National Signing Day 2015: An Update on the Kansas Jayhawks


Nov 22, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Kansas Jayhawks quarterback Michael Cummings (14) hands off to wide receiver Tony Pierson (3) during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With National Signing Day 2015 coming Wednesday, the Kansas Jayhawks’ football team is starting a new era.

Former Texas A&M wide receiver coach David Beaty was named KU head coach in December, and immediately made an impact on recruiting.

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This is Beaty’s third go-around in Lawrence.

He was the Jayhawks’ WR coach from 2008-09, and Co-OC/WR coach in 2011.

Less than 10 days after being hired, Beaty landed five recruits, four from the state of Texas.

The table below, from 247Sports, shows where the Jayhawks stack up against the Big 12 Conference.

Obviously last in the conference is not where the Jayhawks want to be, but it’s not like Beaty has inherited a gold mine.

Although KU did finish ahead of Iowa St. this past year, the Jayhawks have won only 12 games the past five years. However, Beaty comes with a myriad of coaching connections in Texas, possibly the best state to recruit from in the country.

Those connections are what most people think were a major reason Beaty was hired.

The Jayhawks have a long way to go to catch up in the rankings, but also have proven that computer rankings don’t always equal success.

When Kansas finished 12-1 and beat Virginia Tech in the 2008 Orange Bowl, the Jayhawks did it with unheralded recruits — with most of the impact players coming from the state of Texas after being passed on by in-state schools.

This year, three off-the-radar recruits from that team — Aqib Talib, Darrell Stuckey, and Chris Harris, Jr. — all made the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl.

In December, former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino, who was at the helm during the Orange Bowl season, took to Twitter to troll those who have doubted him, but also to prove you can produce NFL talent at Kansas.

So, while it’s no secret the Jayhawks have struggled mightily since Mangino’s departure, recent history has proven it can be turned around.

Beaty knows that first hand from his time in Lawrence. He watched Todd Reesing set numerous school quarterback records throwing to future NFL receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier, while he was WR coach.

He, and Jayhawks fans, have to look no further than an hour and a half down the road to Manhattan, where the Kansas State Wildcats consistently win without great recruiting classes.

It remains to  be seen if he can make the same turnaround, but for now, Jayhawk fans can only hope he can at least improve from what has transpired in Lawrence the past five years.

Check back over the next few days on Through The Phog for a detailed breakdown of KU’s top 2015 recruits. 

Next: Kansas Jayhawks: Catching up With Nigel King

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