Archive for Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gill not relying heavily on junior college players

February 4, 2010

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If Kansas University’s 2010 recruiting class is any indication, fans of the program shouldn’t expect to see an abundance of junior college players on the team’s roster in coming years.

Of the 18 players that make up Kansas’ newest signing class, only one — quarterback Quinn Mecham — is a junior college transfer, and first-year coach Turner Gill said Wednesday that his staff will refrain from relying too heavily on junior college recruiting in the future.

“We’re going to look into that, but I would probably say that we’re not going to be heavy into the junior colleges,” Gill said during a press conference to introduce the program’s newest members. “We’re going to open it up, and see what’s the best fit for us, our staff and KU.”

In recent years, Kansas has had marginal success in the recruitment of junior college players. Former defensive back Kendrick Harper was a member of the Jayhawks’ 2008 Orange Bowl team, and the former Kansas staff brought in three JUCO players last season, all of whom saw limited playing time in ‘09.

Gill, however, said he saw no reason to bring in multiple junior college players while putting together his first KU recruiting class.

“I don’t see a situation where we looked at things and had to say, ‘This position right here is a serious need, and let’s go get a junior college guy,’” Gill said. “That was not in our thinking. We wanted to go get the best players that are available.”

Mecham to battle for starting quarterback spot: And ... let the controversy begin.

Asked Wednesday whether Mecham, a junior transfer, would compete with Kale Pick for the starting quarterback job, Gill said that Mecham “absolutely” would.

“Every guy is going to have the opportunity to compete for a starting job,” said Gill. “... It’s a clear slate. We’ve seen some clips of them, from that standpoint, but we’re going to wait for them to get on the football field and let them decide and make the decision who’s the best guy to help us win football games.”

As a sophomore at Snow College in Utah last fall, Mecham threw for 3,091 yards and 40 touchdowns, leading the school to a 10-2 record.

Pick, who finished the ‘09 season No. 2 on the quarterback depth chart behind outgoing senior Todd Reesing, attempted just five passes last season — completing four — but showed an ability to gain yardage with his legs, tallying 167 rushing yards in limited duty.

Gill says Terry has potential on both sides of ball: Four-star recruit Keeston Terry will begin his Kansas career strictly as a receiver, but Gill on Wednesday didn’t rule out the possibility of playing the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Blue Springs, Mo., native on offense and defense.

“(He’s) a guy who has excellent skills, really on the offensive and defensive side,” Gill said. “A guy that could potentially play both sides of the ball, but we will play him as a wide receiver, where he will do a lot of great things from there.”

Grissom disappointment not lingering: Though the loss of four-star commit Geneo Grissom left a small black mark on the Jayhawks’ newest recruiting class, Gill on Wednesday didn’t seem eager to dwell on what could have been.

“Sometimes that’s going to work out; sometimes it doesn’t,” Gill said. “And he felt that was best for him.”

Grissom, a defensive end from Hutchinson who switched his commitment to Oklahoma, represented one of two significant losses for the Jayhawks in the past month. Junior college defensive back Dave Clark originally signed with Kansas in January, but later left the school under uncertain circumstances and, according to Rivals, signed Wednesday with Tennesee.

Comments

Danimal 5 years, 3 months ago

Of course Mecham is in competition for the starting job. Unlike Kale Pick, he can actually throw the ball down the field.

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