Juco recruiting: David Beaty's Dream Team II bound to perform better than Charlie Weis' Dream Team I
Kansas hasn't recruited so many highly rated football recruits from junior colleges since Charlie Weis assembled a Class of 2013 that came to be known as #DreamTeam on Twitter.
It's not fair to say that entire class turned into #NightmareTeam because 2 of 7 recruits cited in the Rivals Top 100 junior college prospects had strong careers in the KU program. Defensive back Cassius Sendish started all 24 games in two seasons at Kansas, was a team captain and the leader of the secondary. Offensive guard Mike Smithburg was a two-year starter and drew high grades for his run-blocking.
Other than that, nightmare city.
DREAM TEAM I TOP 100 JUCO RECRUITS
|10||Marquel Combs/DT||Never played in game,
transferred to La. Lafayette
|13||Chris Martin/DE||Never played in a game
and was sentenced to
three years probation
for felony robbery in home
|41||Mike Smithburg/OL||Two-year starter at guard and
was one of line's more
|57||Marcus Jenkins-Moore/LB||Slowed by knee injury,
never played in a game and
transferred to South Dakota.
|59||Cassius Sendish/DB||Started all 24 games of
Kansas career, captain
and All-Big 12 honorable
mention as senior. Works for
KU football as grad assistant.
|69||Kevin Short/CB||Withdrew from school before
appearing in a game.
|91||Andrew Bolton/DT||Played one injury-filled season
and did not return for senior
Thus far, David Beaty's 2018 recruiting class includes nine juco players, including five ranked in the top 100 by Rivals. It's a safe assumption that Beaty will get more out of his five top 100 jucos than Charlie Weis received from his seven.
Thanks to the famous flops from the Class of 2013, nobody from Kansas is calling this Dream Team II, and in fact, Beaty is low-keying the class, perhaps because he defended his case for a fourth season by saying he needed time because he didn't go the quick-fix, juco-recruiting route. Unlike last season, Beaty did not have a season-ending press conference and has gone underground on the publicity front.
Simply for comparison purposes, though, let's call Beaty's full-out dive into the juco pool Dream Team II.
DREAM TEAM II TOP 100 JUCO RECRUITS
||6-4, 215, DE
||Iowa St., Maryland
UCF and others
||6-6, 230, DE
Baylor, Florida State
Iowa State, Ole Miss
Nebraska, Okla. St.
Tennessee and others
||6-3, 185, CB
||Illinois, Iowa State
Utah State and others
||5-11, 170, WR
||Hawaii, Mid. Tenn. St.
Mont. St., Old Dominion
||6-3, 280, DT
||Memphis, Murray State
North Texas, Toledo
UNLV and others
This recruiting class was assembled with the idea of fortifying an extremely vulnerable secondary and in preparation for losing defensive end Dorance Armstrong a year early to the NFL draft, which happened Thursday.
Although the staff went about it quietly, the juco plan has been in place all season, which gave coaches time to thoroughly check out the backgrounds of the players offered scholarships. At least with the best of the signees, this doesn't appear to be a case of last-minute sorting through leftovers.
Kamara, an every-down defensive end, appears to be the player the coaching staff was most excited about landing and he had an impressive list of schools recruiting him. Stevens-McKenzie also had power-five schools in pursuit of him, attracted by an explosiveness that translates well to his projected role as a pass-rush specialist. Three-star DE Foster Dixon also will battle for snaps.
In the secondary, if high school recruit Corione Harris of New Orleans can lock down one starting spot at cornerback, jucos Jones, Elmore Hempstead and returning starters Hasan Defense and Shakial Taylor will battle for the other starting spot. Tyrone Miller, a returning starter at safety alongside Mike Lee, will have a tough battle on his hands staving off challenges from junior-college defensive backs Davon Ferguson and Jeremiah McCullough.
Beaty has been consistent through the years in stating the belief that teams loaded with fourth-and-fifth-year seniors are the toughest to beat, but facing long odds at keeping his job beyond 2018, Beaty recruited mostly players who could help right away, thus guaranteeing the 2021 roster will lack fourth-year seniors and the 2022 squad will be shy of fifth-year seniors.
If you're going to take the juco approach, you might as well recruit good prospects and according to Rivals, Kansas accomplished that.