When Charlie Weis was hired as the new head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, oh the laughs that were had.
He couldn’t get the job done with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, so why would he bolt to Lawrence, KS after one year with the Florida Gators? If Weis wants to get back to the NFL in a head coaching capacity, he’s going to have to prove himself, and one of the FBS teams you’re going to get major props for turning around is Kansas. What’s his strategy following a 1-11 season?
College football free agency. You know, junior college players.
Think about it, he’s currently 56, so any turnaround has to be fast if he wants another shot in the big leagues. He doesn’t have time to develop a kid over four or five years, so why not bring in players who are much closer to having adapted to the speed of the college game?
Eight junior college commitments have already signed with the Jayhawks and they have verbal commitments from seven others. It’s a win-win proposition for everyone involved. JUCO players funnel into Kansas’ system for the opportunity to play for a guy who has worked with elite athletes while Weis gets paid a tidy sum, has a long leash and low expectations.
It’s a plan just crazy enough to work, and early returns show whatever Weis is whispering into recruits ears is working. In years past, Kansas’ recruiting hauls would have the occasional Californian or Texan, but by and large, Sunflower State natives were the heart of the roster. This recruiting cycle, only 28 percent of commits/signees are home grown.
Nobody’s expecting Kansas to reach the heights that Bill Snyder‘s taken the Kansas State Wildcats to, but if Weis can get the Jayhawks in bowls and pulling regular upsets, he’ll have two options: take a gig at a bigger program with higher expectations or return to the NFL.
If he’s going to deal with free agents, he may as well work with officially titled ones should the opportunity to kiss the college game goodbye again comes calling.
Brandon Cavanaugh is a college football columnist for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter: @eightlaces