Now that Turner Gill has been christened Kansas University’s newest head football coach, one of his first objectives likely will be hitting the recruiting trail with fervor.
As uncertainty has engulfed the KU program in recent weeks — the messy departure of coach Mark Mangino and subsequent search for a replacement put recruiting in a kind of holding pattern — the arrival of Gill figures to provide a stabilizing force.
“Some of the committed kids have been kind of sitting by and waiting to see what happens,” said Jon Kirby, who covers Kansas recruiting for Rivals.com. “You had the investigation announced, and now you’re going on three to four weeks where a lot of the committed kids have kind of wanted to hear something or see some information. Now they have it, and they’re going to look forward to meeting coach Gill and some of the staff that he’s putting together.”
The initial interaction should be prominent this weekend, on the final recruiting visit weekend before Christmas.
The Kansas men’s basketball team plays at home Saturday against Michigan, and many recruits likely will be on campus, where Gill will have one of his first opportunities to sell his vision for the program’s future.
“Recruits definitely know of Turner Gill and some of what he’s done,” Kirby said. “It’s not a hire where recruits are saying, ‘Who is this?’ But the contact with some of the recruits will obviously be the big thing when they can actually put the voice or a face to who he is.”
Already, Gill’s arrival seems to have represented a positive step forward in recruiting.
According to Rivals, junior-college quarterback Quinn Mecham said this weekend that he plans to sign with Kansas this week, and three-star linebacker Ferlando Bohanna told the Web site that if current Mississippi State defensive coordinator Carl Torbush — who has been rumored to be a candidate for KU’s defensive coordinator position — indeed joins Gill at Kansas, Bohanna strongly will consider following him to Lawrence.
Said Kirby, “Even the people that have been rumored to already be on his staff are starting to bring some instant credibility there.”