Kansas trying to copy Kansas State's plan with JUCO recruits


Will 15 or so junior college recruits be enough to get Charlie Weis a Big XII win at Kansas?

Charlie Weis doesn't have a lot of time.

A controversial hire at Kansas, Weis went a dreadful 1-11 in his first year with the Jayhawks, including an 0-9 conference record in what was a down year for the Big XII. Weis' Jayhawks scored only 219 points -- by far the lowest total in the conference -- and allowed an astounding 433 points. Weis will be 57 during the 2013 football season.

To be fair, the roster Weis took over was almost completely bereft of Big XII-level talent. And Weis is trying to change that. In a hurry.

The incoming recruiting class for the Jayhawks is considerably better than the classes signed in recent years. But that's not only because of talent; age is a factor here, too.

Kansas' 2013 recruiting class currently consists of 23 players. Of those, an incredible 15 are from junior college. If you don't follow recruiting, you might not grasp the enormity of that number. It's huge, perhaps twice what any other school in the BCS will bring in.

Generally, junior college players are expected to be immediate contributors. If not, for what other reason would a school take them, given the standard two years of eligibility with which they enter the program? That's also true at Kansas, which will have a lot of new faces starting for them.

The biggest impact should be felt on the lines.

On defense, Kansas signed Marquel Combs, arguably the nation's top defensive tackle recruit from the JUCO ranks. To that, the Jayhawks are adding Tedarian Johnson, another interior defensive lineman from the JUCO circuit. But help is on the way on the outside as well in the form of end Chris Martin, a former five-star recruit for the Florida Gators who could never get his act together in Gainesville. Big-bodied end Andrew Bolton (6'4, 280) from Mississippi will also be expected to contribute.

On offense, Kansas is bringing in three junior college offensive linemen in Mike Smithburg, Ngalu Fusimalohi and Zach Fondal. Importantly, all three have already signed and are going to be in Lawrence for spring practice, which is a huge advantage for players looking to win starting jobs. All of the defensive linemen, with the exception of Bolton, also signed Wednesday and will be ready for spring practice.

Judging by the offers held by many of the JUCO players being brought in by Kansas, the Jayhawks' roster is going to improve significantly with these JUCO signings.

After seeing the success had by its neighbor Kansas State with JUCO players, who can slight Kansas for trying to do the same?

While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel:

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