Beaty lands haul of juco talent, shutting down the junior college myth
There seems to be a belief within the Kansas fan base who always want to rush and judge success in recruiting based the number of junior college players.
Before I get into this let me go over my background. I’ve covered every class in depth since 1999. I’ve interviewed every recruit, all 452 of them since Terry Allen’s third year as the Jayhawks head coach. I have seen the good and bad when it comes to recruiting more than anyone.
Now let’s get into the false information about recruiting junior college players. The Jayhawk football recruiting junkie will remember two classes in the past where the number of junior college players reached well into double-digits.
That happened in 2003 and 2013. Both of those classes didn’t turn out very good from a junior college standpoint. In 2003 there were 13 junior college players who signed and 10 of them didn’t contribute or left before they graduated. There were also exceptions like Gabe Toomey who had an injury that ended his career. You take a player like Toomey all day.
In 2013 there were 16 junior college players who signed and nine of those never contributed to the program. Several either never played in a game or left shortly after they arrived.
I don’t fault Kansas fans one bit for remembering those classes for the negative results. But there were also players mixed in those classes that helped a lot. Take Cassius Sendish in 2013 who played for three years and is now on David Beaty’s staff. In 2003 center Joe Vaughn was the offensive newcomer of the year in the Big 12. There were players who were key contributors. With junior college players your window of getting them right is smaller because in most cases, their eligibility is shorter.
Fast-forward to David Beaty’s junior college recruiting. There have been 24 junior college players in the program over the last three years. 22 of them were signed and two were walk-ons and eventually awarded a scholarship. In the 24 total who have gone through his program only two have not contributed. Of the two who haven’t contributed one left the program before getting his degree and the staff was able to get his scholarship back.
Beaty’s junior college recruits have stayed in school and graduated.
Right now the Kansas class stands at nine junior college players. By the time February hits that number could move to 11. Over half of those players are graduating at semester and will be on campus in January. Well over half were academic qualifiers coming out of high school.
I have talked to recruits this year who told me the Kansas staff went back and interviewed their high school coaches for character references and background information.
See folks, let me explain… the issue isn’t recruiting junior college players, it is recruiting the wrong players. If you recruit the right players and they contribute and graduate then you are good to go. Now, you have to have a plan on the inside to make sure the numbers of certain classes don’t get stacked on top of each other. You might have to redshirt some sophomores and juniors to make the numbers balance out, which is what the Kansas staff will do.
There has been a myth and an incorrect message put out there that junior college players can hurt your program. Well, guess what, so can high school players. In the 2013 class with multiple junior college signees there were also six high school players who left campus before they were in the program for two years.
Beaty and his staff have proven over time their junior college recruits have helped the program at a much higher rate than most people have any idea about. It comes down to getting the right ones who can make it through the program.