Archive for Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rave recruiting

NFL Draft success should attract even more recruits

Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib intercepts a pass intended for Colorado's Tyson DeVree in this 2006 file photo. Talib and three other Jayhawks were NFL Draft picks last weekend, which can only help with recruiting high-caliber athletes to Lawrence in the future.

Kansas University cornerback Aqib Talib intercepts a pass intended for Colorado's Tyson DeVree in this 2006 file photo. Talib and three other Jayhawks were NFL Draft picks last weekend, which can only help with recruiting high-caliber athletes to Lawrence in the future.

April 29, 2008

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So few high school football players, even those recruited by Div. I programs, ever make it to the NFL. Given that, in the ideal world, factors such as academic and social opportunities should take precedence when student-athletes make their college decisions.

Often, that isn't the case. Regardless of whether it should have any influence in the minds of recruits, the fact Kansas University had four players chosen in the weekend's NFL Draft ought to make for more fruitful recruiting.

"A lot of times, high school kids, they're shopping around to find out what programs put a lot of guys in the NFL and that type of thing," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "I believe that's a mistake. I don't care where you're at, you have to want to put time and effort into making yourself a better player. Being around good quality coaches, strength coaches who know how to develop players, certainly helps, but what you put into it is what you get out of it."

Just for fun, assign a point value to each draft choice, based on the round in which the player was chosen. Eight points for a first-round selection, six for a second, five for a third, four for a fourth, three for a fifth, two for a sixth and one for a seventh.

Based on that point system for the just-completed draft, Texas ranks first among Big 12 schools with 23 points. Kansas and Oklahoma are tied for second with 18 points, Texas A&M ranks fourth with 17 points, Colorado fifth with 12 points, followed by Missouri and Nebraska (eight points each), Kansas State (seven) and Iowa State (five). No players from Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were selected.

"I don't know how much of an impact it will have (on recruiting)," Mangino said. "I think it will have some. A lot of kids have aspirations of playing in the NFL. It goes with the complete package. I've always said we offer a great education. We're in a great community. We're close to Kansas City. You can get in and out of the airport fast. And we've always said we're going to be a winning program. We're moving in that direction. The next step is, kids want to know how many NFL players we have, so it helps."

None of the four Kansas draft selections - Aqib Talib, Anthony Collins, Derek Fine and Marcus Henry - came to Kansas as a recruit rated highly by services. During recruiting visits, Kansas coaches now can show off how much those players developed and convince more highly recruited players that the ceiling can be even higher for them.

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