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Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kansas assistant football coach: Recruiting game has changed

February 5, 2013

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Fans aren’t the only ones who obsesses over the perceived worth of an incoming football prospect.

“It amazes me that a kid gets caught up on (whether) he’s a three-star instead of a four-star,” said Kansas University linebackers coach Clint Bowen. “And he’s just in disbelief over it. It doesn’t matter, you know?”

Toward the end of last season, Bowen — a 13-year veteran of the recruiting trail — was asked about the current state of recruiting. To hear Bowen tell it, websites, including Twitter and Facebook, have taken over.

“The kids’ desire to be on (recruiting websites). The kids’ desire to gain offers, to gain recognition, to gain stars,” Bowen said of recruits’ motivation. “It used to be high school coach, mom and dad, and you talked to ’em, you sold your program, and they picked the things they liked.”

Bowen said KU approaches recruits the same way regardless of stars attached to their names.

“You just try to continue to sell the things that are positive about your program,” Bowen said. “I don’t think that ever changes. You sell the things that are good about your university, your program, your community, and the kids who are making decisions on the right criteria are the ones you want.”

Few places know better than Kansas, where a player such as former cornerback Aqib Talib entered the program as a two-star talent and left as a first-round NFL Draft pick.

With Signing Day less than 24 hours away, KU still has two open spots. It already is a ballyhooed class, mostly because of the large number of junior-college prospects — 18 of the 25 commitments are juco guys — and the fact that anywhere from five to seven of those junior-college standouts landed on several top-100 lists.

Most players in the class have been committed for weeks and, although other programs have come after a fair number of them, all of them seem to be solid on their non-binding commitments to KU, which will become official Wednesday, when each athlete signs a national letter of intent.

Weis to be part of Boys & Girls Club event

Weis has been selected to be the keynote speaker for tonight’s Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence’s Youth of the Year banquet, 6:30-8 p.m. at the Lied Center.

The event, a national program that highlights club members’ success in service, leadership and the development of positive personal character, is open to the public and will feature speeches from local leaders and the announcement of the 2013 Youth of the Year winner. The nominees are Ajala Anavberokhai and Jalyn Brecheisen.

Another all-star game for Hyman

KU commitment Ishmael Hyman, a 6-foot, 169-pound wide receiver from St. John Vianney High in Holmdel, N.J., will play for Team USA in the International Bowl at 8 tonight. The game will take place in Austin, Texas, and will be televised live on CBS College Sports.

The event marks the second postseason all-star game for the three-star wide receiver who last December earned MVP honors at the Chesapeake Bowl.

Hyman is expected to follow up the excitement from tonight’s game by waking up early Wednesday to sign and fax his letter of intent to KU.

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