In 2016, the Jayhawks went just 2-10, adding to a decade of frustration and defeat for the Kansas football program. Luckily, KU’s future is undoubtedly looking brighter following last week’s explosion in recruiting. Based on how the previous eight season have gone (KU is 19-76 since 2009), the program, as well as the fans, are in need of a pick-me-up.
Since the successful 2007 and 2008 seasons, the Jayhawks have had exactly zero winning years. Amazingly, since 2009, the most KU has managed to muster up was a 3-win season, which occurred in 2010, 2013, and 2014. Because of their abysmal eight-year run, the Jayhawks have managed just three (!!!!) four-star recruits in the last two seasons, but they have already notched two for 2018 in Devonta Jason (WR) and Corione Harris (DB).
Many are giving props to newly appointed associate head coach Tony Hull. Hull was recently the head coach at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans before venturing over to Kansas to take on the running back coaching slot in 2016. Growing up in New Orleans, he understood the importance of education, and was always a great advocate for all of his players, so it should not come as a shock that his recruiting skills are being put to good use in the state of Louisiana. When it was announced almost a week ago, Beaty said, “Tony’s recruiting prowess speaks for itself, but he is more than just a dynamic recruiter. Tony is a great football coach and his positive impact on this team is felt on a daily basis.”
For 2017, things will still be tough, as the Jayhawks highest signed or enrolled recruit is a 3-star corner out of Florida, Hasan Defense. Kansas has eighteen other three-star commits, as well as two two-star commits. Fortunately for KU, they will be returning a good number of players, including current freshman quarterback Carter Stanley.
Other news about the Jayhawks football program include the departure of strength and conditioning coordinator Je’Ney Jackson and defensive line coach Michael Slater. The change in jobs for Jackson was, as Beaty put it, because he wanted to be more involved with the lives of his children. He said to Jesse Newell of The Kansas City Star, “He has children who are at an age where he would like to be able to be a bigger part of their everyday lives and he thought it was in his best interest to have a job that would allow him the time to do that. We are very grateful for the foundation Je’Ney set with our strength and conditioning program and wish him and his family all the best in the future.”
It’s not yet heard why Slater is leaving, other than he didn’t have his contract renewed after last year.
Overall, the football program at KU is doing the right thing to ensure that these last ten years won’t be repeated. Instead of trying to “take this dadgum state back,” or whatever it was that David Beaty said, he is looking across the map for recruits, and is doing his part to make sure that Kansas is always the number one option for everyone.