heard they are going to do more with it.”
My friends, I’m here to tell you, they aren’t just blowing smoke. I was fortunate enough to be invited by Kansas Athletics to tour the Anderson Football facility. (Ok, full disclosure, I believe all season ticket holders were.) For some reason I didn’t think to take pictures, but plenty of photos of the renovated facility are available online.
It was quite literally an open house. They offered guided tours, but we, like most others, quickly left the actual tour and just wandered around. We walked into David Beaty’s office, where he was holding court with kids and parents alike. He thanked every single person who came in. “Great to see you guys here, thanks for coming.”
We saw the coaches offices. We saw the staff meeting rooms. We saw the player’s dining hall. We saw the position meeting rooms. We saw the media room. We walked thru the training room and hydrotherapy area. We saw the weight room. My word, the weight room, it might be the size of a football field by itself. And of course we saw the locker room and player lounge. We saw the equipment room, complete with helmet repair station, cleat repair station, and stacks upon stacks of shoeboxes. There’s even a lounge for recruits and their families to hang out in, complete with popcorn machine.
Football staffers were sprinkled throughout the complex, interacting with folks and answering questions. Coach Beaty, OC Doug Meacham, and DC Clint Bowen were popular folks, and I didn’t get a chance to speak with any of them beyond a “Hi, Coach” or a “Thanks for coming.”
But quarterbacks coach Garrett Riley was very engaging and chatted us up for a few minutes outside the locker room, of which, of course, he is very impressed.
Cassius Sendish, now a Defensive Graduate Assistant, was stationed in the weight room, and spoke to us for at least 10 minutes about several topics, including David Beaty, the complex, the weight room, Lawrence, and even seafood.
We also met KU’s newest video coordinator, whose name unfortunately I can’t recall, has also worked for Nebraska and the Minnesota Vikings. His comment to me was that he hasn’t seen any facilities like the ones KU has.
Director of Personnel Jeff Jordan and Assistant Director of Recruiting (and former KU volleyball player) Catherine Carmichael were quite proud of the overall facility as they showed us around the recruit lounge.
These people all clearly feed off of David Beaty’s energy and passion, much of which has to go into recruiting. It seems as if Kansas has the facilities with which to compete for recruits. If the hardest part of recruiting to Kansas is getting recruits on campus, well, maybe that’s getting easier. Check out this list of Class of 2018 recruits who are on campus this weekend:
Maybe none of these guys end up signing with Kansas. But the fact is, there are five 4-star recruits in Lawrence this weekend. They’re checking out the facilities. They probably went to the Iowa State game in Allen Fieldhouse. They’re HERE.
And if that’s the hardest part, then the arrow on Kansas Football is pointed straight up.
Two of this weekend’s visitors have already verbally committed to the Jayhawks. Obviously, a lot can change in the next 360 days, but QB Clayton Tune and RB Anthony Williams both gave David Beaty their pledges.
For more on the first two commits for KU’s 2018 class, click here.