Kansas picks up defensive back commitments from familiar junior college

Kansas University football recruiting

Adding a defensive back from Hartnell College has worked out well for the Kansas football program before. Head coach David Beaty and his staff have to be hopeful history repeats itself — a couple times — after adding two commitments Monday from the junior college in California.

The same program that brought the Jayhawks safety Fish Smithson produced a pair of Class of 2018 recruits for KU when sophomore safety Jeremiah McCullough and freshman defensive back Davon Ferguson pledged to sign.

Originally from Baltimore, McCullough is a two-time Golden Coast League American Division All-Conference selection.

According to Rivals, McCullough, considered a three-star juco safety, also had offers from Fresno State, Toledo, Utah State, Buffalo and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

The 6-foot, 205-pound safety, who registered 36 total tackles and two interceptions this fall, told Jon Kirby of Jayhawk Slant the Kansas coaching staff loved his physical play.

“They liked all of the things I can do,” McCullough related. “They liked when they watched me at safety I wasn’t just playing in one position, I was playing different spots. In our defense at Hartnell we play a lot a man and zone. When receivers motion, we go with them. They said I wasn’t just a one-dimensional safety.”

Jayhawk Slant reported KU defensive line coach Jesse Williams recruited both McCullough and Ferguson.

A native of Laurel, Md., Ferguson played his freshman year for Hartnell at the age of 17. Considered a two-star juco athlete by Rivals, the young defensive back made 55 total tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Per Rivals, Buffalo and San Diego State also sent offers Ferguson’s direction.

An all-conference selection just like his teammate McCullough, Ferguson told Kirby of Jayhawk Slant he wasn’t recruited much out of high school because he missed his junior season.

“So I went to junior college and set my sights on leaving at mid-year,” Ferguson said, referencing his plan to enroll at KU for the spring semester. “I was blessed with the opportunity to receive scholarship offers. Now I will get out and go Division I in December.”

KU’s 2018 recruiting class now includes 13 players, five of which are slated to sign on from the junior college ranks: Coffeyville defensive end Zach Burks, ASA College (N.Y.) defensive end Najee Stevens-McKenzie, Fort Scott cornerback Elmore Hempstead and Hartnell teammates McCullough and Ferguson.

Comments

Matthew Gaylor

“I’m not at all. I feel great,” Beaty said. “When we came to this place, we made it very clear that we were going to not take any shortcuts. We weren’t going to sign entire classes of junior-college guys and try to get quick fixes. We had seen what that had done.”

Good to see that this no longer is true either with Beaty. Just another lie in the long list.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

Hmm...so if you have open scholarships to offer...and there are players out there who can help you... you SHOULDN'T go the Juco route to improve your team? I believe most of the 2018 recruiting of high school talent is essentially over, so why sit on your hands (and scholarships)?

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Matthew Gaylor

Maybe you don't say "We weren't going to sign entire classes of junior-college guys and try and get quick fixes. We had seen what that had done" when talking about the previous coach. Maybe you go out and recruit your ass off so you don't have to offer JUCO players.

Reality is, Beaty said he didn't want to take shortcuts. Now, because of poor results on the field, and lack of strong recruiting, Beaty is going the exact route he said he wouldn't. I feel like people should be held accountable when they turn hypocritical.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Micky Baker

Getting JUCO guys isn't taking shortcuts. It certainly wasn't with Smithson.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Stephen Burtin

One of the guys was only 17 while playing at his JUCO. He has 4 years of eligibility remaining. So, although he is a JUCO player, he could end up playing for 4 years at KU.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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John Strayer

So...where in the story does it say he will have 4 years of playing time at KU? Where is that info coming from?

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Stephen Burtin

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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John Fitzgerald

1.) Will these JUCO guys workout? I hope so but history hasn’t proved well for KU the last 8 years.

2.) How will this affect scholarship numbers in the future? I feel like getting freshmen makes more sense as they’ll be here longer.

3.) Is KU not getting interest from high school kids? Or is Beaty going for immediate results like Weis did?

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Dillon Davis

Gotta be going for immediate results because he knows he needs wins.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

5 of 13Jucos, but don't worry we aren't taking shortcuts and we won't recruit jucos to reduce our high school recruits.

When will the lies from the coaching staff stop.

T minus 364 days, since Girod won't do his job.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

So... this late in recruiting season...if you project that a Juco transfer can help you on the field better than the potential of a high school recruit that is still out there... you shouldn't go after him? You all want to knock the guy for low recruiting numbers.. and then knock him again when he tries to do something about it. Criticism all around..no matter what he does.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Why couldn't the coach fill his recruiting requirements and have to lean towards two jucos one a two star and one a three star?

Are we now saying the incoming juniors which Beaty recruited aren't good enough to play?

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

Let me guess.. you knocked Aqib Talib when KU recruited him as a two-star recruit, too. And Todd Reesing as a 3 star. Reserve judgement until you actually see them play... but I know... it's so much more fun to rip anything and everything they try to do

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Not jucos

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Matthew Gaylor

We're also saying that Beaty's strength when hired (recruiting) isn't good. The one thing Beaty was supposed to be good at was recruiting. We're now turning to JUCO players because Beaty can't recruit HS players. He complained that the last coach sent KU down this terrible path, where it killed the program, now Beaty is following in his footsteps, signing more and more JUCO players, leave the cupboard bare for the next coach. He should be fired, especially if the recruiting class is as bad as it's setting up to be. I'd rather have 1 bad class, than have a bad class this year, and then again next year because you are transitioning between coaches. Let this class be the transitional stage, and next class be the new coach's first real class

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Rob Zerwekh

Fans should prepare themselves for this class to be about 75% junior college players. Based on the offers going out, the high school doors appear to be closed and locked.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Damian Glaze

Interesting the defensive line coach recruited these two, when the D-Coordinator happens to be the D-Back coach and a former D-Back. I understand coaches often recruit regions, but you would think Bowen would have been involved.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Is Bowen still here? our defense hasn't been present for four years, I had assumed he left.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Kevin Robert Fest

Did anyone see who the other offers were from? Fresno State, Toledo, Utah State, Buffalo and Arkansas-Pine Bluff? If these are the only other offers are we really expected to believe that these corners can play in the Big 12? Am I supposed to be impressed? I'm assuming if these kids were worth their salt they would be recruited by bigger schools power 5 conference schools it seems like we're just signing kids to fill out a class and have Beaty talk them up at the press conference to make us think they're actually going to make it. We signed Hasaan No Defense last year and he was supposed to be some all-league corner and he's been God awful for us this year so I'm not really too excited. It seems like they think that anybody they sign or anybody they recruit is a good signing some of these recruits would barely be able to play and some of the lower divisions DIi DIII but Kansas they get recruited and when you watch them in the Big 12 they just look completely overwhelmed and overmatched.

The problem now is it's just don't recruit to recruit don't just sign to fill out a class at some point you have to actually get players that can play and a lot of the Juco players we signed in the last couple of years haven't made a lick of difference not one bit. H Defense has been terrible just terrible he couldn't cover a cold, now 2 more Juco dbs zzzzzzzzzzz.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

Yeah... Fish Smithson was awful, too. No major football program was beating down his door. This juco transfer from Hartnell college led the Big 12 in tackles in 2015 (and was 2nd in NCAA in tackles) as a junior... and was first team all Big 12 as a senior in 2016. He was our team captain last year... and is a Washington Redskin this year. Here's an idea, reserve judgement good, bad, or otherwise...until the kid hits campus.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Tom Keegan

This Missouri not very aggressive with Kansas City recruits. Plenty of players in Kansas who could redshirt, work their tails off because KU has been their dream school all their lives, and be good program guys by their third, fourth and fifth years in the program. Identify the sleepers, develop them, win with them. One of the 22 Orange Bowl starters was a juco transfer: Chet Hartley.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

That's wonderful, Tom... but Beaty's on-field product is with 2 years of full recruiting. The Dec 4th hire for his 1st year doesn't count as a full year of recruiting. Look how many starters we have as sophomores on both sides of the ball this year. You say we should go get guys... and by their "third, fourth and fifth years in the program"... that we can develop them, win with them. But you don't want to give Beaty even 4 years to do just that. He didn't INHERIT a bunch of redshirts and freshman that fit that category. He inherited a judo-laden program. If the way to win... is via the good program guys for 3,4,5 years... then give him 4 years, especially given the incredibly high number of sophomores who are starting for us right now... who didn't have that LUXURY of playing and developing behind 4 or 5 "program guys" from the Weiss years. Most of the guys we have on the field now are 2 year guys.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

From what I see on the field I don't think Beaty could develop these players with 10 years to work with them. The team is not prepared on Saturdays. Players don't just magically get better over three or four years with inferior training and discipline.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

Thank you, Ray Charles

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jim Stauffer

Some on here are accusing the Coach of lying. How about someone who says Hassan Defense has been just awful this year. That is not true either. Now who is telling the greater lie. Is it Kevin or Coach?
Hassan Defense is a very solid DB who just completed his first year in the league. He most likely will be even better next year.
Some of you guys are unrealistic. You have been listening to Keegan too much.
We are not going to compete with 'Bama, OU and tOSU for recruits at this juncture.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Nicco

Even though we have a 4 & 5 star recruit, most of us realize the kind or volume of recruits like the teams you mentioned aren't realistic for KU. If you're going to recruit 2 & 3 start players why pick JUCO? Is a 2 or 3 star JUCO player better than a 2 or 3 start high school player? If not, why handcuff yourself with the shorter time to develop them and have them contribute?

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

I don't know, Mike. Why not go ask Bill Snyder at K-State? This has already been asked and answered. You have open scholarships for 2018... if a juco projects to be a better player who can contribute more to your program.. than a high school recruit you are looking at.. then why not snap him up? You are trying to build a team that is at least two deep at every position. We haven't had the numbers to get to two deep at every position with experienced players. Why waste a scholarship on a guy because he is in high school... if you don't think he can be as good as an available juco player? You guys are acting like Beaty is going ONLY the Juco route. We had some really good HS recruits who decommitted. Beaty is not RESPONSIBLE for these kids changing their mind. His staff had been doing something right to have a recruiting class that was top 30.. until the decommits. Anyone reading these message boards isn't encouraging our recruits either.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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No not Bama, OU and tOSU.
But, how about we start with a P5 school... ANY P5 school.
Maryland, Rutgers, or any of the other schools TK mentioned that are god awful.
Do we aspire to be Buffalo, SDSU, Fresno State, Toledo, Utah State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff? At this point, i would actually say yes. ha
rcjh

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

The problem is recruiting was the strength when beaty was hired, it hasn't been and now is getting worse.

Beaty must realize he has been poor at developing talent as well, hence his stop gap with jucos.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Doug Cramer

Here we go again.

Beaty in panic mode is equal to Charlie Weis.

Our next coach will be short players again because of these tactics.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jack Hoff

Sounds like one player has 4 years to to play 3 seasons and the other is an All American at a school we’ve had success recruiting from in the past! Hopefully they can help shore up our secondary! Pretty much all the jucos so far have been defensive guys, so hopefully we can see much more improvement on that side of the ball next year! Return a lot of offensive guys and some good LA recruits in line! Rock chalk!

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Brian Wilson

Let's look at the roster and see what Beaty has done. We had this past year: <br>

14 Seniors (7 Transfers) - (1 Red Shirt Senior - John Wirtel)!? <br>
29 Juniors (15 Transfers) (2 RS Juniors - Joe Dineen, and Gabriel Rul)<br>
30 Sophomores (7 Transfers) (2 RS Soph. - Justin Williams, Clyde McCaulley)<br>
36 Freshman (12 are Redshirts) - (Too many to list)<br>
<br>
So far there are 29 transfers from other schools.<br>
<br>
Next year, we subtract off this year's Seniors, and add the 13 recruits (8 Freshmen, and 5 Junior Transfers), and then holding up the Red Shirts and adding back in the Senior red shirt player, it appears we will have:<br>
<br>
28 Seniors (15 Transfers) <br>
37 Juniors (12 Transfers which include the 5 we just signed) <br>
26 Sophomores (12 of our Sophomores were Red Shirt Freshmen)<br>
20 Freshmen with about 10 more scholarships to give.<br>
<br>
First...notice how the depth of our upper classes is increasing.<br>
Second....notice how the number of transfers is holding steady.<br>
Third.....notice the number of Red shirt players and how by restarting 12 Freshmen this past year we have now created a full roster. <br>
Fourth, we jump to over 100 players.....so walk-ons getting scholarships will be fewer in the future.
<br>
it appears we just went through a year Beaty planned, and didn't advertise how bad it was going to get. - to go through that sacrificial red shirt year.
<br>
Sad it couldn't just take a red shirt year to fix things, but, it took us two prior years to recruit enough players to get to the point you could even field a team while you do it. Now that we have red shirted that many freshman. Next year we will start to see if it works.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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John Fitzgerald

Winning is all that matters.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Frederick Heckel

And KU will still go 0-12. That will make it a whopping 3-45 for hypocritical Beaty.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Kemp

At least he will go down in history for all the wrong reasons!

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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John Strayer

Not only did Beaty not advertise how bad this year was going to be...at Big XII media days he was selling bowl eligibility...and we got one win against a bad FCS team. That is bad all around.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Lucas Town

I don't think Beaty understands and fans (including me) for that matter, realize how hard it is to become bowl eligible. Win 6 games, easy right! For some maybe, but when your down and have been down for some time getting to that 6th win is very difficult. Even Bill Snyder talks about how hard it is to become bowl eligible.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Stephen Burtin

Even if (when) the losing continues next year, at least giving Beaty 4 years allowed him time to get our roster almost all of the way back to 85 scholarship players.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Not if he does JUCO...that is what he inherited, and now is what he is passing on.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Stephen Burtin

Not according to the breakdown above. Please show me your analysis if you disagree.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Kudos for calculating quick analysis, but doing a quick run through, walk ones aren't assessed, which few make playing time.

You have 30 sophomores plus 5 jucos to get to 37, one of which is a sophomore. Your math is fuzzy.

You state 10 scholarships, but not all of those are going high school, and my understanding is gray shirts were used already.

I'd prefer beaty to show the numbers.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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John Fitzgerald

Any turd could have put us back to the scholarship amount. Even bringing in a new coach could and would do that. What we need now more than anything though is COACHING. Beaty could bring on 20 5 start guys, but it doesn't make a damn bit of difference if he doesn't know how to develop them.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Stephen Burtin

That wasn't my point at all. My point was, quick turnover at the HC position usually results in players transferring or even being kicked off of the team. I have lost my faith in Beaty as well, but I will give the AD credit for at least riding out this failure in order to build our roster back up with scholarship players.

And to your point, Gill and Weis, although turds, were not able to build our scholarship numbers back up, so it appears that no, not any turd can do that.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jack Hoff

Great analysis Brian! It's nice to see the actual numbers and realize just how young this team was! Based on these numbers, it does appear Beaty is not taking any shortcuts and is building a sustainable foundation to set them up for the future. Behind the scenes, Zenger and Beaty both knew this was going to be a tough year but you just have to suck it up and take the heat. They now finally project to have a junior and senior led team with some youngsters who have gotten vaulable reps! Like you said, we'll see if it works! If we get a repeat of poor performances in 2018 then we'll have a problem. Thank you for doing Tom Keegans job and actually providing us with some tangible facts to dissect and not just spewing your hateful opinion about Beaty and his staff. Rockchalk!

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Lawrence McGlinn

There is nothing personal or hateful about Keegan's view of the situation. Zenger and Beaty have led us to the bottom of FBS football, and Keegan is simply pointing it out. Even with a more experienced team next year I don't see the reason for your optimism. I don't see how more time in a broken system is going to benefit the players, but I hope I'm wrong.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Kemp

Have to agree that we have seen no improvement in players as they age thru the program. Beaty must load juco because he knows this is his last year if he doesn’t improve significantly.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Hart

The issue is not Keegan pointing it out. Been there.. done that. It is the over and over, article after article of negativity. If Beaty wakes up on the right side of the bed, then he should have woken up on the left. Criticism can be warranted.. and it can be fair game. But to 2nd guess each and every move the guy makes.. and things he says... is overkill. 3-4 articles of negativity during each week after a game, serves no purpose... other than to stoke the fires of debate here. The season is over.. but yet article after article comes out using some new metric to tailor commentary as to how bad 2017 was.. how bad a coach Beaty is... how undisciplined his team is (despite 3 years track record proving otherwise outside of the handshake incident)... what a liar he is... how next year is hopeless... I mean the list goes on and on. You'd think this David Beaty guy was the Devil incarnate.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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David Kemp

You obviously don’t read the Lincoln journal star, Beaty is getting off easy.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Brian Wilson

First off. Beaty did not lead anyone to the bottom. We were already there.<BR>
<BR>
BLAME WEISS & THE FIRING OF MANGINO!!!<BR>
<BR>
NO One wanted this Job. It was a dead end for anyone who came. And, if Bowen got the job, then a true blue KU person would get decimated!<br>
<br>
When the job was offered, There were less than 60 players on scholarship and less than 25 of those were even Juniors or Seniors. That means 3 Years o losing just to build the roster and then have a red shirt year. Period....end of subject. Which is why no coach with any kind of winning record was going to come to KU. So you get a successful assistant coach and let him take the beating. Hence......Beaty. Get over it and support him until his 4-5 years are over. <br>
When it's time for Beaty to move on he will leave us with over 45 plus Juniors and Senior in the queue.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Micky Baker

Drama Queen auditions don't occur on the sports page. They occur at the room with the crayons and color books.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Edward Daub

Fish was also from Baltimore so there appears to be a Pipeline from Maryland to Hartnell College. I view these signings as a Positive step, but there are plenty of negative comments that have already been submitted.

Offered by Toledo? This MAC Team is 10-2. Offered by Buffalo? This MAC Team is 6-6 and just upset Ohio. By the way, both Ohio and CMU were 8-4 during the regular season.

The key question for 2018 is as follows! We know Beaty is returning, but what is the status of Bowen? Will Beaty be allowed to make a change at D.C. (?)

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Kemp

No change at DC because no decent coach will take a 1 year job!

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Edward Daub

Okay. Any good D.C. Candidates on the Current Staff?

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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John Brazelton

Once we got into the second part of the season, the defense was the best part of this team. They had major injuries and played with second and third stringers during the later part of the season as well as going back on the field too often and in short field positions. It was the offense and special teams that laid an egg.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

I hope you are kidding if you think our defense was any good.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Charlie Gaughn

This is like a nightmare you can't wake up from. You don't "kinda commit" to building a program by recruiting freshmen and redshirting them. Yes, Fish Smithson was a fine player. If we were going in to next year with him being a redshirt junior there would be a great deal of promise at that position, but we're not. How much worse could we have been this year if we were starting primarily redshirt freshmen and sophomores? That's where the valuable reps would have come from.

Our QB situation is still in turmoil; the D-Line could be totally decimated by players leaving for the NFL (almost sounds silly given the results on the field); and, we continue to see the poor execution and lack of discipline. Player development seems to be non-existent, especially at the QB and O-Line position. Worst of all, fan support has dwindled to the lowest that I've ever seen.

2 weeks, 5 days ago

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Brian Wilson

Redshirting the Freshmen just to get beat up with a bunch of left overs, transfers, and walk-ons would be the bad thing to do. Waste one year of eligibility taking the chance on getting them hurt against Div 1 teams because they not physically developed would be the stupid thing to do. The upper classmen leftovers had no chance to win...so start em and fill in the holes with bodies while you develop your future team.<br>
<br>
And, I guarantee you that the current Sophomores and Freshmen were onboard with the redshirting. They all know the plan and how it works. Which is why they are onboard.<br>
Further, this is a long proven method of increasing team depth....Nebraska used it for decades under Osborne. Sometimes.....I wonder if Kee dislikes Coach B on other levels.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Dirk Medema

Ferguson is a great example of how the recruiting by this staff is different than the past and how the lack of analysis or reading comprehension in some instances leads to ignorant comments. He has been in college one semester with lots of playing experience (admittedly not at the Big 12 level but college experience nonetheless) and will have 4 years to play 3. This is as good if not better than any HS recruiting situation.

Coach Beatty has consistently gotten the players on campus with the team for spring ball often with more than 2 years to work with and that is good and different.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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Jeff Coffman

Name players that have improved year over year, then we can talk about development.

2 weeks, 4 days ago

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